Nexus Innovation Network

Advancing Nexus Innovation Network

The Nexus is coming to life at sites across the country, where Network members are turning ideas into action and creating a practical snapshot of how interprofessional practice and education can be used effectively in different clinical and learning environments.


Among this growing national Network:

  • All projects have a defined Nexus – the intersection of practice and education.
  • The Nexus is the center of each project.
  • All projects within the Nexus collect the IPE Core Data set that will be meaningful for comparative research.
  • The shared IPE Core Data set enhances our collective understanding of interprofessional practice and education.


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    What is the Nexus?

    Today, a very real and substantial gap exists between health professions education and health care delivery in the United States. The goal of the National Center Nexus is to bridge this gap by creating a deeply connected, integrated learning system to transform education and care together.

    What is the Nexus Innovation Network?

    The Nexus Innovation Network is a growing national community of practice-education partners coordinated through the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education. These partners transform ideas into action, creating a set of diverse portraits of how interprofessional practice and education can be used effectively in different clinical and learning environments.

    Members of the Nexus Innovation Network join a collaborative group of innovators who are gathering evidence about the effectiveness of IPE across the country. Each project will measure the effects of your intervention on learning outcomes and health and system outcomes, as shown in the figure below. Each project will collect the same outcome data as other Network projects, allowing for comparative analyses to be conducted on a national scale.

    This Interprofessional Learning Continuum (IPLC) model was developed through a consensus report from the Institute of Medicine, “Measuring the Impact of Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice”.

    I have an interprofessional project. Could it become a Nexus Project?

    All interprofessional project leads are encouraged to explore whether the Nexus Innovation Network could be supportive in advancing their effort. The most critical consideration is whether a project has a Nexus – a practice and education partnership - working together. In addition, a Nexus project commits to collecting the IPE Core Data Set and has a minimum of two health professionals from different professions participating in the project.

    I’ve been a member of the Nexus Innovation Network. What’s new and different now?

    Over the last five years, the National Center has been working with more than 130 projects in 33 states to co-create a practical snapshot of how interprofessional practice and education can be used effectively in different clinical and learning environment. And, we’ve learned a lot together!

    Over the last year, the National Center Knowledge Generation team has extensively reviewed and analyzed data, processes and the latest literature to better serve the interprofessional practice and education community.

    The result is a more comprehensive approach to supporting interprofessional practice and education design, development and implementation, and a commitment to an IPE Core Data Set that will advance your work with a ground-breaking sharable, comparable data set for interprofessional practice and education. This commitment enhances your work and the field.

    What are the benefits of joining the Network?

    Members of the Network have the opportunity to access to an extraordinary collection of learning materials and comparative data.

    • Learn: Access to introductory materials about the Nexus and IPE Core Data Set
    • Design: Support in project development through completion of the Project Proposal, consultative feedback from the interprofessional Scientific Review Team, and opportunity for iterative improvement
    • Implement: Participate in the National Center IPE Information Exchange, standardized surveys, template agreements, and training resources
    • Explore: the IPE Info Exchange online, a portal for specialized resources, data dictionaries and technical assistance.
    • Develop: Custom consultation, training discounts, online visibility on, designation as Nexus Innovation Network Member
    • Analyze: self-service analytic reports, advanced analytics and comparables over time
    I’ve been a member of the Nexus Innovation Network. Is my project still in the Network?

    The National Center is committed to building upon the depth and breadth of what has been learned in partnership with Nexus Innovation Network members over the last five years. Current Nexus Innovation Network members are encouraged to continue their participation.

    As an interprofessional practice and education Network, all members of the Nexus Innovation Network need to commit to the core principles of engagement.

    • Existence of the Nexus – practice and education partnership
    • A minimum of two health professionals from different professions participating in the proposed project
    • Confirmed commitment to collect IPE Core Data Set


    The Nexus Innovation Network team will be working with all current Network members to answer questions and provide support in exploring opportunities for continued engagement. You will be asked to complete questions in a Project Proposal so that we can understand your project in relation to others in the Network.

    I’m in the Nexus Innovation Network and I’ve already submitted data. Do I have access to my data?

    Absolutely! Through 2019, Nexus Innovation Network members that have submitted survey and outcomes data will have access to the data and can download reports in the National Center IPE Information Exchange (the improved website formerly called the National Center Data Repository or NCDR).

    What is the Nexus Project Proposal?

    All new projects will be invited to complete a Project Proposal. The Nexus Project Proposal guides your Nexus project design and implementation. It is intended to support development of a specific interprofessional practice and education (IPE) intervention, while recognizing that these projects often—and ideally— occur in the context of broader interprofessional transformations in educational and clinical environments.

    The project proposal walks a project team, step-by-step, through critical decisions that will define the scope of the Nexus project, including:

    • Learner and patient population focus
    • Educational intervention and how it will be delivered
    • The study and cohort design to support learning and analysis of outcomes
    • The elements of the IPE Core Data Set and how they can be applied to the proposed project
    • Timelines, dissemination and sustainability strategies


    What happens to the Nexus Project Proposal once it is submitted?

    The National Center Scientific Review Team (SRT) oversees the evaluation, feedback and acceptance of Nexus Project Proposals to the Nexus Innovation Network. The SRT is comprised of individuals with diverse expertise in disciplinary and interprofessional practice and education. The Nexus Project Proposal is intended to serve as both an evaluative and development resource. The SRT evaluates project proposals, identifying areas of opportunity, ensuring adherence to the IPE Core Data Set, sharing expertise when relevant and collaborating with applicants to ensure the proposed interprofessional project meets local needs while contributing to the national knowledge generation effort.

    I’m a current Nexus Innovation Network member. What is the process for renewing my Network Project?

    As a current Nexus Innovation Network member, you have been a valuable contributor to everything learned to date through the Network. We hope you will continue to learn and grow with us as the Nexus Innovation Network continues to contribute to the advancement of the field and our collective understanding of what works and doesn’t work in interprofessional practice and education.

    All current Nexus Innovation Network members will be asked to determine if they would like to continue their membership by December 2018. In order to continue a current Nexus Innovation Network project, existing members will be asked to complete a Nexus Project Proposal. The Nexus Project Proposal collects essential information across all Nexus projects and is an important step in indicating a commitment to collecting the IPE Core Data Set.

    What is the National Center IPE Core Data Set?

    The National Center IPE Core Data Set consists of standard measures of IPE program inputs, processes, and outcomes that are submitted by Nexus Projects to a central information exchange data repository. The data set includes critical background information on Nexus project partnerships and the educational and clinical learning environments in which Projects take place, as well as Project impact on learners, health care organizations, and health care outcomes (i.e., patient experience, population health, and service usage). Collectively, these measures represent key components of the Institute of Medicine’s Interprofessional Learning Continuum (IPLC) model. As such, they represent what we believe to be the minimum data set needed to advance our collective understanding of what works and what does not work in interprofessional education and collaborative practice.

    Where is the information submitted to the IPE Core Data Set kept?

    The IPE Core Data Set data submitted by Nexus Innovation Network Projects are kept in the National Center IPE Information Exchange. This IPE Information Exchange is a secure, HIPPA compliant platform, and the first of its kind to focus entirely on interprofessional practice and education. The IPE Information Exchange is located at the University of Minnesota.

    How do Nexus Projects collect and submit the IPE Core Data?

    The data that go into the IPE Information Exchange come from four sources: (1) the Project Proposal; (2) surveys developed or adopted for the Network that are completed by Nexus project team members; (3) patient surveys, and (4) patient records. More information about these data sources, who completes the surveys and when, how to download and upload the surveys and patient data to the Information Exchange, can all be found in the Nexus Project Proposal.

    Why do all Nexus Projects need to collect the IPE Core Data Set?

    When everyone contributes data on standardized measures, the Nexus Innovation Network achieves much greater power to address questions about which factors contribute to, or interfere with project success than individual projects can do alone. Collectively, the Network enables greater computing power due to the larger sample sizes and the greater amount of information about the diverse settings and types of partnerships in which Nexus projects take place. As previous literature reviews have demonstrated (Reeves, et al., BME Guide No. 3, Medical Teacher, 2016), the typical IPE program has limited evaluation capacity, and few are able to measure the upper-level outcomes as outlined in the Kirkpatrick typology of outcomes.

    By working together as a national team to use the IPE Core Data Set, the Nexus Innovation Network provides the IPE field with its best opportunity to study IPE, to advance our collective knowledge, and to demonstrate the value of interprofessional practice and education.

    Literally, no other group or program in the country is better positioned to tackle this type of high-level evaluation research on IPE than the Nexus Innovation Network.

    How much does it cost to join the Nexus Innovation Network?

    We want you to join us! For a limited time, membership in the Nexus Innovation Network will be free of charge. This limited time offer provides an opportunity for previous Network members to continue their engagement with existing or new projects. It also provides an opportunity for new practice-education partnerships to explore engagement in the Nexus Innovation Network.

    In the future, fee-based Network membership will be available on an annual basis.

    I have more questions. Who should I contact?

    We look forward to talking with you about your questions and ideas! Please contact the Nexus Innovation Network team at