Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. ACEN 2017 accreditation manual. 2019. (accessed 17 March 2020)

Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. Accreditation Standards for Physician Assistant Education. 2016. (accessed 17 March 2020)

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. TeamSTEPPS: team strategies and tools to enhance performance and patient safety. 2018. (accessed 27 February 2020)

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The essentials of baccalaureate education for professional nursing practice. 2008. (accessed 13 March 2020)

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Interprofessional education. 2018. (accessed 27 February 2020)

Brandis S, Rice J, Schleimer S. Dynamic workplace interactions for improving patient safety climate. J Health Organ Manag. 2017; 31:(1)38-53

Brashers V, Peterson C, Tullmann D, Schmitt M. The University of Virginia interprofessional education initiative: an approach to integrating competencies into medical and nursing education. J Interprof Care. 2012; 26:(1)73-75

Buring SM, Bhushan A, Broeseker A Interprofessional education: definitions, student competencies, and guidelines for implementation. Am J Pharm Educ. 2009; 73:(4)

Cranford JS, Bates T. Infusing interprofessional education into the nursing curriculum. Nurse Educ. 2015; 40:(1)16-20

Colaizzi PF. Psychological research as the phenomenologist views it. In: Valle RS, King JM (eds). New York: Oxford University Press; 1978

Engel J, Prentice D, Taplay K. A power experience: a phenomenological study of interprofessional education. J Prof Nurs. 2017; 33:(3)204-211

Friend ML, Friend RD, Ford D, Ewell PJ. Critical care interprofessional education: exploring conflict and power—lessons learned. J Nurs Educ. 2016; 55:(12)696-700

Furr SB, Lane SH, Serafica RC, Hodge MA. Service-learning and interprofessional education in nursing: a critical need. J Christ Nurs. 2015; 32:(3)162-167

Gunnell M, Madsen K, Foley L. Using simulation to implement interprofessional education. American Nurse Today. 2016; 11:(11)45-46

Horsley TL, Reed T, Muccino K, Quinones D, Siddall VJ, McCarthy J. Developing a foundation for interprofessional education within nursing and medical curricula. Nurse Educ. 2016; 41:(1)234-238

Hutchinson SW, Haynes S, Parker P, Dennis B, McLin C, Welldaregay W. Implementing a multidisciplinary disaster simulation for undergraduate nursing students. Nurs Educ Perspect. 2011; 32:(4)240-243

Institute for Healthcare Communication. Impact of communication in healthcare. 2011. (accessed 27 February 2020)

Institution for Healthcare Improvement. SBAR Tool: situation-background-assessment-recommendation. 2018. (accessed 27 February 2020)

Interprofessional Education Collaborative. 2016. (accessed 27 February 2020)

Lawlis TR, Anson J, Greenfield D. Barriers and enablers that influence sustainable interprofessional education: a literature review. J Interprof Care. 2014; 28:(4)305-310

Martin DR, Furr SB, Hayes Lane S, Bramlett M. Integration of leadership competencies in a community health simulation. Br J Nurs. 2016; 25:(14)792-794

McDonald J, Jayasuriya R, Harris MF. The influence of power dynamics and trust on multidisciplinary collaboration: a qualitative case study of type 2 diabetes mellitus. BMC Health Serv Res. 2012; 12

Murphy JL, Nimmagadda J. Partnering to provide simulated learning to address interprofessional education collaborative core competencies. J Interprof Care. 2015; 29:(3)258-259

National Association for Healthcare Quality (NAHQ). Call to action: safeguarding the integrity of healthcare quality and safety systems. 2012. (accessed 27 February 2020)

National League for Nursing (NLN). Interprofessional collaboration in education and practice: a living document from the National League for Nursing. 2015. (accessed 27 February 2020)

Quality and Safety Education for Nurses. QSEN competencies. 2017. (accessed 13 March 2020)

Rainer J. Speaking up: factors and issues in nurses advocating for patients when patients are in jeopardy. J Nurs Care Qual. 2015; 30:(1)53-62

Ren L, Kim H. Effects of bullying experience on psychological well-being mediated by conflict management styles and psychological empowerment among nursing students in clinical placement: a structural equation modeling approach. J Korean Acad Nurs. 2017; 47:(5)700-711

Rosen MA, DiazGranados D, Dietz AS Teamwork in healthcare: key discoveries enabling safer, high-quality care. Am Psychol. 2018; 73:(4)433-450

Sepasi RR, Abbaszadeh A, Borhani F, Rafiei H. Nurses' perceptions of the concept of power in nursing: a qualitative research. J Clin Diagn Res. 2016; 10:(12)LC10-LC15

Scott AM, Li J, Oyewoke-Eletu S Understanding facilitators and barriers to care transitions: insights from Project ACHIEVE site visits. Jt Comm J Qual Patient Saf. 2017; 43:(9)433-447

Shafakhah M, Zarshenas L, Sharif F, Sarvestani R. Evaluation of nursing students' communication abilities in clinical courses in hospitals. Glob J Health Scie. 2015; 7:(4)323-328

Sollami A, Caricati L, Mancini T. Does the readiness for interprofessional education reflect students' dominance orientation and professional commitment? Evidence from a sample of nursing students. Nurse Educ Today. 2018; 68:141-145

The Joint Commission. Human factors analysis in patient safety systems. 2015a. (accessed 27 February 2020)

The Joint Commission. Patient safety. 2015b. (accessed 27 February 2020)

The Joint Commission. Sentinel event statistics released for 2015. 2016. (accessed 27 February 2020)

Traynor M, Galanouli D, Gardner J, Corry R. Why we need more research into interprofessional education. Br J Nurs. 2016; 25:(21)1190-1195

Watkins KD. Faculty development to support interprofessional education in healthcare professions: a realist synthesis. J Interprof Care. 2016; 30:(6)695-701

Framework for action on interprofessional education and collaborative practice.Geneva, Switzerland: WHO Press; 2010

Understanding roles in health care through interprofessional educational experiences

26 March 2020
Volume 29 · Issue 6



Students can find interacting within a healthcare team challenging. It is important for students to understand their role and respect those of other healthcare team members. Interprofessional education (IPE) is a strategy for exploring the roles of self and others within the team.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate nursing students' perceptions of roles and responsibilities following an IPE experience.


Students in an undergraduate baccalaureate degree nursing programme participated in a two-day IPE event with students in the physician's assistant's (PA) programme, pharmacy programme, and physical therapy (PT) programme.


Self-perception and the perception of others were two main themes that emerged. The results suggested that roles and responsibilities are often misunderstood.


Educators must be committed to educating our future healthcare workforce on role expectations and responsibilities within an individual's own profession and that of others. This education should start in the foundation stages of each discipline's educational curricula.

Students often do not have the knowledge, skills or practice to communicate, collaborate, or interact within a healthcare team environment (Shafakhah et al, 2015). A clear definition of an individual's role within the care delivery system, and an understanding and respect of the roles of other healthcare team members is critical and necessary (Buring et al, 2009). Interprofessional education (IPE) within healthcare disciplines is a strategy for exploring the roles of self and others within an interdisciplinary team. While IPE has long been identified as the gold standard for healthcare education, roles and responsibilities within teams remain ambiguous for new graduates (Rosen et al, 2018). The purpose of this study was to evaluate nursing students' perceptions of roles and responsibilities following a planned IPE experience.

IPE is defined by the World Health Organization (WHO) as bringing together students from two or more healthcare professions to learn about, from, and with each other (WHO, 2010). Incorporation of IPE is imperative in healthcare education (WHO, 2010; Brashers et al, 2012; National League for Nursing (NLN), 2015). The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN), the National League for Nursing and the Institute of Medicine promote the use of IPE within healthcare curricula (Gunnell et al, 2016). It is an integral addition to nursing education because it aids in transitioning students from the classroom to the practice setting. Nursing students need to be ready to work in interdisciplinary teams upon graduation (WHO, 2010; Watkins, 2016). The more exposure nursing students have to other health professionals, the more socialised they will become to their roles and responsibilities within the profession and within the interdisciplinary team.

Register now to continue reading

Thank you for visiting British Journal of Nursing and reading some of our peer-reviewed resources for nurses. To read more, please register today. You’ll enjoy the following great benefits:

What's included

  • Limited access to clinical or professional articles

  • Unlimited access to the latest news, blogs and video content