Nursing Teamwork and Unit Size

Beatrice J. Kalisch, Katherine Russell, Kyung Hee Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this study is to determine the relationship between the team and unit size and level of nursing teamwork. The sample for the study was 2,265 direct care nursing providers from 53 units in four hospitals. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated to determine if five variables to measure unit size (average daily census, number of registered nurses, number of nursing assistants [NAs], and number of total staff) correlated with teamwork overall and with five teamwork subscales (trust, team orientation, backup, shared mental model, and leadership). A significant negative correlation was found between nursing teamwork overall and the number of NAs, and average daily census. To optimize nursing unit teamwork, consideration needs to be given to strategies to reduce the size of nursing teams.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)214-225
Number of pages12
JournalWestern Journal of Nursing Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Feb

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
TThe authors disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This study was funded by a grant from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Michigan.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nursing(all)


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