College of Nursing Associate Dean for Academic Programs Sheila Smith, the grant’s author, said the funding from the U.S. Department of Health Resources and Services Administration’s Advanced Nursing Education Program will provide classroom and clinical experience that emphasizes interprofessional practice.
“The way we educate traditionally, as separate educational tracks, we don’t socialize our health professionals well enough on how to work together corroboratively for the benefit of the patient,” Smith said. “By working across different professions, it produces better outcomes, so now we’re trying to build it into the educational program.”
Through the new grant, students from ETSU’s doctor of nursing practice program will work with pharmacy and nutritional program students at a faculty-supervised clinic aimed at managing multiple chronic diseases.
Smith said the clinical training will help future medical professionals to take a comprehensive view of patients’ needs and to understand the workings of other disciplines.
The three-year grant will establish a clinic at the nurse-run Johnson City Community Health Center, and then add clinic hours at the Keystone Clinic satellite site.
Eventually involving 80 students over the term of the grant, Smith said the new initiative is a continuation of ETSU’s longstanding emphasis on collaborative care.
“We’ve already got an interprofessional education initiative under way with academic Health Sciences for graduate students, so this clinic training will blend beautifully with the initiatives we already have under way,” she said.