U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services
Administration recently awarded an $862,532 Advanced Nursing Education Grant to Judy LeFlore, a professor and interim
associate dean for research of the UT Arlington College
of Nursing. The funding reflects the growing popularity
of interprofessional education and the important role social workers and nurses
play in treating patients holistically, she said.
is a realization from the federal government all the way down to academia that
education of health care professionals in silos is not very effective or
efficient. We need to shift the task of learning to work together as a team to
the education end, rather than the service end,” LeFlore said.
will work with School of Social Work professors Gail Adorno and Joan Blakey,
as well as fellow nursing professors Mindi Anderson, Patricia Thomas and
Sharolyn Dihigo and clinical instructors Lindy Moake and Sara Moore.
in Fall 2013 and again in Fall 2014, about 40 graduate students, from the
School of Social Work and the pediatric and neonatal nurse practitioner
program, will be selected for the grant program. They will work together in small
groups for a year to come up with care plans for selected case studies. Professors will teach the students about each profession’s
roles and responsibilities, distinct professional values, as well as
identifying barriers to teamwork between social workers and nurses in the
“There aren’t many models for how to teach nurses and social
workers to work collaboratively. Yet, great working relationships between
nurses and social workers translates into patients receiving better, more comprehensive care,” Adorno said. “This
initiative with nursing will allow us to develop a unique model of
interprofessional education enhanced by technology in a specific practice
setting – neonatal and pediatric health care.”
addition to in-person collaboration, the student teams will use the virtual
world of Second Life to meet and work together on projects. They’ll also work
through simulations with computerized patients in UT Arlington’s Smart Hospital ™, a
state-of-the-art clinical lab with 32 high-tech simulation stations. The
program also will have a service-learning component, which will include
volunteer work at SafeHaven of Tarrant County, a domestic violence shelter with
locations in Arlington and Fort Worth.
and the research team hope to use what they learn to design a course on team
dynamics for social work and nursing graduate students to take together in the
future. They believe the model they establish could be applied to other areas
of care, such as the growing field of geriatrics.
University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing has become one of the
largest and most successful nursing programs in the nation, with preliminary
figures for Fall 2012 showing enrollment of 7,562 students. Visit www.uta.edu/nursing/ to learn more.
The University of Texas
at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution in the heart of North
Texas with more than 33,000 students. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.