Pre-professional healthcare courses, including nursing, are increasingly focused on interprofessional learning and experimentation with clinical education in ‘training wards’. This involves students from at least two disciplines who, under supervision, are responsible for patients' care. There is no consensus on how students' clinical learning experiences in this context are evaluated. We report the development and testing of the Interprofessional Clinical Placement Learning Environment Inventory (ICPLEI) in the Australian context. A question set was developed to measure student's perceptions of key variables in an interprofessional clinical learning environment: orientation, supervision, roles, learning and autonomy. An expert nursing panel rated items for a Content Validity Index of .93. Reliability was tested with 38 students. After a 2-week interprofessional ward placement nursing, medical and allied health students (n = 38) rated their learning environment highly, with median responses 4 or 5 of five (mean total 83%). The scale was reliable with a Cronbach alpha of .80 and moderate item-to-total correlations for 22/26 items. The Interprofessional Clinical Placement Learning Environment Inventory is a reliable, feasible, fast to complete tool, suitable for use with pre-registration healthcare students in this setting. Further testing of the tool's psychometric properties is recommended.
Background: How willing are today's medical, nursing and other healthcare students to undertake some of their studies as shared learning? There is a lack of evidence of students' views by discipline despite this being a priority task for higher education sectors. This study explored the views of nursing, midwifery, nursing-emergency health (paramedic), medical, physiotherapy and nutrition-dietetics students. Methods: Senior undergraduate students from six disciplines at one university completed the Readiness for Interprofessional Learning Scale prior to participating in interprofessional clinical learning modules. Results: For 741 students, the highest ranked response was agreement about a need for teamwork (mean 4.42 of 5 points). Nursing students held significantly more positive attitudes towards Teamwork/ Collaboration, and were more positive about Professional Identity than medical students (p < .001). Midwifery and nursing-emergency-health students rejected uncertainty about Roles/Responsibilities compared with medical students (p < .001). One-third of all students who had prior experience of interprofessional learning held more positive attitudes in each of four attitude domains (p < .05). Conclusion: Overall, students' attitudes towards interprofessional learning were positive and all student groups were willing to engage in learning interprofessionally. Early introduction of IPL is recommended. Further studies should explore the trajectory of students' attitudes throughout the university degree.