Groups release guide to collaboration among nurses

( American Nurses Association and American Organization of Nurse Executives have released a document to help all who seek to prioritize and sustain better collaboration between nurse managers and clinical nurses.

The joint document is called “Principles of Collaborative Relationships Between Clinical Nurses and Nurse Managers.”

In a news release, the ANA noted that “research in many industries and environments demonstrates the imperative of positive working relationships in achieving goals. Nurses have an increased need for positive relationships, based on the criticality of their work and the emotional and physical nature of nursing practice. The ‘Principles’ should serve as a guide for enhancing good collaboration where it occurs and improving situations where it is sub-optimal.”

“These principles have the potential to sustain dynamic relationships between nurses, and enhance the value and contribution of both nurse managers and clinical nurses to patient care,” ANA President Karen A. Daley, RN, PhD, MPH, FAAN, said in the news release. “Our goal in this work is to create work environments where nurses thrive, and even more important, patient care is the best it can be.”

In the development of the document, the ANA and AONE each selected three nurse managers and three clinical nurses to ensure a balanced perspective from both sides. The group worked together to determine the principles of effective working relationships and developed guidelines to fulfilling each principle.

“With the ever-evolving nature of healthcare delivery, there is a strong need for increased synergies between clinical nurses and nurses in more formal leadership positions,” AONE President Laura Caramanica, RN, PhD, CENP, FACHE, said in the news release. “These newly outlined principles provide a framework to positively impact collaboration.”

The document encompasses three main themes:

• Effective communication, incorporating principles such as engaging in active listening to fully understand and contemplate what is being relayed, knowing the purpose and expectations of a message, and fostering an open, safe environment.

• Authentic relationships, incorporating principles such as being “true to yourself,” empowering others to have ideas and to share those ideas, and recognizing and leveraging each others’ strengths.

• Learning environment and culture, incorporating principles such as inspiring innovative and creative thinking, creating a culture of safety both physically and psychologically, and sharing knowledge and learning from mistakes.

The document is available as a PDF at