Background: The World Health Organization recommends that health care educators create a collaborative and practice-ready workforce. Focused interprofessional education (IPE) promotes collaborative practice, yet few examples of how to develop sustained IPE and clinical partnerships exist. Mental health care professionals competent in their specialty and prepared for interprofessional collaboration are needed to treat complex mental health needs of patients. Method: Doctor of Nursing Practice Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) faculty partnered with College of Pharmacy faculty to create didactic, clinical, and simulation coursework and IPE competencies within PMHNP courses. Students developed skills about providing interprofessional mental health care. Results: Recommendations for faculties include: embrace the value of interprofessional faculty partnerships; plan for time, money, motivation, and recognition needed for sustainable IPE; and design courses that become part of the fabric of the curricula. Conclusion: Embedding IPE into PMHNP curricula creates increased faculty satisfaction and positive feedback from students and clinical sites.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
An innovative and sustained IPE curriculum was implemented at the University of Minnesota School of Nursing (SON) Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) PMHNP specialty program and the COP Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) program. Curriculum changes were developed during two sequential Advanced Nursing Education grants funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) from 2013 through 2019. In addition to providing salary support for faculty workload efforts to make curricular changes proposed in the grants, HRSA funding was used to enhance interprofessional education activities and create collaborative, integrated clinical practices at two community mental health agencies. A major aim of the HRSA grants was to prepare DNP PMHNP and PharmD students for interprofessional collaborative mental health practice and to work with our community mental health clinical partners to translate classroom IPE into clinical practice.
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