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

Lessons From the Voyage

Participant survey responses demonstrate how programs such as this have the potential to shape future care delivery. A common theme across all responses was how valuable the program was in cultivating mutual role understanding, particularly in clarifying the nurse's role and workflow.

We initially thought the NFAD program would be a hard sell to medical residents, but we were pleasantly surprised to learn that residents wanted interprofessional training experiences. We assumed that the opportunity to practice skills would be the biggest draw. The residents did appreciate being able to practice skills (33.96%), but that was secondary to learning about the nurse's role and workflow (55.89%). When asked how the program could be improved, 25.47% said no improvement was necessary. Of those who did offer suggestions, 36.23% requested a shorter shift and 20.29% asked for more NFAD opportunities. Many participants recommended a 4- to 8-hour shift. Other organizations initiating a similar program will want to determine whether the full 12-hour shift is necessary or perhaps consider a reciprocal interprofessional experience where nurses shadow residents.

To ensure good communication and that the program ran smoothly, we took several steps. For example, to accommodate unforeseen staffing challenges, nursing leadership identified a primary preceptor and a back-up. In addition, reminder emails were sent weekly to preceptors, nursing leadership, and the relevant charge nurses to prepare for resident presence on the unit. To ensure residents had a diverse experience, charge nurses were asked to inform the MD–RN pair of less-common patient care events they could participate in, such as placing indwelling devices or wound care.