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Biography

Dr. DeWitt holds a PhD in Nursing Education and Administration from William Carey University, MSN in Nursing Education from the University of Mississippi Medical Center, and BSN from Northwestern State University. She is an Associate Professor of Graduate Studies at American Sentinel University and serves as a Research Chairperson for doctoral students.           

Dr. DeWitt has 18 years experience as a nursing educator and has been recognized for her contributions to undergraduate nursing research, service to the community, and service to the profession of nursing. Her research interests are interprofessional education for collaboration and improving the learning experience of nursing students.

Abstract

The Institue of Medicine unfailingly continues to challenge health care practitioners and educators to create interprofessional education for collaboration (IPEC) opportunities. Implementing interprofession opportunities, nevertheless, continues to elude nursing educational programs, as the lack of a uniform implementation into nursing and other health care disciplines is evident. What is necessary are new and innovative ways to implement IPEC for colleges of nursing to overcome the barrier resulting from lack of readily available opportunities for collaborative partnerships with other healthcare disciplines in the academic setting. This presentation will illustrate a unique research approach sought to evaluate the outcome of an IPEC experience for senior level nursing and Health Information Management (HIM) students. The purpose of the study was to determine pre-licensure senior level baccalaureate of science nursing and HIM students’ perception of interprofessional collaboration and to determine the outcomes of participation in interprofessional education. The results revealed an overwhelming majority of both nursing and HIM students welcomed the opportunity to engage in IPEC, experienced an increased positive perception of collaborating with other professions, and demonstrated a shared mutual appreciation and respect for the respective professions. Additionally, both groups of students understood the importance of interprofessional collaboration in the healthcare practice setting, despite the absence of previous exposure to any IPEC activities in their respective curriculums. As more IPEC opportunities are implemented into curricula, nursing and other healthcare students will gain interprofessional collaboration competence, becoming better prepared to enter the workforce well equipped to collaborate with other members of the healthcare team.