Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Nursing Best Practice Guidelines

Glossary of Terms
Collaboration is the process of working together to build consensus on common goals, approaches and outcomes. It requires an understanding of own and others’ roles, mutual respect among participants, commitment to common goals, shared decision-making, effective communication relationships and accountability for both the goals and team members.
Collaborative Relationship/Practice:
is defined as a joint venture or cooperative endeavour that ensures a willingness to participate. This relationship involves shared planning and decision-making, based on knowledge and expertise rather than on role and title.
Continuity of Care:
A seamless, continuous implementation of a plan of care that is reviewed and revised to meet the changing needs of the client. The care may be provided by various care providers, at various times and in various settings.
Healthy Work Environments:
A healthy work environment for nurses is a practice setting that maximizes the health and well being of nurses, quality patient/client outcomes and organizational performance.
Healthy Work Environment Best Practice Guidelines:
Systematically developed statements based on best available evidence to assist in making decisions about appropriate structures and processes to achieve a healthy work environment.
Interprofessional Forums:
Gatherings such as conferences and symposia, and/or meetings and committees, where members of multiple health disciplines converge to share knowledge, expertise and discussion in order to strengthen interdisciplinary practice.
Interprofessional Team:
Multiple health disciplines with diverse knowledge and skills who share an integrated set of goals and who utilize interdependent collaboration that involves communication, sharing of knowledge and coordination of services to provide services to patients/clients and their care-giving systems.
Refers to Registered Nurses, Licensed Practical Nurses (referred to as Registered Practical Nurses in Ontario), Registered Psychiatric Nurses, nurses in advanced practice roles such as Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists.
Nursing Team:
The nursing team is a group of nurses working towards a common goal.
Recipient(s) of nursing services. This includes individuals, (family member, guardian, substitute caregiver) families, groups, populations or entire communities. In education, the client may be a student; in administration, the client may be staff; and in research, the client is a study participant.
The different types of workers who provide the patient/client with preventative, curative and rehabilitative care.
A number of persons associated together in work or activity. (Merriam-Webster on line dictionary: Retrieved August 2, 2006 from
Team Effectiveness:
The outcome of teamwork related to the teams success in meeting the common goals identified by its membership.
That work which is done by a group of people who possess individual expertise, who are responsible for making individual decisions, who hold a common purpose and who meet together to communicate, share and consolidate knowledge from which plans are made, further decisions are influenced and actions determined.
Transformational Leadership:
A leadership approach in which individuals and their leaders engage in an exchange process that broadens and motivates both parties to achieve greater levels of achievement, thereby transforming the work environment. Transformational Leadership occurs where the leader takes a visionary position and inspires people to follow. Retrieved August 2, 2006 from