An integrative review synthesizing teamwork competency development in nursing education: How should we be teaching nurses teamwork?




Barton, Glenn

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Aims. To critically review educational research describing nursing teamwork competency development and to synthesize these findings in determining what teaching-learning components best promote the evolution of competent nursing teamwork. Background. Since the Institute of Medicine (2000) recommended enhancing coordination and communication abilities of healthcare teams, many educational initiatives targeting teamwork competency development have surfaced. Registered nursing teams comprise the primary human resource structure for patient care delivery, and individually nurses are central figures within interprofessional healthcare teams. Nurses heavily influence overall team coordination and outcomes, yet little is known about the team training they receive, and furthermore what key educational components best enhance teamwork performance in nursing personnel. Design. Whittemore and Knaffl’s revised integrative review framework guided all stages. Data Sources. CINAHL, Web of Science, Academic Search Complete, and ERIC were searched, and detailed inclusion-exclusion criteria applied. Studies (n=19) published (2001–2014) were selected for review. Review Methods. Studies were appraised using established qualitative-quantitative evaluation tools. A systematic iterative approach was used to extract and filter data used for drawing conclusions related to key educational components. Results. Nursing teamwork epistemology is derived from High Reliability Teams (HRT) theory and Crew Resource Management (CRM) training sources. The most effective pedagogical approaches incorporate constructivist methods like high fidelity simulation and reflective discussion in order for students to acquire, practice, and refine these skills. Evaluating nursing teamwork competency is a complex task involving contextually based assessments of knowledge, skills, and attitudes. Conclusion. Future nursing teamwork competency curriculum design should emphasize leadership and skilled communication knowledge as learned, practiced, and assessed in contextually relevant, practice-based constructivist teaching environments.



Nursing, Teamwork, Competency, Nursing Education, Constructivism, Leadership, Simulation, Integrative Review