NURS 6231: Week 10: Interdisciplinary Collaboration

NURS 6231: Healthcare Systems and Quality Outcomes | Week 10

Perhaps you have heard the story of a U.S. president who toured NASA before the first mission to the moon, and stopped to ask a man what his job was there. The janitor replied that his job was to help put a man on the moon.

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Regardless of whether this exchange actually occurred, the story sheds light on an important concept: achieving any great mission requires teamwork and collaboration.

Providing safe, high quality care necessitates that interdisciplinary alliances integrate contributions from many individuals. Take a minute to think about all the people who support or provide care delivery and facilitate the day-to-day operations of a health care organization. Patients and families have direct and indirect contact with a multitude of professionals in any health care setting—from those who clean the floors to those who make the highest-level strategic decisions.

This week, you examine the core competencies that are needed for optimal collaboration, and analyze the value of interdisciplinary teams for reaching quality and safety goals. In addition, you complete your work on the Course Project.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Evaluate interdisciplinary collaboration skills
  • Analyze the benefits of interdisciplinary teams for meeting quality improvement goals
  • Evaluate strategies for developing interprofessional competencies
  • Apply evaluation tools to quality improvement initiatives
  • Analyze the financial implications of quality in health care organizations
  • Synthesize analysis and recommendations into an action plan

Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Corse Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Hickey, J. V., & Brosnan, C. A. (2017). Evaluation of health care quality in for DNPs (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing Company.

  • Chapter 11, “Health Care Teams” (pp. 227-264)

This chapter focuses on the function of teams within health care with particular focus on methods of evaluation.

Bainbridge, L., Nasmith, L., Orchard, C., & Wood, V. (2010). Competencies for interprofessional collaboration. Journal of Physical Therapy Education, 24(1), 6–11.

The authors of this article put forth a competency framework for interprofessional collaboration that can be used by various stakeholders. The framework consists of six competencies and the authors also provide detailed descriptions of the associated skills each competency requires.

Braithwaite, J., Westbrook, M., Nugus, P., Greenfield, D., Travaglia, J. Runciman, W. … Westbrook, J. (2012). A four-year, systems-wide intervention promoting interprofessional collaboration. BMC Health Services Research, 12(1), 99–106.

This article examines strategies and challenges of working to improve interprofessional collaboration. The benefits of this type of teaming are also discussed.

Petri, L. (2010). Concept analysis of interdisciplinary collaboration. Nursing Forum, 45(2), 73–82.

This literature review explores the meaning of interdisciplinary collaboration and identifies important antecedents and attributes of the process.

Shor, R. (2010). Interdisciplinary collaboration between social workers and dieticians in nutrition education programs for children-at-risk. Social Work in Health Care, 49(4), 345–361.

The author of this article focuses on the importance of establishing interdisciplinary collaborative partnerships in order to meet community needs. The article addresses common issues that arise during the establishment of these relationships and outlines solutions.

Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel. (2011). Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: Report of an expert panel. Retrieved from


Numerous organizations in multiple disciplines worked together to develop these core competencies for interprofessional collaboration.

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2013b). Navigating inter-professional teams. Retrieved from


Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 9 minutes.

Dr. Kenneth Rempher discusses core competencies for inter-professional collaboration.

The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.

—Vince Lombardi

Collaboration is a critical component of quality improvement. It is also a central tenet of your endeavors as a scholar-practitioner in this Walden University Master’s program. To succeed in your role as a nurse leader-manager, it is important to engage in ongoing development of collaborative skills and to help foster a culture that values collaboration.

In Weeks 1 and 2 of this course, you analyzed your strengths and considered how to leverage these strengths for effective leadership. In a similar vein, this week you evaluate your strengths and areas for growth with regard to interdisciplinary collaboration.

To prepare:

  • Review the competencies described in the Interprofessional Education Collaborative report and in Chapter 9 of the Hickey and Brosnan text.
  • As you reflect on the competency statements outlined for each domain, think about which ones reflect your strengths. Which competency statements point to areas for growth?
  • Consider the benefit of working with interdisciplinary teams for addressing quality improvement initiatives.
  • Conduct a search of the literature and select at least one article that illustrates the benefits of interprofessional collaboration for nurse leader-managers as it relates to improving quality.

Note: Think about a potential connection between the concepts presented throughout this course (i.e. systems-level change, quality, etc.), and a Practicum Project that you might focus on in NURS 6600. Consider how you might use interprofessional collaboration in your practicum setting.

By Day 3

Post an analysis of your strengths and areas for growth related to interprofessional collaboration competencies. Explain the benefits of interprofessional collaboration for meeting quality improvement goals. Support your response with examples from current literature.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ responses.

By Day 6

Respond to at least two of your colleagues on two different days suggesting strategies for developing interprofessional competencies. Support your suggestions with evidence from current literature and personal experience.

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