Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Committee Chair

Dr. Debra Hampton

Clinical Mentor

Dr. Kelly Johnson

Committee Member

Dr. William Bradford

Committee Member

Jon Cooper


Background: Nurse-physician communication is an essential element of safe, effective patient care, nurse engagement and job satisfaction. Communication breakdowns can lead to poor patient outcomes and disengagement among nurses.

Purpose: The purpose of this project was to determine the impact of a nurse-physician communication intervention on psychological empowerment of critical care nurses. A second purpose of the study was to evaluate the effectiveness of communication between critical care nurses and members or the cardiothoracic surgery team and understand barriers and communication challenges.

Methods: A quasi-experimental pre-test/post-test design was utilized to evaluate the impact of a nurse-physician communication intervention on nurses’ psychological empowerment and perceptions of barriers to communication.

Results: There was no statistically significant difference in psychological empowerment scores or nurse perceptions of communication pre and post intervention. Qualitative data demonstrated some improvement in overall communication.

Conclusions: Further study is needed to determine the extent to which relationship-building interventions can impact nurse-physician communication.