Collaborative Healthcare: Interprofessional Practice, Education and Evaluation (JCIPE)



The purpose of this project was to improve attitudes towards collaboration between nurse and physician leaders and to describe the changes in attitudes and behaviors following completion of an interprofessional education (IPE) leadership development program.


The Institute of Medicine (IOM) 1999 study, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System, demonstrated that poor collaboration among clinicians can contribute to negative patient outcomes and further outlined that traditional methods of learning in healthcare result in nurses and physicians becoming isolated from one another and thus unprepared to work collaboratively (Delunas & Rouse, 2014). The nurse-physician (RN-MD) relationship is complex and is influenced by differences in both methods of academic preparation and the perceived value and definition of collaboration between the two groups (Hughes and Fitzpatrick, 2010). Unhealthy relationships such as those that are hostile or disruptive can result in lower levels of job satisfaction, retention, and safety and quality of care delivery (Rosenstein & O’Daniel, 2005; Manojlovich & DeCicco, 2007). The collaborative relationship includes mutual trust, open communication and respect for the skills of each discipline (Schmalenberg, et al., 2005).

For true collaborative relationships to develop, each professional must value the other discipline’s contribution, creating mutual or equal power in their relationship (Nelson, King, & Brodine, 2008). This requires confronting the perception that each party has of the other’s role. The theoretical framework that supports this process is Critical Social Theory (Freire 1972 as cited in Fulton, 1997), which promotes social phenomenon as being explained by evaluating the history of the social development. The theory framework is dependent on the assumption that knowledge of the current state will facilitate change in the relationship. Utilizing social theory allows for the application of praxis, or reflection with action. Praxis is the first step towards empowerment to change. Identifying the attitudes towards collaboration will provide objective data on the true state of perceptions and provide for reflection with actions that facilitate the RN-MD empowerment to change their relationship.