Date of Graduation

Fall 12-12-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

First Advisor

Dr. KT Waxman

Second Advisor

Dr. Timothy Godfrey


Healthcare is in a historical state of change creating an era that requires superior leadership skills. Leaders face burgeoning challenges in a competitive environment ensconced in reform. Today’s dynamic healthcare environment demands that nurse and interprofessional leaders be astute in a variety of areas including: fiscal responsibility and accountability, organizational politics, interpersonal skills, human resources, communication, conflict resolution, and emotional intelligence. Some areas such as fiscal management are considered hard skills, or skills which can be taught, while others such as conflict resolution are referred to as soft skills, or skills that are learned through experience. Though soft skills have been identified to be equal to hard skills in importance for successful leadership, there has been minimal educational development in this arena. Simulation provides an integrated approach to transformational leadership tied to experiential learning. While many industries led by aviation and the military have a long history of simulation training in human factors, there has been a modicum of training in healthcare. This Doctor of Nursing Practice comprehensive project design identifies key soft skills for successful leadership. Furthermore, the goal of this project is to determine whether simulation is a viable methodology for assessment and development of these skills for nursing and interprofessional leaders, and thereby expanding the evidence for the use of simulation in leadership development. The overwhelming results indicate that simulation is a viable, efficacious, and efficient methodology for leadership development in soft skill competencies.