Collaboration, credibility, compassion, and coordination: professional nurse communication skill sets in health care team interactions

J Prof Nurs. 2006 May-Jun;22(3):180-9. doi: 10.1016/j.profnurs.2006.03.002.


This study explored how nurses communicate professionalism in interactions with members of their health care teams. Extant research show that effective team communication is a vital aspect of a positive nursing practice environment, a setting that has been linked to enhanced patient outcomes. Although communication principles are emphasized in nursing education as an important component of professional nursing practice, actual nurse interaction skills in team-based health care delivery remain understudied. Qualitative analysis of interview transcripts with 50 participants at a large tertiary hospital revealed four communicative skill sets exemplified by nursing professionals: collaboration, credibility, compassion, and coordination. Study findings highlight specific communicative behaviors associated with each skill set that exemplify nurse professionalism to members of health care teams. Theoretical and pragmatic conclusions are drawn regarding the communicative responsibilities of professional nurses in health care teams. Specific interaction techniques that nurses could use in nurse-team communication are then offered for use in baccalaureate curriculum and organizational in-service education.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Communication*
  • Continuity of Patient Care / organization & administration
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Nursing, Baccalaureate
  • Empathy*
  • Focus Groups
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Medical Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Midwestern United States
  • Nurse Clinicians / psychology
  • Nurse's Role / psychology*
  • Nursing Assistants / psychology
  • Nursing Methodology Research
  • Nursing Staff, Hospital / psychology
  • Patient Care Planning / organization & administration
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration
  • Problem Solving
  • Professional Competence / standards*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Surveys and Questionnaires