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clinical nurse specialist, collaboration, nurse practitioner



  1. McNamara, Shannon MSN, BSN
  2. Lepage, Karine MSc, BSN
  3. Boileau, Johanne MSN, BSN


Purpose/Objectives: The purpose of this article was to describe the collaborative model established between the specialized nurse practitioner (SNP) and the clinical nurse specialist (CNS), within the cardiac surgery population.


Background/Rationale: The literature has shown a trend that SNPs and CNSs work in parallel or even in competition. Little has been written about a collaborative model and the advantages to working together toward a mutual goal. It was felt that a collaborative model between advance practice nurses could demonstrate the advantages of using their unique perspectives to achieve improvement in the quality of care given to the patients.


Description of the Project/Innovation: The Structuration Model of Interprofessional Collaboration was used as a guide to our interventions and elaboration of our project. The team set out to establish, promote, and nurture a collaborative approach to care for the cardiac surgery population from admission to 3 months after discharge.


Outcomes: A collaborative relationship was achieved between the SNP and the CNS, to the benefit of the patient population.


Interpretation/Conclusion: Collaboration between these 2 advanced practice nurses is realistic and attainable. The advantages to this relationship outweigh the negative feelings harbored toward each professional title. By working in collaboration instead of in parallel, resources are pooled together to achieve greater services and care for the patients.


Implications: A change in attitude between professionals has a positive impact on working relationships, partnerships, and communication. Ultimately, it is an advantage for the advanced practice nurse, the multidisciplinary team, and the patient.