Interprofessional Collaboration

Interprofessional Education for 21st Century Care

These videos are part of the Stanford University open-access course, “Interprofessional Education for 21st Century Care”

Contributed by: 

Sara Stafford, MSN, RN, PCCN, CNIV



Why Interprofessional Education

Based on feedback and evidence, physicians often find themselves on multidisciplinary teams with little knowledge of roles and responsibilities of their non-MD colleagues. This lack of understanding results in role confusion and can lead to errors and decreased job satisfaction. IPE curriculum offers information on the roles and backgrounds of core members of the interprofessional team.



Interprofessional Education

At Stanford medical school, students are required to participate in Interprofessional Education (IPE) during their first and second years of academic preparation. IPE in the first year is completed through three different models; this program is led by a Sara Stafford, MSN, RN, PCCN. First, the students attend an introductory session that is co-facilitated by a bedside Registered Nurse (RN) and an attending medicine physician (MD). During this session, the students are given an introduction to the reasons why IPE is important and how learning this information can impact their future work as practicing physicians. Using case-based learning design, the students are given a scenario where a patient arrives at the hospital suffering from a stroke. The students are presented different points of the patient’s journey and how other professionals are the leaders of the healthcare team depending on where the patient is at in their experience. One aspect of the case study showcases the fictional patient’s husband who is having to cope with his spouse’s new diagnosis and has started drinking alcohol heavily. The students are then prompted to identify which professional would be best suited to assist with this part of the patient’s plan of care.


Hands-on Experience

For the next part of the experience, the students are then matched with a professional in the hospital with the intention of observing the themes introduced during the introductory session. The facilitators are recruited through means of word of mouth, information booths at Shared Leadership, and previous participation in programs at the medical school. Through a targeted recruitment method, the bedside inpatient RN facilitator participation, increased from ten to fifty-three. The facilitators are provided with direction through being provided with objectives developed during the planning session for the experience. This is by far the favorite part of the entire program and through their evaluations, the students surveyed this aspect as the most valuable. Out of n=67, 54 students responded to the question: “Rate the overall value of the ONE IPE component you were assigned: Nursing” on a Likert scale of 1-5, poor to excellent, the score assigned was 4.13 and the overall score for the Interprofessional Team Care was a 4.12.


The last part of the experience are the videos that were designed in collaboration with a medical school year one student, two attending medicine MDs and Sara Stafford. One part the videos highlight are misconceptions that, from the professional’s perspective, are what can impede quality MD-interprofessional interactions. The next part of the videos are pointers these professionals have for new physicians. The videos provided are from the perspective of nursing, dietary, case management/social worker, pharmacist, and rehab. The content within this section is also aligned with specific education pathways and various regulatory bodies each profession must adhere to.


This program at Stanford was created through an affiliation of leaders from Stanford University and Stanford Healthcare. It was first developed as an initiative from a bedside nurse on E1 and further enhanced through a bedside nurse in the float pool. The program’s success is attributed through meaningful work of multiple professionals who recognize the importance of interprofessional collaboration and teamwork. It continues to be enhanced through mutual collaboration of these professionals and rooted in evidenced-based interprofessional education domains identified by the Institute of Medicine, the American Medical Association, and the American Association of the Colleges of Nursing.

Access the free, open-access course by going to:


300 Pasteur Dr
Palo Alto, 94304​

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©2017 Stanford Nursing Annual Report

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