Combining Teaching, Learning, Research and Service while Educating FNP Students at an Early Child Development Center: an Interprofessional Collaborative Approach
The rigors of an academic appointment can be overwhelming. When the dimensions of our roles can be combined and serve more than one purpose at a time, the outcome can be positive and productive for all. Such is the case of one FNP program in a midwest state. A collaborative relationship has been cultivated over the past seven years between the Department of Nursing and the Early Child Development Center (ECDC) which is a university unit located within the university adjacent to the DON. This interprofessional collaboration began with the nursing faculty member providing health consultant services and the ECDC providing a fertile ground for developmental assessment experiences for students. The interprofessional collaboration has grown through the years to include:
♦ Continuing health consultant services to ECDC
♦ Continuing developmental assessments for FNP students
♦ Research platform composed of a 3 tiered focused on pediatric obesity
♦ Clinical site for FNP and BSN students providing physicals for children of the ECDC
5. Capstone research site for DNP students
What began as a call for help from the ECDC director and faculty member need has grown to include all dimensions of teaching, learning, research and service, all the while educating and providing a fertile clinical learning environment for FNP students. When the right venue is discovered or created in this case, it is possible to combine all of the dimensions of a faculty role and provide interprofessional collaborative education for our students. The clinical activities that the FNP students participate in as part of a course in the program are routinely rated as the most helpful experiences to them in assisting them to meet their objectives in their pediatric courses. It takes a village and an early child development center to educate FNP students.