Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


School of Education


Learning and Instruction


Learning & Instruction EdD

First Advisor

Patricia Busk

Second Advisor

Mathew Mitchell

Third Advisor

KT Waxman


Nursing students are expected to apply knowledge from lectures and laboratories to the clinical setting. One major challenge of nursing educators is facilitating the transfer of knowledge to the clinical-practice setting. Simulation-based education provides students with an experiential-learning activity within the context of a simulated clinical environment. Following the simulation activity, the instructor facilitates a debriefing session and guides student discussion and reflection related to the experience. Debriefing promotes understanding of nursing concepts (Benner, Sutphen, Leonard, & Day, 2010).

The purpose of this research is to compare two debriefing methods: traditional method and Debriefing for Meaningful Learning DML (Dreifuerst, 2012). Using a mixed method design, the researcher examined whether there were differences in student knowledge and perceptions of instruction based on debriefing method.

Data collection included midterm examination scores, Debriefing Assessment for Simulation in Healthcare-Student Version (DASH-SV) scores on perceptions of instruction, DML worksheets, and a Simulation and Debriefing Experience questionnaire. Additionally, a correlation between examination scores and DASH-Scores was calculated.

The researcher invited a class of undergraduate nursing students enrolled in a pediatric nursing theory course to participate in the research. Participants completed demographic forms and consents. Each student group of 8 attended a 4-hour simulation session and participated in 4 simulation scenarios involving a 6-month old patient.

Simulation scenario concepts included infant growth and development, respirator, and neurology systems. The researcher facilitated the debriefing sessions utilizing the DML or traditional method. Data were analyzed through descriptive statistics and independent samples t test.

There were no statistically significant differences in examination scores or DASH-SV scores based on debriefing method. There was a moderate correlation (r= .40) between examination scores and DASH-SV scores. Data from the DML and the Simulation and Debriefing questionnaire suggested that students valued the nursing role, teamwork, and communication experiences during the simulation. Students offered feedback that has implications for practice and future debriefing research.