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Authors

  1. Dougherty, Mary B. DNSc, RN
  2. Larson, Elaine L. PhD, RN

Abstract

Objective: To develop and examine the reliability and validity of a new instrument, the nurse-nurse collaboration (NNC) scale.

 

Background: Nurse-nurse collaboration (NNC) is recommended to reduce medical errors and improve patient care and nurses' job satisfaction. While instruments are available to measure nurse-physician collaboration, an instrument to measure NNC was not available in the literature. Because collaboration is necessary for optimal patient care, a valid and reliable instrument would make it possible to measure the level of collaboration among nurses.

 

Methods: A comprehensive literature review was conducted to develop a definition and define relevant domains of NNC and identify instruments with acceptable psychometrics that included items measuring NNC. Instrument items to develop the Nurse-Nurse Collaboration Scale (NNC Scale) were adapted from previously published tools or developed based on domains identified in the literature. Five domains were identified: problem solving, communication, coordination, shared process, and professionalism. Psychometric testing of the NNC Scale included pilot testing for content and construct validity and field testing among 76 staff nurses working in 4 ICUs in a large tertiary-care academic medical center in the northeast United States. Psychometric tests assessing reliability and convergent validity correlations were conducted.

 

Results: The overall Cronbach [alpha] for the scale was .89. Convergent validity correlations, however, were low to moderate, indicating minimal shared variance among the subscales. Therefore, the instrument did not measure a global concept but rather 5 separate domains of collaboration. Internal consistency testing of the 5 subscales produced acceptable results ranging from .66 to .91.

 

Conclusion: The NNC Scale demonstrated acceptable reliability and validity for measuring the level of NNC in intensive care nurses. Further psychometric testing and a factor analysis with a larger-sample, more diverse groups of nurses are necessary to further characterize the generalizability of the NNC Scale.