Introduction: The purpose of this study was to explore the attitudes and beliefs of pediatric nurse practitioners (PNPs) and pediatricians concerning collaborative practice relationships and to explore the themes that emerged to establish a definition of collaborative practice between PNPs and pediatricians as it applies to current practice trends.
Methods: Twenty-four PNP and pediatrician dyads were identified through a random sampling technique from a list of names of certified PNPs obtained from the National Certification Board of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and Nurses. Questionnaires were mailed to certified PNPs and the collaborating pediatrician. Data were collected and analyzed using both quantitative and qualitative methodology.
Results: All PNPs and pediatricians were board certified and most had 6 or more years experience in a collaborative practice. The qualitative data revealed that open communication and a relationship built on mutual trust and respect, sharing of knowledge, and clinical expertise are essential components of a collaborative practice relationship if the shared goal of excellent patient care is to be achieved. Attitudes of importance in a collaborative practice relationship rated significantly higher by the PNPs included "respect for you as a professional" and "advocate for child health issues."
Conclusion: The data revealed that the words "supervision" and "independence" should be changed to "consultation" when describing a contemporary collaborative practice relationship between a nurse practitioner and physician.