The current international healthcare focus on ensuring the perspectives and needs of individual persons, families or communities are met has led to the core tenet of person‐centred care for all. The nurse–patient relationship is central to the provision of care, and enhancing this relationship to ensure trust and respect supports optimal care outcomes for those accessing healthcare services. Engaging authentically is one of the recognised key approaches in person‐centred practice, and this scoping review of the literature aims to gain an understanding of the role this process plays in developing effective relationships between nurses and the people they care for. A systematic search of databases and grey literature was undertaken, and twenty‐one research papers met the inclusion criteria. A thematic analysis revealed four themes: ‘getting to know the patient as a person’, ‘the complexity of relationship building—it takes time’, ‘the nurse: characteristics and behaviours that support the nurse–patient relationship’ and ‘the patient voice’. Nurses and patients both benefit from effective relationships, feeling valued and experiencing greater satisfaction with care. Key elements of engaging authentically were revealed as a nurse–patient relational process through this literature review; however, further research is needed to gain a greater understanding of this concept.