Interprofessional education: Nursing and occupational therapy - Could old rivals integrate?

Julie L. Hughes, Steve Hemingway, Anthony G. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper aims to examine the development of collaboration and discusses the potential for the development of inter-disciplinary training at pre and post registration for Mental Health Nursing and Occupational Therapy in the United Kingdom. It is proposed that integration may help these two disciplines to overcome traditional barriers that can become manifest in practice. Also, that this development may enhance the current multi-disciplinary team functioning or 'collaborative working', which can only be to the benefit of the relevant client group. The current structure of pre-registration training for mental health nurses and occupational therapists is described within the current policy context. Then existing similarities and differences between the education of nurses and occupational therapists has been discussed in terms of the potential benefits and barriers to integration. It is suggested that educational providers need to actively adapt to meet the government's desire of a 'seamless service' in order to facilitate effective multi-disciplinary working and improved quality of care. Currently, a workforce of 'multi-purpose' health care employees is only at the proposal stage and may face socio-political and philosophical opposition. However, interdependency and collaboration between the nursing and occupational therapy educational systems may be vital to a positive and creative future for both professions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)10-20
Number of pages11
JournalNurse Education in Practice
Issue number1
Early online date19 Mar 2004
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


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