Background and significance:
Collaboration among nurses has been recommended to reduce errors, improve patient care outcomes, and increase job satisfaction. Previously nurse to nurse collaboration had been measured as a component of organizational structure. The Nurse-Nurse Collaboration Scale (NNC) (Dougherty, Larson, 2010) is a valid and reliable instrument developed to measure the level of collaboration among intensive care nurses. NNC measures the 5 domains of collaboration: conflict management, communication, shared process, coordination, and professionalism. This project adapted, piloted, and utilized the Nurse-Nurse Collaboration Scale-Hospital Wide (NNC-HW) to describe the level of collaboration among clinical nurses hospital-wide.
Design: This descriptive-correlational study implemented the electronic survey method to implement the NNC-HW. Data was collected from 136 clinical nurses working in acute care settings at a semi-rural, MidAtlanic region hospital.
Methods: First, the NNC-HW was piloted using Cronbach’s alpha for reliability testing. Then, NNC-HW was implemented hospital wide. Again, Cronbach’s alpha was used for reliability testing. ANOVA was calculated to test differences among means of 5 subscales. Pearson Correlations coefficients were used to test for existence of relationships between the 5 subscales.
Findings: Reliability was identified as excellent for subscales communication, shared process, coordination, and professionalism (a=.94-.98). reliability was identified as good for subscale conflict management (a=.88). Nurses described the highest levels of collaboration existed between the subscales shared process and communication (r=.80), and coordination and professionalism (r=.81). However, nurses descried the lowest levels of collaboration among all subscale correlation with conflict management (r=.41-.47).
The NNC-HW was established as a reliable instrument for describing clinical nurse to nurse collaboration in the hospital setting. Conflict management was revealed as a subscale of collaboration that warrants further investigation and is an opportunity for intervention.
An intervention addressing conflict management may support collaboration, therefore decreasing errors, improving patient outcomes, and increasing clinical nursing satisfaction.
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