Getting on the Same Page: A Grounded Theory Study of Nurse and Physician Collaborative Practice Development
The purpose of this study is to discover a theory to conceptualize the basic social processes of nurse and physician practice development in those that have experienced formal interprofessional education. This study will not only add to the body of nursing and physician knowledge about nurse-physician practice development, but also inform national leaders and agencies, give guidance to educators, and provide a framework for future research. Research question: What is the practice development process of physicians and nurses who have experienced formal interprofessional education?
This is a qualitative research study using the grounded theory method. Grounded theory is the ideal research method to allow for exploration of the sequence and meaning of events to build a rich and deep understanding of the physician and nurse practice development process for those that have completed a formal interprofessional education program (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Conceptualization of these perceptions, knowledge, social interactions and patterns of behavior will provide the body of evidence leading to the development of a contemporary evidenced based theory of practice development of physicians and nurses (Glaser, 1978; Glaser & Strauss, 1967).
This grounded theory study was conducted to conceptualize the social process that explains nurse and physician collaborative practice development process as described by those who have experienced formal IPE. A total of 21 clinicians (14 registered nurses and seven medical doctors) who graduated from seven university IPE programs participated in interviews and shared their experience from their first months in professional practice to their current experience and described the drivers of their collaborative practice development.
The core category, which emerged from the data, was Getting on the Same Page. A model of nurse and physician collaborative practice development also emerged from the data with ten categories that explain the progression of the model. These additional categories explained stages of development over time and include: Understanding Others’ Roles; Learning to Work Together during the educational experience; Being Nervous, Intimidated, and Frustrated; Recognizing Important Information; Relating to One Another during early practice; Coming Together; Knowing Each Other; Feeling More Comfortable and Confident; Going Back and Forth; and Being a Team in later practice.