‘We are Here to Learn’: An Exploration of the Meaning of the Lived Experiences of Clinical Nurse Educators Facilitating Interprofessional Simulation-Based Education

  • Katherine Ruth Hill

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisProfessional Doctorate (ProfD)


In recent years, healthcare organisations have implemented innovative educational methodologies to improve patient safety. An example of this is interprofessional (IP) simulation-based education (SBE). This is a collaborative approach to learning that enhances communication and teamwork processes which will promote safer, more efficient working whilst providing complex care in a healthcare organisation. There is a gap in published literature exploring if this concept of shared learning extends to the faculty members involved in facilitating these educational sessions. From the perspective of the clinical nurse educator (CNE), this research study offers a unique insight into the nature of the collaborative teaching experience, processes of knowledge acquisition and transferability of learning and their influence on both clinical and teaching practice.

An Interpretative phenomenology analysis (IPA) was chosen as the qualitative research approach for this study as it sought to illuminate the experiences of CNEs through the interpretation and validation of their unique ‘first hand’ experiences. A small purposive sample of eight CNEs were recruited from one Scottish NHS health board to take part in semi-structured interviews. Data was inductively analysed using a systematic, step-by-step approach, generating meaningful themes and concepts that can be applied to the context of practice.

Three master concepts were derived from the interpretative analysis of the interviews: engagement, synergy and collaboration; the power of the debrief for shared learning and personal and professional growth. It was evident from the interviews that the CNEs learned from the participants and fellow faculty members when facilitating IP SBE. There was a recognition of the significance and importance of working, learning and teaching together.

Facilitating IP SBE cultivated a shared understanding of professional roles and responsibilities, including their respective characteristics, knowledge, skills and behaviours. Specific strategies such as co-facilitation and co-debriefing create a learning environment to foster the development of connections and relationships amongst the faculty and participants, strengthening value and respect in the IP team. The facilitation of IP SBE was found to enrich the CNE’s professional identity whilst working collaboratively within the IP team, empowering them with the knowledge, skills and values to transform their clinical and educational practices.

IP SBE should be facilitated by an IP faculty to create a supportive learning environment. All CNEs facilitating SBE should attend faculty development activities to develop facilitation and debriefing skills, contributing to their professional development and reflexive transformation which should become an integral and mandatory focus of their personal development plan and review (PDPR). From an organisational perspective, this will contribute to a standardised approach to the development of CNEs in facilitating SBE. Further research exploring the experiences of other disciplines that form the IP faculty facilitating IP SBE would enable the comparison of findings between different professions, providing further insight and perspective into the dynamics of learning within IP practice.

Date of Award2023
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
SupervisorJacqueline McCallum (Supervisor) & Chris McAllister (Supervisor)

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