Monday, June 18, 2018

The Tapestry of Nurse Collaboration

Collaboration among nurses and other healthcare professionals is central to the delivery of patient care. According to Merriam Webster's online dictionary, collaborate is defined "to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor". This particular definition is perfect for our purposes where the work of nurses is concerned.

Collaboration and cooperation are a hallmark of human society. While many of us humans don't exactly play nice, many human endeavors couldn't possibly happen without collaboration.

Could a skyscraper be built if the carpenters, plumbers, and welders didn't collaborate? Could a car be manufactured if everyone on the assembly line just did whatever they want? Could a meal be cooked in a restaurant kitchen if no one listened to one another in the creation of the meal? Could a plane land if the pilot refused to collaborate with the air traffic controllers? 

If collaboration means that we're working jointly, then almost anything that a nurse can do in the course of his or her day is largely governed by collaboration.

Some Examples of Nurses Engaging in Collaboration

When nurses give one another report, they're collaborating on the care of a patient. And if a nurse is meeting with the physical therapist, surgeon, speech pathologist, and discharge planner, that group must by nature collaborate in order to maximize patient care and facilitate the course of treatment and eventual discharge. 

Providing care in a patient's home, the home health nurse collaborates with the patient and his or her family in order to arrange appropriate care for that patient. 

In the entrepreneurial space, I collaborate with many people. Nurse entrepreneurs need one another, be it for strategic partnerships, joint ventures, co-promotion and cross-promotion, as well as simple peer-to-peer support. 

Nurses collaborate as clinicians, researchers, writers, artists, filmmakers and administrators. We collaborate as a natural aspect of our training and education -- we need each other. 

A Seamless Tapestry

Indeed, there's no end to how we can collaborate as nurses. Let's continue  to weave this tapestry of nursing collaboration. We're the threads and we're the weaver, but we're also the loom and the fabric itself.

Tell me how you weave your life and work with other nurses. Let's share our stories and our love of collaboration. There's no end to what we can do together.


Keith Carlson, RN, BSN, NC-BC, is the Board Certified Nurse Coach behind and the well-known nursing blog, Digital Doorway. Please visit his online platforms and reach out for his support when you need it most.

Keith is the host of The Nurse Keith Show, his solo podcast focused on career advice and inspiration for nurses. From 2012 until its sunset in 2017, Keith co-hosted RNFMRadio, a groundbreaking nursing podcast.

As of May of 2018, Keith is the host of Mastering Nursing, an interview-style podcast showcasing inspiring, forward-thinking nurse thought leaders and innovators. 

A widely published nurse writer, Keith is the author of Savvy Networking For Nurses: Getting Connected and Staying Connected in the 21st Century and Aspire to be Inspired: Creating a Nursing Career That Matters. He has contributed chapters to a number of books related to the  nursing profession. Keith has written for,, MultiBriefs News Service, LPNtoBSNOnline, StaffGarden, AusMed, American Sentinel University, the ANA blog,, American Nurse Today, Working Nurse Magazine, and other online and print publications.

Mr. Carlson brings a plethora of experience as a nurse thought leader, keynote speaker, online nurse personality, social media influencer, podcaster, holistic career coach, writer, and well-known nurse entrepreneur. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with his lovely and talented wife, Mary Rives, and his adorable and remarkably intelligent cat, George.

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