Using IPEC pedagogy to transform the future rural advanced practice nursing workforce

Kelly D. Rosenberger, Heidi Olson, Martin MacDowell, Valerie Gruss


Objective: The number of primary care providers has not kept pace with the increasing number of underserved rural populations placing unprecedented demands on the healthcare system and the gap is expected to widen with shortages projected to increase across the United States. Given the urgent need to grow and expand the number of trained diverse primary care providers in rural communities, an innovative sustainable program was implemented to recruit and train diverse rural advanced practice nurses. Building on the successful rural medical and rural pharmacy educational programs at the UIC Health Sciences Campus in Rockford, a rural nursing program with interprofessional curriculum was designed and refined to enable nursing students along with two other professions to develop appreciation, insight, and knowledge of rural healthcare and health disparities in a variety of rural settings as part of an interprofessional team.

Methods: A mixed-methods program evaluation approach utilized both quantitative and qualitative data to evaluate program satisfaction and inform ongoing program refinement.

Results: Students indicated positive responses to this interprofessional course of study. Continued development and refinement of the curriculum is planned to train the future rural healthcare workforce.

Conclusions: Students from three health sciences colleges benefitted from the IPEC program with confirmed satisfaction in interprofessional rural education and collaborative practice. The addition of a rural nursing program merits continuation with modification and expansion to prepare the future rural interprofessional healthcare workforce.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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