Fostering Nurse–Physician Collaboration Through Shared Experience: An Innovative Program Fosters Appreciation for Nurses

Sarah Low, MSN, RN, OCN, CMSRN; Emily Gray, MSN, RN-BC; Amanda Ewing, MD, FACP; Patricia Hain, MSN, RN-BC, NE-BC, FACHE; Linda Kim, PhD, MSN, RN, PHN, CPHQ


Am Nurs Journal. 2022;17(2) 

In This Article

Setting Sail

At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, our MD–RN Collaborative was designed to address the essential physician–nurse relationship. At a quarterly housewide collaborative meeting, the participants theorized that cultivating this relationship from the beginning of physician training might have lasting impact on interprofessional collaboration. The internal medical residency training program and medical–surgical nursing department developed a shared clinical experience in which all first-year medical residents partnered with nurse preceptors for a 12-hour shift within the first 10 weeks of residency. The goal was for nurses and physicians to collaborate on all aspects of care from patient bathing to medication administration and coordinated implementation. A detailed skills checklist facilitated and guided the clinical activities, and physicians had to demonstrate competencies per hospital policy. We named the program Nurse for a Day (NFAD).

Staff nurses known to be strong communicators were nominated for the program and could choose to precept medical residents as one of their nursing clinical ladder projects. During the program, residents arrived at 7 am and attended morning shift huddle, participated in nursing handoff report, and joined in during progression of care rounds (a daily interprofessional meeting designed to improve patient care delivery, discharge planning, and care coordination). In addition to providing nursing care and coordination under the guidance of their nurse preceptor until 7:30 pm, the residents participated in handoff report to the oncoming nightshift nursing team.

From 2016 to 2020, 163 medical residents and 75 nurse preceptors participated in the NFAD program. Of these participants, 106 (65%) of the residents and 51 (68%) of the nurse preceptors completed an anonymous survey offered at the end of their experience, providing responses to open-ended questions. The responses were then analyzed for themes. (View the survey questions at