During a brief question and answer session with the committee, the discussants focused on advancing interprofessional education. Tanner and Rick concurred that interprofessional education is a valuable aspect of nursing education. Tanner said that successful interprofessional education requires a strategic initiative that has both grassroots support and support from university leadership and administration. She noted that a great deal of grassroots work has been done with regional Oregon AHECs to establish interprofessional clinical experiences for health professional students in rural settings. It is very important that students across the state have an opportunity to work collaboratively, no matter where the setting is located.
Rick noted that the VANA program includes interprofessional collaboration as part of its scoring criteria for selection of its partners. She noted that bridges need to be built to overcome some of the challenges and culture differences that have been experienced between the practice and academic communities, as well as across the different disciplines. Rick described one of the promising models that had been featured as part of a possible pilot; the model included nurses as formal preceptors for medical students. She said interprofessional collaboration is ingrained in the vision of the VANA program, and perhaps one day the nursing academy could instead be called the interprofessional academy.