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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




The movement toward an integrated approach to healthcare professionals' education, interprofessional education (IPE), has been advancing over the past 60 years in the United Kingdom, Canada, and more recently in the United States. Support for IPE as a mechanism to positively impact collaborative practice and patient outcomes comes from international and national healthcare and educational leadership agencies as well as professional medicine and nursing thought leaders. Theories have evolved to explain the linkages among IPE, collaborative practice, and positive patient outcomes. Researchers have found support for the short term positive impact of IPE on attitudes, perceptions, clarity about roles and responsibilities and knowledge acquisition. However, there is little evidence that demonstrates the link between pre-licensure IPE and professional staff outcomes. In spite of the lack of evidence, many pre-licensure IPE programs continue to be developed and the number of programs is growing. Determining a clear connection between IPE and patient outcomes is unrealistic because of multiple potential intervening variables; however, there is an opportunity to assess the impact of IPE on collaborative practice.This grounded theory study was conducted to conceptualize the social process that explains nurse and physician collaborative practice development process as described by those who have experienced formal IPE. A total of 21 clinicians (14 registered nurses and seven medical doctors) who graduated from three university IPE programs participated in interviews and shared their experience from their first months in professional practice to their current experience. The core category, which emerged from the data, was Getting on the Same Page. A model of nurse and physician collaborative practice development also emerged from the data with ten categories that explain the progression of the model. These additional categories explained stages of development over time and include Understanding Others' Roles; Learning to Work Together during the educational experience; Being Nervous, Intimidated, and Frustrated; Recognizing Important Information; Relating to One Another during early practice; Coming Together; Knowing Each Other; Feeling More Comfortable and Confident; Going Back and Forth; and Being a Team in later practice. The theory of Getting on the Same Page supports and informs design of interprofessional learning and contributes to a greater understanding of the important link between education and practice. This study will facilitate opportunities for future research as well as education and practice alignment.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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