Posted: April 21, 2015

Inter-Professional Education: An Approach to Meeting Rural Health Care Needs


As health care shifts to a preventative focus, the challenges of meeting the health care needs of a rural community increase. One approach to meeting this challenge is through a partnership between nursing and medical education programs. Interprofessional education (IPE) plays an increasingly important role in health care. The purpose of this project was to develop collaborative partnerships between two educational programs and a school-based rural health clinic in a nearby community.

A partnership was designed to create an innovative clinical experience with practical application for first-year medical students enrolled in a two-semester elective rural family health course and senior, baccalaureate-nursing students. The nursing students' clinical experience began during the senior, first semester as part of a mental health nursing course and continued through the senior, second semester as part of a community nursing course. In addition, junior nursing students contribute by providing learning activities for the children of the participating families.


Population Health, Rural Health, Underserved, Access, Collaboration, Public Health Sciences


Sharon Souter, RN, PhD, CNE, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

Tracy Booth, MSEd, BSN, RN, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor

Michele Hackney, MSN, RN, CNE, University of Mary Hardin-Baylor