Frontier Nursing University Nurse-Midwifery Program Provides Interprofessional Learn Experience in Partnership with Drexel University

For the third consecutive year, Frontier Nursing University is partnering with Drexel University to bring nurse-midwifery students an Interprofessional Education Simulation Learning Experience.

Hyden, Kentucky, March 28, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- While earning a degree in the medical field is certainly beneficial to aspiring health professionals, Frontier Nursing University (FNU) takes the educational experience one step further. For the third consecutive year, FNU is partnering with Drexel University to bring midwifery students an Interprofessional Education Simulation Learning Experience.

This groundbreaking program fosters collaboration among health providers, initiates interprofessional communication to improve patient care, and educates providers on the role of the nurse-midwife in providing comprehensive care.

Frontier began sending nurse-midwifery students to Drexel for simulated learning experiences in 2015, and now takes up to six students three times throughout the year (January, April and November). Assistant Professor Dr. Sarah Smith, DNP, CNM, and Associate Professor Jane Houston, DNP, CNM, Clinical Director for CNEP and Women’s Health, head up the collaboration from the Frontier side. They work with dynamic husband and wife duo Drs. Owen Montgomery, MD, OBGYN, and Kym Montgomery, FNP, from Drexel to bring this partnership to life.

The simulation is a live, day long experience at Drexel University, however other modes of teaching related to this are also integrated including a preconference and post conference case presentation. FNU nurse-midwifery students then travel to Drexel University’s Center for Interprofessional Clinical Simulation and Practice in Philadelphia, Pa., to enter the simulation.

Students participating in the simulation are carefully assigned into “cohorts” by Dr. Kym Montgomery. Cohorts could include Drexel WHCNPs, undergrad student nurses, physician assistant students, law students, nurse anesthetist students, medical students, and Ob/Gyn residents. Once participants are prepped and grouped, professional actors play the role of patients in scenarios designed to simulate standardized patient experiences, obstetrical complications and high fidelity situations.

As students move through the scenarios, they interact interprofessionally communicating, collaborating, and ultimately working to provide safe medical management to the patient in the scenario. Following the scenario, Drexel course faculty, including an APRN and a physician, debrief with the student participants. Another learning experience, students are paired with another student in a different specialty. For example, a WHNP student may be paired with an MD student or resident. Together, they conduct an outpatient office visit with a standardized patient. The students must assess the patient, develop a plan of care and discuss the plan of care to the patient utilizing appropriate teaching strategies. To finish the day, participants deliver Case Presentations in an Interprofessional Classroom Discussion to analyze the scenarios, thinking process, problem-solving methods, and more. This interprofessional forum is what leads to improved patient care.

“One of the exciting outcomes of the simulation learning experience is that it helps students pursuing other healthcare professions understand the level of care that nurse-midwives provide and the value of working in a healthcare team that includes nurse-midwives,” says Smith.

Frontier nurse-midwifery students in clinical or attending Clinical Bound are eligible for this groundbreaking program, receiving 12 hours of clinical time. This is a value-added experience that Frontier plans to replicate on its own campus in the near future.

“Looking to the future, this pioneering model is something we’d love to see replicated at FNU, in the same way Mary Breckinridge, FNU’s founder, hoped to see her healthcare demonstration project replicated across the U.S.,” says Houston. “The simulation learning experience provides a way for students to understand the value of interprofessional communication and how that leads to improved patient care.”

More on Drexel University’s Center for Interprofessional Clinical Simulation and Practice:

Related: It Takes a Village: Interprofessional Midwifery

About Frontier Nursing University:

FNU is passionate about educating nurse-midwives and nurse practitioners to serve women and families in all communities, especially rural and underserved areas. FNU offers graduate Nurse-Midwifery and Nurse-Practitioner distance education programs that can be pursued full- or part-time with the student’s home community serving as the classroom.  Degrees and options offered include Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or Post-Graduate Certificates. To learn more about FNU and the programs and degrees offered, please visit


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