Date of Completion of Thesis/SIP

Spring 4-1-2020

Document Type

Scholarly Inquiry Paper (SIP)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)



First Advisor

Diane Forsyth


The purpose of this literature review is to evaluate and compare debriefing models used during simulation experiences and to make recommendations for nurse educators and researchers about debriefing. Learning does not occur during a simulated experience alone, but occurs as a result of the experience and the purposeful reflection and analysis following the experience. This purposeful guided reflection and analysis is known as debriefing. The method used in this scholarly inquiry paper is a literature review.

Five debriefing frameworks were reviewed and summarized in detail. The goal was to identify best practices for simulation debriefing to foster undergraduate nursing students’ improved critical thinking and clinical judgment. The frameworks were then compared to the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) Standards of Best Practice. The INACSL Standards of Best Practice were used as a framework to systematically review each of the frameworks. Kolb’s Experiential Learning Theory aligns with all five debriefing models and could serve as the theoretical framework for debriefing.

The literature reinforces that debriefing is of value in helping learners improve future practice. Unfortunately, there are few studies testing the validity of debriefing frameworks, and the level of evidence of the articles found is low. There is a need for high level research studies, evaluating each method of debriefing, to determine if each model is effective in improving critical thinking or clinical judgment of learners. There is minimal evidence to suggest the superiority of one debriefing model over the others, so high level research studies are needed to compare them. Additional research will contribute to the growing body of knowledge relating to debriefing in nursing education and perhaps improve clinical judgment of nurses entering practice.

Included in

Nursing Commons



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