P. Munro-Gilbert1, D. Chorney1, S. Coffey2

1Durham College (CANADA)
2University of Ontario Institute of Technology (CANADA)
Interprofessional practice (IPP) is both an evolutionary and a revolutionary concept in healthcare. Built on early concepts of team practice and expanded to include concepts of leadership, communication, and problem-solving, IPP provides opportunities for healthcare providers from a range of disciplines to work to their full scope of practice, while collaborating effectively to provide the highest quality care. Within the Canadian context, IPP is seen as central to promoting health and providing quality, patient-centred care.

While in the past nurses and other healthcare professionals were educated, and subsequently practiced in profession-specific silos, the modern healthcare context demands innovative approaches to education to promote IPP. In particular, nursing education, in which registered nurses and registered practical nurses are educated through often parallel but non-intersecting systems and processes, must change to incorporate opportunities for intraprofessional practice (IaPP). Recent changes in scope of practice of RPNs (Registered Practical Nurse) in Ontario highlight the many areas of commonality in nursing education between registered nurse and registered practical nurse, making explicit the need for IaPP initiatives.

This presentation will focus on learner experiences and the outcomes of a pilot project in which students enrolled in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program and students enrolled in a Practical Nursing program were invited to learn with and about each other through a shared course focusing on health assessment. Through a semester long shared learning experience with practical nursing and registered nursing students, faculty and learners developed insight into the challenges and benefits of intraprofessional education in nursing.