Interdisciplinary Group Learning Method

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Cynthia L. Bozich Keith, MSN, PMHCNS-BC1
Jane Kinyon, MSN, PMHCNS-BC1
M. Carole Pistole, PhD2
1School of Nursing, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
2Department of Educational Studies, College of Education, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Learning Objective 1: recognize the value of interdisciplinary collaboration in undergraduate nursing clinical education.

Learning Objective 2: examine an innovative teaching method that promotes the education of future nurse leaders in group process knowledge and skills.

This poster presents a teaching approach, developed through an on-campus interdisciplinary collaboration, to facilitate students' learning group work skills and enhance leadership qualities. Psychiatric mental health nurses are known for the use of group work in their practice. However, group work proficiency enhances leadership effectiveness across all area of nursing practice in tasks such as: interdisciplinary team meetings; treatment planning; coordinating safe and effective patient care with other nurses and other health care professionals; education of peers, patients and families; and creatively working with others in today's climate of change. Using process or experiential groups as a method to facilitate students' learning group work skills is a means of producing strong nurse leaders.

Volunteer undergraduate nursing students participated as group members in 6 week process groups led by supervised counseling psychology doctoral students. This teaching approach resulted in simultaneous learning among undergraduate nursing students and counseling psychology doctoral students. The experiential group helped nursing students learn more about group process and leadership and about themselves as professionals. The counseling psychology doctoral student co-leaders gained group leadership experience and counseling-related experience with a college population. Because the group was a common ground for mutual learning and respect, the teaching method may better prepare all the students for leadership roles in work settings. In today's world, professionals are expected to exhibit and benefit from cross-disciplinary consultation and collaboration.

The poster will provide information on logistics, questionnaires, and anecdotal student comments. Statistical results from the questionnaires will be presented.