Featured Article| Volume 60, P25-31, November 2021

Interprofessional Simulation Education and Nursing Students: Assessing and Understanding Empathy

Published:August 21, 2021DOI:


      • Unique exploration of nursing students learning empathy through simulation.
      • Demonstrating empathy facilitates trust with patients and family members.
      • Navigate end-of-life discussions with empathy.
      • Empathy facilitates collaborative plan of care.


      This exploratory study sought to understand the experiences of baccalaureate nursing students participating in an interprofessional simulation focused on empathy development and how it could inform their future practice. This study used a nonrandom, purposive sample of 31 undergraduate nursing students from one United States university who attended one of three Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety seminar training days that were offered during three separate semesters. Postseminar surveys were completed, and conventional content analysis used to analyze data. Three primary themes, and corresponding subthemes emerged: (a) establish trust (build connection; understand patient feelings; and identify patient care goals); (b) facilitate collaborative plan of care (interprofessional communication; pain/medication management; and patient & family involvement; and (c) navigate challenging situations (disagreement between patient and family; grief with impending death; and discussions of end-of-life preferences). Implications relating to interprofessional and nursing education are discussed and posited.

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