Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Nursing (MAN)



First Advisor

Joyce P. Miller, DNP, RN

Second Advisor

Deb Schumacher, DNP, RN

Third Advisor

Amy Brown, MSN, RN


Communication and teamwork are essential competencies required to navigate the complex and ever-changing health care environment. However, inefficient communication and teamwork practices can lead to adverse events and low staff satisfaction. Delivering effective patient care requires a coordinated effort by a diverse multidisciplinary team. As valued members of the multidisciplinary team, a registered nurse case manager (RNCM) and a clinical social worker (CSW) collaborate with patients, colleagues, and community services to ensure quality, patient-centered care. Because of their many interactions, RNCMs and CSWs will benefit from a communication and teamwork skill development course. Therefore, this paper describes the development of a project to enhance communication and teamwork skills with a team of hematology-oncology RNCMs and CSWs at a hospital within a large Midwest medical center using Newman’s Health as Expanding Consciousness theory as a theoretical framework. This project creates an interactive learning environment where RNCMs and CSWs feel safe to explore their interaction patterns within their team. The RNCMs and CSWs will participate in 6-monthly improvisation game sessions. Through improvisation participation, RNCMs and CSWs will develop enhanced consciousness of their interactions, which will increase staff satisfaction and patient outcomes. With continuous practice and a supportive environment, RNCMs and CSWs will use skills developed through participation in improvisation games to improve their professional interpersonal interactions.


SC 11.MAN.2021.VanHorn.MA