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NLN and INACSL Publish Vision for Debriefing Across the Curriculum

Washington, DC - June 8, 2015 - In a statement published today, the National League for Nursing and the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning urge nurse educators to “learn about and implement teaching methodologies that prepare novice nurses to practice in a participatory and information-driven consumer environment…Debriefing supports that call to action.”

“We nurse educators,” said NLN president Marsha Adams, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN, ANEF, “must be open to examining and transforming our teaching methodologies. Debriefing is an evidence-based technique that works.”

Added NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, “We have much work to do in this area. As stated in “Debriefing Across the Curriculum,” a recent survey of pre-licensure nursing programs has shown that theory-based debriefing by competent debriefers is not the norm (Fey, 2014). It is critical that nurse educators address this challenge, starting with knowing debriefing’s foundational principles.”

Comprising a wealth of background and information about debriefing both in simulation and across the curriculum, the NLN/INACSL vision statement concludes with a call to action and recommendations for heads of nursing programs, nurse faculty, and the NLN. Examples include:

bullet  Asking deans, directors, and chairs to ensure enough faculty with expertise in theory-based debriefing
bullet  Encouraging faculty to integrate debriefing across the curriculum
bullet  Challenging the NLN to provide professional development in debriefing for all faculty

In summation, INACSL president Carol Fowler Durham, EdD, RN, FAAN, ANEF, said: “Health care educators are challenged to prepare reflective practitioners who will be curious about what is happening with their patients and families. In order to improve patient safety and the quality of care, learners need to know how to ask questions and explore what is happening, consider assumptions, and include the patient and family’s perspective. Quality debriefing techniques fosters critical reflection. An educator skilled in debriefing engages the learner to co-create meaningful learning experiences and develop the inquiry skills necessary to improve patient care.”

Read the complete text of “Debriefing Across the Curriculum” here. For more information about debriefing, contact Dr. Mary Fey at 202-909-2515 or

The International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning is nursing’s portal to the world of clinical simulation pedagogy and learning environments. INACSL is a community of practice for simulation where members can network with simulation leaders, educators, researchers, and industry partners. INACSL also provides the INACSL Standards of Best Practice: SimulationSM, an evidence-based framework to guide simulation design, implementation, debriefing, evaluation and research. INACSL represents over 1,500 members from 13 countries. Follow us on the web at, at LinkedIn, or on YouTube.

About the NLN
Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 40,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members. NLN members represent nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education, and health care organizations and agencies.