TEAM-BUILDING: Making Collaborative Practice Work


  • Susan R. Stapleton CNM, MSN

    Director, Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • Susan R. Stapleton received a BSN from The Ohio State University, an MSN from Marquette University, and a certificate in midwifery from The University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey. She is the founder and director of Reading Birth and Women's Center, in Reading, Pennsylvania, a private, full-scope nurse-midwifery practice. The nurse-midwives attend births in a freestanding birth center, the hospital, and at home, and the practice serves as a clinical site for basic and integration students from several programs. Ms. Stapleton is president of the National Association of Childbearing Centers.

Reading Birth and Women's Center, 949 New Holland Road, Reading, PA 19607.


Collaborative practice offers great promise for maximizing the unique contributions and enhancing the satisfaction of everyone involved in health care, including the consumer. Developing collaborative relationships, however, requires much time and effort. Significant attitudinal, institutional, and behavioral barriers exist. Collaboration occurs between individuals, and each one must understand the concept of collaboration and be committed to investing the time and energy required to develop the relationship and overcome the barriers. The author describes critical attributes of collaboration and discusses how they can be developed and demonstrated.