Interprofessional Education (IPE)

The World Health Organization defines interprofessional education (IPE) when “students from two or more professions learn about, from, and with each other to enable effective collaboration and improve health outcomes.” Students learn how to work with others outside their profession.

Many accrediting organizations now require IPE education, activities, and assessment in curricula. Students gain a deeper appreciation of roles of other disciplines, trust, and engaged communication. With IPE training, students are learning now how to enter the workplace as collaborative practice team members. This is a key step in moving health systems from silos to interprofessional work environments.

The IPEC was formed in 2009 by six national education associations of schools of health professions. IPEC now involves 20 organizations including American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), and Council of Social Work Education (CSWE).

The IPEC goal is to promote and encourage interprofessional learning experiences. IPEC common core competencies is guiding curricula development across the health professions. The Four IPEC IPE core competency domains include:

  1. Values/Ethics for Interprofessional Practice
  2. Roles/Responsibilities
  3. Interprofessional Communication
  4. Teams and Teamwork

An IPE Committee was formed in 2018 by faculty in our college for three disciplines — Nursing, Public Health, and Social Work. The committee develops and organizes IPE activities into the curricula

The committee members by discipline:

  • Conni DeBliek, Nursing
  • Randee Greenwald, Nursing
  • Linda Summers, Nursing
  • Cindy Kratzke, Public Health Sciences
  • Susan Wilson, Public Health Sciences
  • Stacy Gherardi, Social Work
  • Jeffrey McCabe, Social Work

  • Our Goal: Promote and implement interprofessional learning and practice among students, faculty and the community through education, collaboration, and research.


  • Our Objectives:
    • Offer an annual IPE activity or workshop to CHSS students
    • Offer annual faculty training
    • Have annual committee presence in departmental faculty meetings
    • Serve as a repository for interprofessional materials and case studies for students and faculty access
    • Provide resources for IPE introduction (exposure), development (immersion), and competence (entry-to-practice).

Leve 1. Introduction – IPE exposure. Activities include discussions of IPE, IPE competencies, health care, and future work environments.

Level 2. Immersion – IPE development. Activities include case studies.

Level 3. Competence – IPE entry to practice. Activities include student experiences in work sites.

  • A faculty IPE introduction workshop was held October 2018. Dr. Kimberly Adams Tufts, Old Dominion University, presented the information to faculty from NMSU College of Health and Social Services and Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine. Resource materials are available for review.


  • Opportunities for faculty to work together through collaboration is important for IPE success. IPE benefits include faculty professional growth, insights to expertise, and increased collegiality.

The first IPE Introduction Module was developed by the IPE Committee for dissemination during the third week of the fall 2019 semester. The four IPE core competency domains were used as our model framework. In the first module, 138 students from disciplines of nursing, public health, and social work participated in IPE.


  Fall 2019 IPE Introductory Module 

The IPE module included content for understanding future healthcare strategies and development through global health initiatives. Students reviewed a 60 minute video Future Crunch: The World is Not on Fire. The Future Crunch organization focuses on science and technology and a better world for health.


Students in DNP, MPH, and MSW programs. The students are usually in the first year of their programs.


IPE Committee members and faculty teaching the selected courses.


In the second week of the semester, each department chooses how to introduce IPE to their students (one week prior to the assignment).

In the third week of the semester, the IPE Committee organizes graduate students from DNP, MPH, and MSW programs into groups of twelve members.  Each group includes students from three disciplines.

The student groups complete a weekly module assignment. Discussions and posting responses are completed in Flipgrid. Flipgrid is a video program providing students a platform to share their discussions and postings.



Each department determines the grading criteria.


Students complete an online Qualtrics 10-item survey at the end of the assignment. The Likert questions were adapted from a validated survey tool. The open-end questions provided student input identifying the strengths and suggested improvements for future IPE assignments.


  1. Simulation (Nursing resources to be used)


  1. Service Learning Programs (include Nursing course – travel to Central America)


  1. Evaluation Tools


    • Intercultural Intelligence
    • Interprofessional Communication
    • Roles & Responsibilities
    • Teams & Teamwork
    • Values & Ethics


  1. Faculty Toolkits

The IPE Course Adapter Toolkit developed by the University of Michigan is structured and populated with content for users at various levels.

    • Faculty who are new to IPE can begin by 1) watching an intro video on the website’s landing page, and then 2) grounding themselves in IPE definitions and background. Faculty at all levels can find various links to resources, IPE course elements, etc.


  1. eLearning Resurces. IPE Student Modules for IPEC Four Domains – Values/Ethics, Roles/Responsibilities, Communication, Teamwork

The ITEACH e-learning modules review core concepts relating to communicating with patients, families, communities, and other health care providers in a responsible manner that supports a patient-centered, team-based approach to the maintenance of health and the treatment of disease.

    • Each module contains 6-10 minutes of video, interactive quiz questions and learning activities, and feedback focused on a core competency area.
    • The resources come with an instructor’s guide for additional debriefing, class discussion, and extension topics. The modules are ideal for online courses or for face-to-face classes as a precursor to simulated or clinical interprofessional learning.


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