The advancement of professional nursing requires integration of theory, practice and research One realistic mechanism to achieve this integration is collaborative nursing research A collaborative experience between clinical nurse specialists and faculty researchers is described and evaluated The collaborative research project focused on contraceptive nursing care and self-care conceptualized within Orem's theory A major finding was that while job titles and settings of the participants differed markedly, role components were not disparate, rather, they were compatible and complementary The collaborative project strengthened both the theory base for a primary care nursing practice and the practice base for faculty research and theory development efforts