Nurses are confident, resilient problem solvers who often rely on their own knowledge and abilities to provide quality care. However, giving patients the effective, timely, and thorough treatment they need takes an entire team of healthcare professionals.
To that end, teamwork in nursing can be critical to maintaining the high professional standards healthcare demands of its workers. Furthermore, effective collaboration may facilitate better patient care and make life easier for a clinic’s staff.
We’re covering the various benefits of effective teamwork in nursing to help you improve collaboration among a staff of nurses.
Benefits of Teamwork in Nursing
Nursing is a social profession that, by the very nature of its duties, generally forces professionals to work alongside one another. When this collaboration is open and harmonious, rather than disjointed and embittered, it can facilitate:
1. Enhanced Patient Care
Healthcare professionals always strive to do their best, but accidents do happen. In fact, up to 28% of adverse events in certain healthcare settings can be attributed to miscommunication and ineffective teamwork—a figure that could be reduced with enhanced collaboration.1
Improved communication not only leads to better patient safety and care but also streamlines duties and can make work more efficient for every member of a clinic’s staff.
2. Increased Job Satisfaction
Many factors contribute to job satisfaction for nurses—one less obvious one, however, may be how well their healthcare team works together. A 2023 study found that healthcare teams with higher collaborative skills and less turnover had a higher degree of job satisfaction than those without.2
When nurses feel supported and valued by their colleagues, they can feel more comfortable in their roles and fulfilled in their careers.
3. Sharpened Critical Thinking
Open dialogue among team members leads to a wider diversity of opinions and expert viewpoints from different types of nurses. While some team members may have worked for years in surgical or general care, others may have experience in geriatric or neonatal settings.
These varied backgrounds can help colleagues learn nursing skills from one another while simultaneously fostering better patient satisfaction with diverse care strategies.
4. Reduced Burnout Rate
Effective nursing teamwork often means there’s a more even distribution of duties and a keen understanding of when a team member is feeling overworked—and this is important. Nurses cite acute burnout as a leading factor contributing to job dissatisfaction, and it’s a top reason why many choose to resign from the profession.3
Sharing responsibilities can alleviate these feelings and help nurses maintain their passion for their careers.
5. Professional Growth Opportunities
Networking, learning from peers, and collaborating with new healthcare professionals are all keen ways that nurses can enhance their knowledge and potentially open doors in their careers. Studying the methods of nurses in management positions and learning to fulfill their duties can be a solid strategy for advancing up the ladder once that role opens in the future.
Strategies to Enhance Teamwork in Nursing
While the benefits of effective teamwork amongst nurses abound, fostering a collaborative atmosphere can take dedication, oversight, and strategy. Nursing staff and managers who focus on these factors, however, can improve their staff’s teamwork skill:
1. Effective Communication
Open, honest communication can be the cornerstone of effective collaboration in a healthcare setting. Members in a nursing team should be encouraged to share knowledge and information with each other freely.
To help facilitate an atmosphere of open communication, a care team can use digital tools, such as chat applications, to quickly and conveniently send information.
2. Role Clarity and Delegation
It should be clear and universally understood which healthcare team members work in which roles and what everyone’s responsibilities are to work towards a common goal. Tasks should be delegated evenly based on the strengths of your nurses to ensure the best possible patient outcomes and minimize the chances of burnout.
3. Team Building Activities
Team building exercises foster trust and promote a sense of camaraderie among a nursing team. In fact, recent studies have found that team-building interventions, such as planned activities, garner positive reviews from participants and can lead to statistically significant improvements in collaborative abilities and overall team knowledge.4
Alongside team building activities, celebrating important milestones such as promotions and certifications can also bring staff closer together as a unit.
4. Continuous Education
Encouraging nurses’ ongoing education, such as through obtaining certifications and advanced degrees, can help them foster the modern collaborative abilities necessary for effective teamwork in clinical settings. For instance, a master’s of science in nursing (MSN) from Alliant International University can help students prepare to work as effective members of healthcare teams. The program offers hands-on training with innovative medical technology alongside both professors and peers.
Even if you don’t already have a bachelor's of science in nursing, the MSN direct-entry program at Alliant can help you break into the field while refining your collaborative skills.
5. Conflict Resolution
Good qualities of a nurse often include fast decision making. Thus, conflicts are bound to arise once in a while in clinical settings. When they do, it’s important to mediate them with a solution-focused attitude, keeping everyone’s emotions in mind.
A harmonious work atmosphere can be key to close collaboration, so address any issues quickly and with fair judgment.
Choose Alliant for Your Nursing Journey
Whether you’re just starting your nursing journey or you’re looking to advance your career with a master’s degree, Alliant International University can help guide the way. We offer both Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing and Master’s of Science in Nursing degree programs designed to provide students with ample hands-on learning opportunities in state-of-the-art facilities.
If you’re looking for nursing programs in Phoenix, AZ, consider Alliant International University.
- Rosen, M. A., DiazGranados, D., Dietz, A. S., Benishek, L. E., Thompson, D., Pronovost, P. J., & Weaver, S. J. “Teamwork in healthcare: Key discoveries enabling safer, high-quality care.” (2028) The American psychologist, 73(4), 433–450. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0000298. Accessed September 15, 2023.
- Bragadóttir, H., Kalisch, B. J., Flygenring, B. G., & Tryggvadóttir, G. B.”The Relationship of Nursing Teamwork and Job Satisfaction in Hospitals.” (2023) SAGE open nursing,https://doi.org/10.1177/23779608231175027. Accessed September 15, 2023.
- Shah, M. K., Gandrakota, N., Cimiotti, J. P., Ghose, N., Moore, M., & Ali, M. K. “Prevalence of and Factors Associated With Nurse Burnout in the US.” (2021) JAMA network open, 4(2), e2036469. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2020.36469. Accessed September 15, 2023.
- Miller, C. J., Kim, B., Silverman, A., & Bauer, M. S. “A systematic review of team-building interventions in non-acute healthcare settings.” (2018) BMC health services research, 18(1), 146. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-018-2961-9. Accessed September 15, 2023.