OBJECTIVE: The objective of this qualitative research study was to identify themes characterizing collaboration from the perspectives of nurses and physicians serving in complementary leadership roles in intensive and progressive care hospital units.
BACKGROUND: Failures of communication are reported as a major cause of sentinel events. Most frequently, communication breakdown occurs between physicians and nurses.
METHODS: In this qualitative research study, taped interviews with nursing and medical unit directors (physicians) were analyzed for themes regarding factors influencing collaboration.
RESULTS: Themes identified included the impact of organizational support, shared expectations, relationships, and communication.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings of this study support the need for organizations and professionals to facilitate deliberate, structured interprofessional communication to advance collaboration between nurses and physicians.