A Nurse/Intern Partnership Program Accelerates Positive Relationship Formation Between Pediatric Interns and Pediatric Nurses



      The relationship between nurses and interns affects the quality of patient care; efforts to improve this relationship are necessary for optimal care. Previously, relationship formation was found to depend on mutual trust, respect, effective communication, and undergoing the process of role formation, all of which require time. This led to the hypothesis that instituting a Nurse/Intern Partnership Program (NIPP) would accelerate relationship formation.


      Using a semi-structured interview guide, prior to NIPP implementation, one nurse (n = 5) and 2 second-year resident (total n = 6) focus groups were held. After implementation, one nurse (n = 6) and one intern (n = 9) focus group were held. The focus group data were analyzed using the 5 stages of qualitative research framework.


      Thematic data analysis with 3 independent coders supported the previously developed model of relationship formation; the NIPP accelerated relationship formation between nurses and interns through creating an early ally, improving communication, and increasing role understanding. The program may have improved the culture of the pediatric unit. The interns reported more of a positive impact of the NIPP on nurse/intern relationship than the nurses.


      The NIPP was positively received by pediatric residents and nurses and successfully accelerated relationship formation between the 2 groups.


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