Accelerating Interprofessional Community-Based Education and Practice Sites

Investigator: Carmen Portillo, RN, PhD, FAAN
Sponsor: University of Minnesota

Location(s): United States


As the US population ages and grows, and as the proportion of insured patients rises, the existing serious shortfall in the number of psychiatric providers is expected to become a crisis as Baby Boomer-generation psychiatrists retire in large numbers in the next 5-15 years. New models robust enough to withstand a long-term psychiatrist shortage are needed to meet the demand for quality mental health services. It is surprising that little has been published about collaboration between advanced practice psychiatric nurses and clinical pharmacists to address this growing need, despite the fact that these disciplines have complementary skills and are each strong contenders with very favorable safety, cost-effectiveness, and patient acceptability data.

We propose a year-long collaborative training model, which we call the Dyad Model, for psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) and clinical pharmacist (CP) trainees that will prepare these two disciplines to provide seamless consultation to each other and co-manage patients. In this model, preceptor dyads of practicing PMHNPs and CPs supervise a group of trainee dyads of PMHNP master’s students and PharmD students and support them through four types of experiences, including a didactic component with shared coursework and case discussion, a clinical co-rotation experience with an integrated quality improvement component, a collegial student-run journal club experience, and a project-based learning experience where students work together to create a tool for collaboration using technology. We plan to complete a comprehensive program evaluation integrated with other interprofessional education (IPE) efforts occurring throughout UCSF and will publish the results of this program, which appears to be the first of its kind internationally.