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The Case for Stronger Nurse Collaboration

In the fast-paced hospital settings that make up modern healthcare, coming together as a team can make or break clinical staff’s ability to effectively care for patients on their unit. On hospital units, collaboration is the most important aspect of team care (Bags, Ryan, 1990). Though nursing is a field that is filled with autonomy, there's still a need for collaboration between nurses and all other interdisciplinary functions.

In a recent study of 1228 units in 200 acute care hospitals in 41 states, nurses reported lower intent to leave, higher job satisfaction, and better quality of care in units with better collaboration and stronger nursing leadership (Chenjuan, Jingjing, Bott, 2015). Creating a care environment with strong collaboration among care providers and nursing leadership help hospitals maintain a competitive nursing workforce—with high quality of care. Each second of a patient’s care must be accounted for and monitored across all lines and peoples within each healthcare organization.

Often times, nurses are faced with increasing patient ratios and acuity levels, which can limit the amount of collaboration between nurses within each unit, which renders the motto “every patient is my patient” all but impossible. It’s important that nurses don’t just see their assigned patients as their only autonomous responsibility, but as an opportunity to lead the care of these patients through the collaborative effort of each nurse on their unit. Effective collaboration involves mutual attempts to find integrative solutions that meet the needs of both self and others.

The New Standard of Nurse Collaboration

Nobl Hourly Rounding impacts nurse collaboration by continuously alerting every clinical member on the unit of how long it’s been since each patient was visited. Hourly rounding maps are displayed in nursing stations and reflect a blueprint of each unit. Via color, rounding maps relay information on patients who are due to be rounded on. This enables each clinical member to round on patients, when nurses are busy caring in other areas.

This use of teamwork has proven to decrease adverse events within hospitals while increasing the collaboration between staff (Baggs, Ryan, 1990). Each nurse can rest assured that when their patient needs attention; their clinical team has their back.

Mary Follet, a pioneer in management theory, summarized it best:

“Collaboration is both a process and an outcome ... a collaborative outcome is the development of integrative solutions that go beyond an individual vision to a productive resolution that could not be accomplished by any single person or organization.”


Baggs, J.G., & Ryan, S.A. (1990). Intensive care unit nurse-physician collaboration and nurse satisfaction. Nursing Economics 8, 386-392.

Chenjuan, M., Jingjing, S., & Bott, M.J. (2015). Linking Unit Collaboration and Nursing