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NLN Releases A Vision for Interprofessional Collaboration in Education and Practice

doi: 10.1097/01.NEP.0000476111.94472.a6
DEPARTMENTS: Headlines from the NLN

The full text of this NLN Vision is online:

The National League for Nursing believes that current educational approaches must include opportunities for students to engage in interprofessional education (IPE) and practice (IPP). IPE and IPP deliver team-based care that strengthens health systems and improves health outcomes. There is consensus that health care professionals must have the competence to work in teams to provide safer, quality care to multiple populations in varied health care settings (Thibault, 2013).

Because team training in educational programs lags behind the actual practice of working in teams, a gap exists between the realities of practice (Interprofessional Education Collaborative [IPEC] Expert Panel, 2011) and the utilization of teamwork skills to deliver patient-centered care. As a result, today’s graduates from well-intended, accredited institutions are not prepared for the practice environments in which they will work (Speakman & Arenson, 2015). As nurses are integral to the delivery of team-based, patient-family-centered care, the NLN challenges nurse educators to collaborate with other health professions to develop meaningful IPE and IPP opportunities for students. The NLN urges the nurse educator community to work with other professions to provide learning opportunities that acknowledge a profoundly changed health care environment. To facilitate this call to action, the NLN has created A Guide to Effective Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice Experiences in Nursing Education (

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For Deans, Directors, Chairs of Nursing Programs

  • Secure leadership buy-in and resources for IPE and IPP initiatives.
  • Conduct an assessment of IPE readiness.
  • Provide faculty development opportunities to prepare faculty to create and implement IPE and IPP initiatives.
  • Establish partnerships/consortia among practice colleagues and health professions schools/programs around innovative curriculum design, program evaluation, and creative use of information technology.
  • Support research that examines the effect of IPE and IPP on student behaviors, attitudes, and patient outcomes.
  • Establish postdoctoral research centers with interprofessional faculty to build the science of IPE and IPP.
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For Faculty

  • Pursue interprofessional development opportunities.
  • Use IPE core competencies as a framework to develop systematic plans that help students meet IPEC competency domains in varied educational settings (e.g., classroom, clinical, simulation-learning environment).
  • Examine curricula content and traditional approaches (e.g., scheduling) to determine bias and messaging that impede IPP approaches and subsequent health care delivery.
  • Inspire nursing students to seek out teamwork training and collaborative practice opportunities.
  • Thread IPE throughout the program of learning as an essential program outcome to foster IPP.
  • Implement courses and learning opportunities that prepare graduates to focus on patient-family-centered care in interprofessional teams.
  • Provide opportunities for students to work on interprofessional research teams and service-learning activities.
  • Develop IPE clinical models that strengthen the links between education, practice, and research and draw upon nursing expertise in knowledge generation/translation of research.
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For the NLN

  • Offer faculty development programs to prepare faculty to teach in team-based, care-focused educational programs, including how to teach the collaborative practice skills.
  • With other nursing and health professional organizations, develop model curricula that integrate IPE and IPP.
  • Develop leadership programs for nurses, from both education and practice, to cocreate positive organizational cultures that promote collaborative IPP.
  • Work with policy makers to advocate for funding for schools to deliver educational and practice models that foster greater collaboration among the professions.
  • Seek research funding to investigate linkages between educational approaches for collaborative practice and health care outcomes.
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Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel. (2011). Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: Report of an expert panel. Retrieved from
Speakman E., & Arenson C. (2015). Going back to the future: What is all the buzz about interprofessional education and collaborative practice? Nurse Educator, 40(1), 3–4.
Thibault G. E. (2013). Reforming health professions education will require culture change and closer ties between classroom and practice. Health Affairs (Project Hope), 32(11), 1928–1932.
© 2016 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.