Meet Susan

Jul 17, 2018

Our featured IPE and Collaborative Practice educator for July 2018 is
Susan Pambianco, ARNP.

Susan Pambianco is an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) and Teaching Associate with the University of Washington Medical Center (UWMC) Advanced Heart Failure and Transplantation Service. Susan received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Iowa and her Master Degree in Nursing from the University of Washington. She has been working with the UWMC Cardiovascular services since 2009. This fall, Susan will receive the 2018 Nursing Preceptor of the Year Award from the UW School of Nursing.

In 2015 Susan began working part time as a liaison between the heart failure clinical staff and a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant team led by Brenda Zierler (UW School of Nursing) to improve team work and communication within the UWMC Cardiovascular services. Susan has worked with the UW Center for Health Sciences Interprofessional Education, Research and Practice (CHSIE) on two interprofessional heart failure grant initiatives: the Advanced Heart Failure Interprofessional Collaborative Practice grant, and the Advanced Heart Failure Interprofessional Partnership grant. Her clinical expertise in advanced heart failure care has helped guide the creation of the Northwest Heart Failure Collaborative: Project ECHO (NWHFC), online heart failure care tutorials, and a toolkit for clinical preceptors. She has also been instrumental in leading the development and implementation of Structured Interprofessional Bedside Rounding (SIBR) in the Advanced Heart Failure Service at UWMC that has resulted in improved patient and employee satisfaction, improved team communication, and increased workflow efficiency.

We interviewed Susan about her work as an interprofessional team leader, educator and preceptor at the UW Medical Center. Read our interview below.

CHSIE: How did you first become involved with Interprofessional Education (IPE) and Interprofessional Collaborative Practice (IPCP)?

Susan: Throughout the years, the service experienced lots of growth and changes in the service structure, staffing and team dynamics. Despite this I think we have always provided excellent care to patients. In 2014, Kathie Errico, (chief ARNP at that time) approached me about joining the grant team to be a liaison between the clinical services and the grant team to help improve team dynamics and communication. Being on the front lines and understanding the chaos of the current team dynamics I was eager to join and help.

CHSIE: What do you believe are the benefits of IPE/IPCP?

Susan: As a nurse, I think I’ve always known the importance of team collaboration, but the concept of IPCP wasn’t taught when I went to school. Once I joined the grant team it became clear how critical IPCP is to forming strong, efficient teams and to providing not only excellent care, but excellent service to patients and their family members. I started viewing “my team” as more than just my provider colleagues, but all the healthcare staff who work to care for patients. 

CHSIE: What has been your most memorable experience or highlight of leading IPE/IPCP so far?

Susan: I think the highlight of leading IPCP has been implementing Structure Interprofessional Bedside Rounds (SIBR) which has led to improvement in our Relational Coordination (RC) scores (team communication and relationships). Not only has SIBR helped our communication and relationships, it has improved the organization of our day and increased efficiency leading to improved satisfaction for staff and providers (and ultimately patients). 

CHSIE: Tell us about your work as a preceptor at UWMC.

Susan: I’ve always enjoyed teaching. Prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner I was an assistant nurse manager in charge of ICU education for the Oncology critical care unit. Teaching students is really rewarding and I find that I often learn new things or reinforce forgotten education when students ask questions. It’s also rewarding to watch students gain confidence in their skills. I’ve been precepting for many years, but it wasn’t until I started working on the preceptor toolkit, that I discovered new techniques and improved my precepting skills. I’m honored to receive the preceptor of the year award, which I will formally accept at a conference this fall. 

On January 17, the Advanced Heart Failure Interprofessional Collaborative Practice grant team published their first in a series of papers, “An interprofessional collaborative practice approach to transform heart failure care: An overview” available at

On February 15, Susan co-presented “A Heart Failure Case Study: Simulation,” with interprofessional team members, Brian K. Ross, PhD, MD; Debra Liner; John Higgins; Kevin O’Brien, MD, FAHA; and Megan Miller, MEd. This live, interactive simulation activity was presented to healthcare providers for continuing education credit at the 2018 Cardiovascular Care Update in Lynnwood, WA. For more information about the presentation, read our article at

Since May 2016, Susan has served as a contributor, panel member, and/or facilitator for over 40 webinars produced for the NWHFC: Project ECHO webinar series. For more information at the NWHFC, or to view recorded sessions, please visit the website at