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Attention is turning to nurses, who form the greatest proportion of health personnel worldwide, to
play a greater role in delivering health services amidst a severe human resources for health crisis and overwhelming
disease burden in low-income countries. Nurse leaders in low-income countries must consider essential context for
nurses to fulfill their professional obligation to deliver safe and reliable health services. Professional practice models
(PPMs) have been proposed as a framework for strategically positioning nurses to impact health outcomes. PPMs
comprise 5 elements: professional values, patient care delivery systems, professional relationships, management
approach and remuneration. In this paper, we synthesize the existing literature on PPMs for nurses in low-income

Kjoki Ng'ang'a and Mary Woods Byrne in BMC Nursing (2015) 14:44