Persistent isolationist or collaborator? The nurse's role in interprofessional collaborative practice

J Nurs Manag. 2010 Apr;18(3):248-57. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2010.01072.x.


Aim: The present study explores current understanding about interprofessional collaborative client-centred practice and nursing's role in this form of care delivery.

Background: A profession-only focus on nursing practice has been challenged at professional, national governmental and World Health Organization levels stressing for more interprofessional patient-centred collaborative teamwork.

Evaluation: Moving to patient-centred collaborative practice is fraught with barriers. Enablers can result in building trust, power sharing and shared decision-making. Changing current workplace environments requires institutional commitments to support collaborative team development.

Key issue(s): Nurses can become collaborative members of teams through: (1) re-socialize; (2) understanding and articulating nurses roles, knowledge and skills to others; (3) other health providers sharing the same to nurses; (4) identifying where shared roles, knowledge and skills exist; and (5) learning to work in collaborative teams. Nurses must address some fundamental issues about practice that negate collaboration and patient-centred care.

Conclusions: All professionals, including nurses, must move away from a service-oriented delivery to a patient-centred collaborative approach to care.

Implications for nursing management: The values within health organizations need to be underpinned by collaborative interprofessional patient-centred practice. To accomplish this goal, administrators and managers must support assessment of employees and visiting physicians as to their conformance with agency established expectations for such practice.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence
  • Cooperative Behavior*
  • Education, Nursing
  • Global Health
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations*
  • Nurse's Role*
  • Nursing Theory
  • Ontario
  • Patient Care Team / organization & administration*
  • Patient-Centered Care / organization & administration*
  • United States