Webinars and Weaving: An Innovative Model of Interprofessional Education in an Online DNP Program

Thursday, 27 July 2017: 4:30 PM

Linda A. Lewandowski, PhD1
Raeann Genevieve LeBlanc, DNP1
Pamela Aselton, PhD1
Gabrielle P. Abelard, DNP, MS, BS2
Christine Callahan, MS1
Clare Lamontagne, PhD3
(1)College of Nursing, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, USA
(2)COLLEGE OF NURSING, UMASS Amherst College of Nursing, UMASS Amherst, Amherst, MA, AMHERST, MA, USA
(3)College of Nursing, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, USA

Purpose : Educating future nurse practitioners in meeting the essentials of advanced nursing practice includes advanced competency in the core competencies of interprofessional collaborative practice--IPCP (The National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Faculties, 2012). Teaching in an all-online learning environment in which students are geographically scattered presents some challenges, especially in promoting some concepts such as collaboration. Distance learning technologies can be used to design opportunities that promote collaborative educational learning and advance quality, evidence-based practice. This presentation focuses on two strategies: live interprofessional case-based webinars with course-based facilitated discussions and curriculum “weaving” of IPCP content throughout the NP curriculum.

Methods:  The Core Competencies for Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (Interprofessional Education Collaborative Expert Panel, 2012) served as the basis for the didactic content that was woven across the online Doctorate of Nursing Practice Nurse Practitioner curricula. Innovative, live streaming webinars were created and delivered case-based content from interprofessional collaborative practitioners as role models while inviting inter-professional exchanges from participating students. Professionals from different disciplines were identified by a community practice liaison in developing the webinar teams. Webinar topics central to primary care and practice improvement included topics on patient and family centered care, evidence- based practice quality improvement projects (e.g., identifying and managing sepsis), and collaborative biopsychosocial management of complex health problems (e.g. headaches, CHF, PTSD, nutrition in chidren and adolescents). Online evaluations of the webinars followed each presentation. The cases and interprofessional collaboration exemplars were then followed with a facilitated discussion in relevant clinical courses. In evaluating these curriculum enhancements, students rated their ability level on collaborative practice through completing the 42-item self-assessment, IPEC Competency Self-Assessment Tool – Version 1 (Dow, DiazGranados, Mazmanian & Retchins, 2012; 2014) in a pre-post, repeated measures design (on entry into the program and at designated evaluation points). This measurement tool is based on the competencies defined by the Interprofessional Education Collaborative expert panel (2012). Weaving interprofessional collaborative practice content throughout the program was assessed via a process of curriculum mapping.

 Results : Live interprofessional webinars were identified as an effective approach to delivering and role modelling interprofessional collaboration. Active student participation can be promoted via the live question and answer/discussion session following the interprofessional panel and case discussion and course-based facilitated discussions. Specialists in diverse areas of primary care enriched the clinical education of the nurse practitioner students and other health professionals through the webinar series. Evaluating the core competencies of interprofessional collaborative learning in an online program is successfully measurable and reflects the areas of learning needs and competency attainment. Assessment of the development of the core competencies can be better understood when delivered at time series points throughout the Doctorate of Nursing Practice/Nurse Practitioner plan of study. This model can also be applied to other types of online educational programs.

Conclusion : Live case-based webinars that role model the process of inter-professional collaboration combined with facilitated discussions and curriculum weaving of the core competencies of interprofessional collaboration are effective strategies to teach interprofessional collaboration in an online learning environment.