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Nurse-physician relationships remain, for the most part, hierarchical in nature. A hierarchical structure allows the person at the top, most notably the physician, the highest level of authority and power for decision making. Other health care providers are delegated various tasks related to the medical plan of care. One role of nonmedical health care providers, including nurses, is to support the medical plan of care and increase the productivity of physicians. Medical centers have house staff, usually interns and residents, who work collaboratively with the attending physicians in care delivery. At one medical center, a shortage of medical house staff for internal medicine prompted the development and evaluation of an alternative service. The alternative service utilized master prepared, certified nurse practitioners on a nonteaching service to provide care for selected types of medical patients. Physicians consulted with nurse practitioners, but retained decision-making authority concerning patient admission to the service. This paper describes the development and evaluation of an alternative service based on a collaborative practice model and the role of nurse practitioners working under such a model. Discussion includes suggestions for process guideline development for organizations that want to improve collaborative practice relationships between unit nursing staff, nurse practitioners, and physicians.