Inter-Professional Education and Research in a Collaborative Simulation Center

Saturday, 7 November 2015: 3:55 PM

Jessica Doolen, PhD, MSN, BSN, ADN, APRN-C, CNE
School of Nursing, Clinical Simulation Center of Las Vegas, Las vegas, NV, USA

Since 1972 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) has addressed the importance of educating healthcare students together to purposely prepare them for collaborative professional practice. Collaborative professional practice begins with academia and has been linked to a safer patient centered healthcare system (Inter-professional Education Collaborative Expert Panel, 2011). Over this last decade the IOM (IOM, 1999; 2003; 2004; 2006) and the World Health Organization (2010) have highlighted the importance of educating health professional students together to decrease medical errors and increase patient safety (IOM, 1999; 2003; 2004; 2006). A multi-institutional collaborative simulation center provides a variety of opportunities for inter-professional education (IPE) and research. This presentation describes the development of IPE and research at a collaborative simulation center. Topics include: 1) how IPE faculty were trained in simulation based learning, 2) the genesis of an IPE research trajectory in a collaborative simulation center and, 3) how faculty obtained funding for IPE research. 

To advance IPE education at the center each of the three collaborating schools attended simulation training provided by a consultant group. During the first three month training period there were three days of didactic sessions followed by interactive workshops.  Both faculty and simulation technicians participated in the training (Baily, Bar-on, Yucha, Snyder, 2012). As an example, after a didactic session in the lecture hall faculty divided up into groups of eight. Each group worked together and developed, piloted, and debriefed their IPE scenarios. The simulation technicians also participated in the interactive training in the simulation control hall. Training continued by phone conference and with face to face workshops. The training was successful and well appreciated by faculty (Baily, Bar-on, Yucha, Snyder, 2012). Consequently, two day training sessions are offered every semester and are identical to the original consultants’ training program. Working closely together and becoming friends enabled faculty to network ideas for teaching and research. As an example, collaborative code research led to incorporating mock codes into simulation curriculum for the school of medicine and a school of nursing. The nurse practitioner program participates with the surgical technician for the school of medicine to teach a basic suturing class. And the standardized patient program is incorporated into an undergraduate psychiatric course and for objective structured clinical exams for the nurse practitioner program.


During the first year the CSCLV was open the advisory board offered grant awards for inter-professional research (IP). The School of Nursing designated $5000 from its discretionary funds to support one research grant, with a Nursing faculty member as the principle investigator. The School of Medicine obtained $5000 from the school of medicine’s IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence grant to support a second research grant with a school of medicine faculty member as the principle investigator. Both grants required that the other discipline be included as co-investigators and that the project involve students from both institutions. Grant application process was developed and grants were reviewed by a subset of the Advisory Committee. Examples of IP research were: from 2010 to 2012 the Measurement of Acquisition of Crisis Resource Management Skills Using Simulated Emergency Codes, and Incorporating Simulation and Interactive Response System in a Pediatric Nursing Course were successfully completed. In 2013 two IPE teams completed two additional research studies, Simulating Teamwork and Observation for Procedural Safety and: the Effect of Collaborative Simulation Training for Pediatric Residents and Nursing Students on Team Work Skills in Patient Care.

We have had success and we have experienced barriers to IPE and to complete IP research. Scheduling is harder for the medical school because residents are providing medical care for patients. Also, nurses outnumber residents making it difficult for all nursing students to participate in research studies. And there are differences in the nursing and medical model that requires negotiating especially in debrief. Lessons learned will be shared with the audience.