Center for IPE student spotlight: Taylor Bringard, University of Michigan School of Nursing

The Center for Interprofessional Education works with undergraduate, graduate and professional students from all ten health science schools across the University of Michigan. Get to know the remarkable learners who are learning to work in interprofessional teams while earning their Michigan degree.

Taylor Bringard (she/her), a second-year student in the Primary Care Family Nurse Practitioner D.N.P. program at the U-M School of Nursing, is actively involved in the work of the Center for IPE’s Student Advisory Committee. Here she shares why she chose a career in nursing, how interprofessional education is helping her grow and what she hopes to pursue in the future.

What drew you to your field of study? 

When I began my nursing career, I wanted the challenge of working in the Intensive Care Unit. After graduating with my Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Michigan, I started working in the Weiberg Intensive Care Unit at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD. I developed critical thinking skills, time management and the ability to assess rapidly deteriorating conditions in my patients. However, while caring for these patients, I realized many had preventable health conditions, multiple comorbidities and/or lacked a primary care provider. This was heightened even more during the COVID-19 pandemic. Ultimately, my experiences working in the ICU led me to the path of wanting to work in primary care as a Family Nurse Practitioner.  

Why did you decide to attend the University of Michigan?

My experiences as an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan drew me back to pursue my graduate degree. The University of Michigan offers many opportunities to engage in clinical learning, research and student-led initiatives. Students here feel supported by faculty to be leaders and positively influence change in our respective fields. 

How are you involved with the Center for IPE?

I currently serve as a co-chair on the Student Advisory Committee (SAC) within the Center for Interprofessional Education (C-IPE). The focus of SAC is to increase and promote active participation in IPE in students to prepare them to work in collaborative environments. As the co-chair from the School of Nursing, I work alongside four other co-chairs from the Medical School, School of Dentistry and College of Pharmacy. We serve as liaisons between health science students, health science school faculty and leaders and C-IPE. 

The best part about being involved in the SAC is that we can see our ideas as students come to life with the support of our peers and faculty. Historically, the Student Advisory Committee has consisted of graduate students from nursing, but with the support of my fellow co-chairs, we are now onboarding an undergraduate nursing student to amplify the voice nursing has in the IPE space. 

Why is interprofessional education important to you? 

Interprofessional education (IPE) gives nursing a space to grow within our own field and with our health discipline colleagues. After starting as a registered nurse, I quickly realized that nursing plays a central role in not only communicating with the patient, but also among all the various health disciplines. However, I wasn’t really trained to take on this role during my program. While I was able to learn how to work and communicate effectively within a health care team as a nurse, having this experience reaffirmed the vital need that IPE has in our curriculum. 

As a current nurse practitioner student, volunteering in the University of Michigan Student-Run Free Clinic has allowed me the opportunity to put skills I have learned in IPE into clinical practice. The clinic is composed of nurse practitioner and medical students who work closely together with pharmacy and social work students to provide medical care to patients. As a student, we don’t always have the answers, so having the opportunity to work with other students in a collaborative environment fosters our learning. An example of this collaboration can be found between the nurse practitioner and pharmacy students who review the medication list and labs together and then discuss medication recommendations based on the patient visit. Having the opportunity to collaborate effectively with skills learned in IPE improves the care we can provide to our patients and ultimately leads to better patient outcomes. 

How have you grown since becoming involved with the Center for IPE? 

As a new co-chair, the Center for IPE has offered numerous personal and professional growth opportunities. I recently was part of a student panel at the Nexus Summit hosted by the National Center for Interprofessional Practice and Education and am planning to take part in an upcoming multipart leadership workshop. These opportunities provided by the Center for IPE will help further develop my leadership skills. Additionally, the Center for IPE provides us an opportunity as students to communicate our perspectives related to IPE to faculty, deans and the respective health science schools. 

What is your ultimate career goal after graduation?

The best part of being in a family nurse practitioner program is that you can work with any patient population in various settings. At this point in my program, I am currently in a dermatology clinical rotation, which I have really enjoyed. Because of this, I would love to go into dermatology after graduation. In addition to clinical practice, I am interested in undergraduate nursing education and am completing my certificate of nursing education. My ultimate goal would be to work both in clinical practice and academic settings.  

What do you like to do for fun outside of school? 

In my free time, I try to spend as much time as possible outside, especially during the summer. I love to run and just recently completed a relay race with some of my co-workers, where we collectively ran over 200 miles from Muskegon to Traverse City! I’m also an avid reality TV fan, so you’ll often find me binge-watching the latest episode of Real Housewives on Bravo. 

What is your favorite spot on campus or place in Ann Arbor? 

While there are so many great spots in Ann Arbor, I would pick Gallup Park Trail along the Huron River as my favorite. 

Center for IPE Student Spotlights feature students engaging in interprofessional education and practice throughout all three campuses of the University of Michigan. If you are a health sciences student who would like to be featured, please fill out this form to be considered!