Methods: An innovative educational program was developed to provide coordinated clinical practicums for dyads of Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner (PMHNP) students. Three pairs of students have been matched with preceptors working within primary care centers or School-Based Heath Centers (SBHCs), and will be providing direct care to under-served clients across the lifespan for a 14-week semester. Services offered include primary medical, behavioral health, and dental care, along with a wide range of supportive services such as intensive case management, prenatal education and lactation support services, and family violence prevention and education. The unique educational model of pairing a FNP student with a PMHNP student is expected to result in maximum cross-disciplinary learning as well as better role preparation, along with demonstrated skills in delivering effective integrated care by the completion of the clinical rotation. Students are scheduled to be evaluated by their preceptor at the end of the practicum on their integrated care skills and competencies using the 26-item, Likert style Integrated Care Competency Assessment Tool (ICCAT). They will also complete a self-report on their experience of the integrated care practices at the clinical site using either the Primary Care Provider (PCP) Self-Report Questionnaire or the Behavioral Health Provider (BHP) Self-Report Questionnaire, and participate in a Focus Group that will elicit information about their experiences in the program. Finally, students will self-report, at the beginning and end of the practicum, on their level of comfort with providing integrated care by use of an analogue scale.
Results: Analysis of the results from the ICCAT, the Self-Report Questionnaires, the analogue scales and the Focus Group will be shared; the overview will determine the impact of the innovative clinical educational experience.
Conclusion: Results from the pilot study are expected to indicate that the students both enjoyed and benefitted from the innovative educational program.