While the benefits of collaborative research have been well documented, fewer publications exist regarding the complex, problematic issues involved in these undertakings. This paper offers an integrated collaborative research model to depict the complexities and challenges of initiation and implementation of a 2 1/2 year joint research project between a community hospital and a university school of nursing in Southern Ontario, Canada. A sampling of the experiences of the researchers are analyzed to clarify the dynamic and often competing issues and interactions involved in encouraging hospital-wide research involvement during periods of organizational growth and change. The model reflects the simultaneous interaction of organizational, change and collaborative processes while maintaining the rigor of the research (RCT), and ensuring minimal disruption to the service agency. Quantitative outcomes of this collaboration are presented through an analysis of participant involvement on multiple organizational levels. Recommendations for future collaborative research, including design and methodological issues and collaborative and change strategies are offered. The complexity of balancing the necessary trade-offs required of successful collaborative research are highlighted and will be useful to those considering and planning future collaborations.