Date of Paper/Work

12-2011

Type of Paper/Work

Systems Change Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Department

Nursing

First Advisor

Roberta Hunt

Abstract

The purpose of the study was to examine the elements and partnerships that need to be considered and developed in the design and evaluation of an interprofessional education (IPE) initiative within an academic setting. A mixed methods approach was used to obtain data from three sources: one-on-one interview with one administrator; a focus group with 9 faculty members; and completion of a precourse (n = 201, 88.63%) and a postcourse survey (n = 136, 58.11%) with the students. Students in the IPE initiative came from 11 disciplines: child and youth worker, dental hygiene, developmental services worker, law and security administration, medical radiography technology, native child and family services, paramedic, police foundation, practical nursing, recreation leadership, and social service worker. Findings identified three major elements in the design of an IPE initiative: organizational commitment, program impact, and positive learning environment. Factors associated with organizational commitment included sustainable funding, endorsement of partnerships within the educational setting and outside with the field or clinical placements and federal and provincial governments, and promotion of the principles of social justice. Program impact requires ongoing professional development activities, adequate resources, an evidence-based curriculum and model of delivery, and a learning environment suitable for small groups. An organization must promote the principles of social justice, endorse partnerships, provide adequate resources and an evidence-based curriculum, and acknowledge different learner styles and needs. A positive learning environment develops teaching methods that are cognizant of the learners‟ characteristics, learning goals, learning styles, and cultural differences. The success of IPE initiatives relies on the support and commitment of all v participants, who must be equal partners from the design through to the evaluation of the initiative.

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