Friday, August 22, 2014

More Nursing Schools Focus on Interdisciplinary Care

A number of the nation’s top nursing schools now require students to participate in at least one interprofessional education course or activity, according to a “dashboard” report recently released by the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, an initiative of RWJF and AARP.

Experts have been calling for interprofessional education for decades, but more schools are now responding because requirements are being written into health professions accreditation standards, Barbara Brandt tells RWJF’s Sharing Nursing’s Knowledge (SNK) newsletter. Brant is head of the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education, a public-private partnership supported by RWJF, the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, and other organizations. While there is not yet any comprehensive data quantifying the number of interprofessional activities and courses offered nationwide, Brandt said that there is “no question” the number of schools requiring these types of activities is growing rapidly.

INQRI is credited in the SNK article for helping to foster interdisciplinary research and collaborative practice. The ongoing impact can also be seen in health journals, where the number of articles in 10 of the top health services research journals co-authored by a registered nurse (RN) is increasing dramatically, according to a supplemental dashboard indicator, which shows that articles co-authored by RNs jumped from 80 to 145 from 2010 to 2012.

“For much of history, physicians made the major care decisions,” INQRI Grantee Joanne Spetz said. “We need to start teaching nursing students that they bring a set of skills to the table that are unique and distinct, and add value to the skills provided by other professionals. That will help them develop good, collaborative relationships over time.”

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