Nursing faculty and interprofessional education: where do we stand?
Interprofessional education is an educational tool which provides the opportunity for students from two or more professions to learn side-by-side about their roles and responsibilities and to develop skills in cooperation, communication, and collaboration. Although interprofessional education has support from healthcare organizations and accreditation bodies, there is limited application of the tool across healthcare education programs in the United States. The purpose of this phenomenographic study was to explore traditional undergraduate nursing faculty’s understanding, experience, and implementation of interprofessional education and generate new knowledge to increase and improve both teaching and implementation of interprofessional education. Participants included nine traditional undergraduate nurse educators actively teaching in baccalaureate nursing programs and working with interprofessional education activities in the State of Texas. The analysis of the qualitative data generated an outcome space of four qualitatively different ways of perceiving interprofessional education: (a) Interprofessional education as a method of developing teamwork, (b) Interprofessional education as a faculty role, (c) Interprofessional education as something constrained by barriers and limitations, and (d) Interprofessional education as unique to the nursing profession. Based on the findings of this research, the recommendations for practice and research include increased frequency of regularly scheduled interprofessional education across the curricula, opportunities for healthcare education faculty to develop relationships and advance their skills in teaching and implementing interprofessional education, and continued research into interprofessional education using a mixed-methods approach to capture greater amounts of data.