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Faculty Learning Module 10

Interprofessional education (IPE): Learning for Practice


Although health professionals have worked in interdisciplinary teams for decades, health professional education has remained in silos with minimal interaction between professionals. Recent reports from various healthcare agencies and accrediting bodies has ignited interest and commitment to interprofessional education (IPE) as a means to improving both the quality and safety of patient care. The QSEN competencies emphasize the need for teamwork and collaboration along with patient safety. Efforts to design and implement IPE activities have been met with both success and challenges. Organizations promoting interprofessional education are being formed with the purpose of promoting this effort and placing it on the agenda of all who educate health care professionals.

This module has been designed to assist you in understanding the background and development of IPE initiatives and to share a proposed conceptual framework of IPE. You will realize the required infrastructure and organizational support needed for successful IPE programs and finally have several concrete examples of IPE activities that have been successfully implemented in a variety of educational settings.


Upon completion of this section, you will be able to:

  • Examine the emerging importance of interprofessional education (IPE)

  • Identify strategies and potential barriers to implementing IPE

  • Explore learner-centered strategies to enhance interprofessionalism

  • Chao Zhang, Doctoral Student, BSN

  • Connie Miller, PhD, RN

  • Sarah A. Thompson, PhD, RN, FAAN

  • Sharon Sims, PhD, FAANP, ANEF


At this point, you may be asking yourself, “Why should we promote IPE in an already full curriculum?” or “How and where do we begin?” Please review the following three presentations to answer these questions.

  • Objective 1

  • Objective 2

  • Objective 3

Objective 1
Objective 2
Objective 3
  • Websites

  • Recommended Articles

  • The Center for the Advancement of Interprofessional Education (CAIPE)

  • The Canadian Interprofessional Health Collaborative (CIHC)

  • Australasian Interprofessional Practice and Education Network (AIPPEN)

  • WHO Framework for action on interprofessional education and collaborative practice

Sample Articles

Buring, S.M., Bhushan, A., Broeseker, A., Conway, S., Duncan-Hewitt, W., Hansen, L., et al. (2009). Interprofessional education: Definitions, student competencies, and guidelines for implementation. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 73(4), 59.

Cooper, H., Carlisle, C., Gibbs, T., & Watkins, C. (2001). Developing an evidence base for interdisciplinary learning: A systematic review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 35(2), 228-237.

Craddock, D., O’Halloran, C., Borthwick, A., & McPherson, K. (2006). Interprofessional education in health and social care: Fashion or informed practice? Learning in Health & Social Care, 5(4), 220-242.

Hammick, M., Freeth, D., Koppel, I., Reeves, S., & Barr, H. (2007). A best evidence systematic review of interprofessional education. Medical Teacher, 29(8), 735-751.

Irajpour, A., Norman, I., & Griffiths, P. (2006). Interprofessional education to improve pain management. British Journal of Community Nursing, 11(1), 29-32.

Reeves, S., Zwarenstein, M., Goldman, J., Barr, H., Freeth, D., Hammick, M., et al. Interprofessional education: Effects on professional practice and health care outcomes. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (Online), (1) (1), CD002213.

Remington, T., Foulk, M., & Williams, B. (2006). Evaluation of evidence for interprofessional education. American Journal of Pharmaceutical Education, 70(3), 1-7.

Thannhauser, J., Russell-Mayhew, S., & Scott, C. (2010). Measures of interprofessional education and collaboration. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 24(4), 336-349.

Thistlethwaite, J., & Moran, M. World Health Organization Study Group on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice. Learning outcomes for interprofessional education (IPE): Literature review and synthesis. Journal of Interprofessional Care, 24(5), 503-513.

World Health Organization (2010). Framework for action on interprofessional education and collaborative practice. Geneva: World Health Organization.

Zhang, C., Thompson, S., & Miller, C. (in press). A review of simulation-based interprofessional education. Clinical Simulation in Nursing.


After you have reviewed the module presentations and resources, consider how this material is relevant to your own work and experience. The following is a list of questions for self-reflection or for use in class.

  1. How have recent publications/reports from agencies such as the Institute of Medicine and QSEN heightened your awareness of the importance of interprofessional education?

  2. What infrastructure is present in your organization that supports IPE activities? What barriers to IPE can you identify?

  3. How might you, as an individual, promote IPE within your organization? What are some specific activities that you might adopt to introduce your organization to IPE?


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