Interprofessional Learning in Practice

Interprofessional Learning in Practice Track

Track leaders: Blending of the Blues Team – Duke University & University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Interprofessional learning in the workplace occurs as part of everyday practice, involving formally or informally acquiring “on the job” knowledge and skills as well as interprofessional values in practice settings.  It is contrasted with learning knowledge and skills in classrooms and simulation centers and has been described as an “untapped opportunity for learning and change within the workplace” (Nisbett, Lincoln, and Dunn, 2013).  The National Collaborative for Improving Clinical Learning Environments described practice settings where workplace learning takes place as benefiting patients and families, learners, health systems, and universities (including academic health centers) and colleges.


The largest track of the Nexus Summit offers an array of seminars and lightning talks focusing on the Summit theme of optimizing interprofessional clinical learning environments: better care, better value, better education.  The sessions are presented by health professionals who design interprofessional practice and education programs in clinical and community practice settings, form teams in practice for better patient care and outcomes, and others who study interprofessional collaboration, using research and scholarship on teamwork to create programs for interprofessional collaborative practice.  The variety of expertise and experience ranges from formal interprofessional education and reports of how teams of health professionals learn informally in the workplace.  Under the umbrella of the Learning in Practice Track there are four inter-related areas:


  • Acute Care – ICU
  • Interprofessional Team Response to COVID-19
  • Learning in Ambulatory Practice
  • Taking Care of the Health Professional – continuing professional development and health and wellness strategies


Learning Objectives:

By participating in the Interprofessional Learning in Practice Track, you will be able to:


  1. Distinguish between formal and informal interprofessional education and learning in clinical learning environments
  2. Describe how interprofessional teams are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, including health care delivery and strategies for training programs in practice
  3. Discuss examples of supporting teams in interprofessional continuing professional development and wellness


Reflective Questions:

  1. To what extent is interprofessional learning taking place in practice as described in the presentations?  How are those involved (e.g., health professionals/clinicians, residents, students and others) learning “with, about, and from” each other? How could interprofessional collaboration be enhanced? 
  2. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted health care and how it is delivered, including the composition of teams, care by telehealth, and how teams work together.  What changes are taking place?  What is the impact of external forces on interprofessional teams and how they work and learn together?  What is hindering or helping interprofessional teams today as a result? How can workplace learning take place today and in the future, given the disruption?
  3. What are interprofessional continuing professional development strategies to support teams?  How are the health and wellness of health professionals addressed? 




Baerheim, B. & Raaheim, A. (2020) Pedagogical aspects of interprofessional workplace learning: a case study, Journal of Interprofessional Care, 34:1, 59-65, DOI: 10.1080/13561820.2019.1621805


Bodenheimer, T., & Sinsky, C. (2014). From Triple to Quadruple Aim: Care of the patient requires care of the provider. Annals of Family Medicine, 12(6), 573–576.


Miller, R, Combes, G., Brown, H, and Harwood, A. (2014).  Interprofessional Workplace Learning: A Catalyst for Strategic Change?  Journal of Interprofessional Care. 28:3, 186-93.  doi: 10.3109/13561820.2013.877428


Nisbet, G., Lincoln, M. & Dunn, S. (2013) Informal interprofessional learning: an untapped opportunity for learning and change within the workplace, Journal of Interprofessional Care, 27:6, 469-475, DOI: 10.3109/13561820.2013.805735


Weiss KB, Passiment M, Riordan L, Wagner R for the National Collaborative for Improving the Clinical Learning Environment IP-CLE Report Work Group. Achieving the Optimal Interprofessional Clinical Learning Environment: Proceedings from an NCICLE Symposium. Published January 18, 2019. doi:10.33385/NCICLE.0002