The aim of this analysis was to examine the concept of time to rejuvenate and extend existing narratives of time within the nursing literature. In particular, we hope to promote a new trajectory in nursing research and practice which focuses on time and person-centred care, specifically of older people with cognitive impairment hospitalized in the acute care setting. We consider the explanatory power of concepts such as clock time, process time, fast care, slow care and time debt for elucidating the relationship between 'good care' and 'time use'. We conclude by offering two additional concepts of time, plurotemporality and person-centred time (PCT) which we propose will help advance of nursing knowledge and practice. Nurse clinicians and researchers can use these alternative concepts of time to explore and describe different temporal structures that honour the patient's values and preferences using experiential, observation-based nursing research approaches.