Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University recently completed development of Collaborate, a card game that aims to help future nurses and others in health care learn to work together to achieve better patient outcomes. Two of the game’s inventors, faculty member Dr. Valerie Wright and Assistant Director of Marketing and Recruitment Ashley Bollhorst, will present the game and have copies for participants to play at this week’s Faculty Summer Institute (FSI) conference, “FSI: At the Intersection of Teaching, Learning, and Technology,” at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

A project that started in 2019, Collaborate is a card game designed to help players, especially nursing students, identify professionals who could bring an important area of expertise to a patient care scenario. Students are introduced to 11 different health care professions and assemble them in teams of three to treat patient scenarios. By playing through the game’s 30 scenarios, students learn to think critically about which health care professionals are good to involve in a given situation.

“Something I love about this game is that it inspires a lot of discussion,” Wright said. “Students will talk about why they selected the professions they did and how each expert can contribute to optimizing the outcome for the patient. It gets them thinking about the big picture.”

Multisite research exploring the effectiveness of Collaborate is currently underway. Wright, Dr. Antony Joseph, and Dr. Susie Watkins, along with Missouri State University faculty Dr. Stacy Goddard, are investigating whether playing the game improves student knowledge about interprofessional education. To support this research, the University Teaching Committee awarded the team a teaching initiative grant from the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Technology (CTLT) at Illinois State University. Results from the study are currently being processed and are expected to be shared later this year.

To learn more about nursing-related research being done at Illinois State University, or to explore nursing programs, visit