Educating Advanced Practice Nurses for Collaborative Practice in the Multidisciplinary Provider Team

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PurposeTo describe the use of a clinical decision-making work sheet as a tool to teach com-munication skills to advanced practice nurse (APN) students. Achievement of competencies in communication and docu-mentation that utilize language and communication strategies that are shared with other health professionals promotes effective collaborative practice among members of the multidisciplinary provider team.Data SourcesReview of the recent Institute of Medicine report on health professions education and other health professional literature.ConclusionsThe Clinical Decision-Making Work Sheet helps APN students effectively communicate in real-world clinical settings. The clinical work sheet allows nurse practitioner students to communicate more effectively and efficiently, using a vocabulary that is shared with other members of the multidis-ciplinary health care provider team. Use of the tool in students’ clinical-rotation settings facilitates effective application and refinement of the clinical decision-making skills that students learned in the advanced health assessment course.Implications for PracticeFaculty have the responsibility to assist nurses as they transition from traditional nursing to APN roles. The work sheet facilitates learning the common language for data col-lection, clinical decision making, documentation, and reporting that is shared with other health professionals. Using the tool, students learn to efficiently organize information that supports communication and documentation that enhances their clinical problem-solving skills. Case presentation and documentation using the work sheet provide a basis for preceptor and student interaction and for student evaluation.

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