1. Park, Chan W. MD, FAAEM
  2. Holtschneider, Mary Edel MEd, MPA, BSN, RN-BC, NREMT-P, CPLP

Article Content

Nursing professional development (NPD) practitioners throughout the United States are having tremendous positive impact on the scope and reach of interprofessionalism in the academic and workplace settings. As referenced in the third edition of NPD Scope and Standards, one of the roles that NPD practitioners embody is that of the "Leader," in which the "NPD practitioner influences the interprofessional practice and learning environments, the NPD specialty, the profession of nursing, and healthcare" (Harper & Maloney, 2016).


Along with the other members of the Journal for Nurses in Professional Development (JNPD) Editorial Board, we are convinced that the future success of the healthcare system will be intimately tied to the extent of successful integration of interprofessional training, teamwork, and system-wide engagement of interprofessional ideals. This emphasis on interprofessional education and NPD practitioners has been growing over the past several years and was acknowledged by past JNPD Editor Kari Schmidt where she observed the "numerous opportunities to accelerate and sustain change through partnerships and collaboration" that exist for NPD practitioners to embrace (Schmidt, 2017). Thus, as we enter a new decade, we felt it was time to broaden the scope of our earlier column entitled "Simulation," to include discussions of interprofessionalism and how to improve our learning and workplace culture. It is our intent that this will foster greater meaningful and impactful interprofessional knowledge, skills, and attitudes.


For the past 20 years, "simulation" has provided a convenient platform by which interprofessional education has been taught in the academic environments of nursing schools, medical schools, and other preprofessional programs. By bringing together two or more professions to achieve a common goal, simulation scenarios have often been used to teach communication and teamwork skills, along with demonstrating the roles and responsibilities of the individual professions. Students are now graduating with interprofessional core competencies as outlined in the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) and are rightfully expecting to apply these concepts as they begin their professional practice (Interprofessional Education Collaborative, n.d.).


Today, many healthcare systems are transitioning to team-based approaches to reduce error, cost, and the burden on individual healthcare providers. Naturally, we feel it is the ideal time for NPD practitioners to become expertly trained in the arena of interprofessional learning environments. NPD practitioners are uniquely qualified to embrace the role of "Leader" in developing interprofessional teams and improving the interprofessional learning experience within the healthcare system.


In addition to the column title change, the JNPD Editorial Board also felt it was time to demonstrate the Journal's commitment to interprofessionalism by having the column co-edited by a two-member nurse and physician team. As a way of disclosure, we have been writing the "Simulation" columns together for the past several years. Today, we are even more determined and dedicated to the principles of interprofessionalism and will provide insights on how to thoughtfully integrate more healthcare professionals to this grand endeavor. This should prove to be an exciting journey.


In the upcoming issues, we will be exploring opportunities and ways that NPD practitioners can both initiate and help foster a culture that embraces greater interprofessionalism and interprofessional learning environments. We will also explore ways to develop, implement, and evaluate interprofessional team training and collaboration through the lens of the Kirkpatrick model. We will engage in focused discussion of relevant adult learning theories, team behavior, and team dynamics. We will offer practical tips on starting an interprofessional education program and also taking an existing program to a higher level.


As always, we welcome your thoughts, reflections, and suggestions on how to enhance this column. How are you involved in various interprofessional learning environments in your workplace? What opportunities do you see evolving for NPD practitioners as we move more into this arena? What challenges are you facing with interprofessional learners? Please e-mail us at and to continue the dialogue.




Harper M., & Maloney P. (Eds.) (2016). Nursing professional development: Scope and standards of practice. Chicago, IL: Association for Nursing Professional Development. [Context Link]


Interprofessional Education Collaborative. (n.d.). Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: 2016 Update. Retrieved from [Context Link]


Schmidt K. L. (2017). Interprofessional collaboration and partnership. Journal for Nurses in Professional Development, 33(1), 1. [Context Link]