Journal of Interprofessional Practice and Collaboration


Developing and implementing effective teaching methods require careful planning and time-intensive implementation by nursing faculty and their leadership (Fey & Jenkins, 2015). This is especially true when introducing new strategies. Simulation-based learning (SBL) is one such strategy. SBL is an evidence-based approach that enhances student learning and promotes knowledge retention necessary to safely provide care for patients (Kirkman, 2013). However, the adoption and implementation of SBL is highly variable across schools of nursing and other disciplines (Hayden, 2010).

Interprofessional education (IPE) has made significant gains in the past decade with several disciplines mandated by accreditors to provide evidence of IPE within the curriculum. Interprofessional simulation provides an excellent way to integrate these concepts.

Whether simulation is conducted as a single or multiple discipline experience, one critical component of the overall success of SBL is establishing sound prebriefing principles. Prebriefing is the term used for the preparation component of SBL and occurs prior to students beginning in the simulated experience (McDermott, 2016). Prebriefing has three phases: Planning, briefing, and facilitation. Although the literature is replete with articles on debriefing, that which occurs after students complete the simulated experience, there is a dearth of literature on prebriefing (McDermott, 2016). Given the scarcity of articles about prebriefing, best practices are currently evolving. This evolution can create a level of ambiguity for faculty who want to incorporate prebriefing effectively (McDermott, 2016).

There are other barriers that may undermine SBL and prebriefing integration such as budget constraints for faculty training and managing workloads. Inadequate time and concentrated efforts for faculty training poses a serious threat to effective and efficient use of prebriefing (Al-Ghareeb & Cooper, 2016; Page-Cutrara, 2014). These factors may contribute to a failure to meet the objectives of the entire SBL experience, leading to additional frustration for the faculty and students as well. Regardless of the inherent barriers, experts agree that prebriefing is every bit as important as the simulated experience and debriefing (McDermott, 2016). Therefore, for SBL to succeed, prebriefing must be an integral part of faculty training (Chmil, 2016).

In 2014, SBL experts conducted a Delphi study to reach consensus related to prebriefing. The findings suggested there should be three phases of prebriefing: 1) planning, 2) briefing, and 3) facilitation (McDermott, 2016). This article will describe these three phases in detail and with recommendations for academic leaders for managing this implementation.