Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

School Name

Donna and Allan Lansing School of Nursing and Health Sciences



Major Advisor

Dr. Linda Cain


In healthcare organizations today, creating a culture of safety is critically important. Communication failures among healthcare providers have been linked to 70% of annual sentinel events. Seventy-six percent of individuals experiencing a sentinel event die (Joint Commission, 2009). Lack of good communication behavior between nurses and physicians has been recognized as a cause of preventable harm to patients (Institute of Medicine, 2004; Zwarenstein & Reeves, 2006). In hospital settings, communication failures are linked to increases in length of stay, patient harm, resource utilization, more rapid turnover, and caregiver dissatisfaction (Dingley et al., 2008). Numerous national organizations and commissions have officially mandated interdisciplinary collaboration as strategies for improved healthcare (Marshall, 2011). Yet organizations currently allow a practice environment where nurse-physician communication is ineffective as evidenced in root cause analyses and fact finding (Gurses & Xiao, 2006).