Designing simulation-enhanced interprofessional education: Application of a 6-step model
Date & Time
Saturday, June 12, 2021, 1:45 PM - 4:45 PM

Purpose Integration of simulation-enhanced interprofessional education (IPE) into the curricula of health professions schools is challenging. In this pre-conference course, we will use the Kern 6-step model as the framework for describing each of our approaches in developing, implementing, and assessing our simulation-enhanced IPE activities. Participants will use the 6-step model to develop a simulation-enhanced IPE event which they can take back to their home institutions for implementation.


  1. Describe the 6 steps in Kern's model for curriculum design
  2. Summarize the design of two examples of curricula using Kern's 6-step model for curriculum development.
  3. Devise a plan for design of a simulation-enhanced IPE curriculum using the 6-step model.
  4. Discuss strategies for implementation, assessment, and evaluation.

Timeliness and Significance to the Field Interprofessional collaborative practice is increasingly recognized as a means of meeting the demands of today's health care environment regarding quality of care and patient safety. The WHO proposes that an interprofessional collaborative practice-ready healthcare workforce can be achieved through interprofessional education (IPE) (1). One of the tenets of effective IPE is that it is most effective when learning methods reflect real-life practice (2). Simulation places students in a life-like but safe environment representing the complex nature of situations they will find themselves which promotes ready adoption and transfer to practice (3). Thus, simulation as a modality in IPE offers many desirable educational benefits in an IPE activity. In each of our respective locales, we have used simulation-enhanced IPE over the last 7 years with excellent results (4-8). Our curricula are based on the IPEC Core Competencies and TeamSTEPPS for exposing a combination of health professions students to the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to effectively collaborate in the care of a patient (9,10). Strategies and tools are provided to students asynchronously. Then, students meet and use what they learned in a simulation followed by a structured debriefing of the case focusing on teamwork. Integration of simulation-enhanced IPE into the curricula of both undergraduate and postgraduate health professions education is challenging (11). In the workshop, we will use the Kern 6-step model as the framework for describing each of our approaches in developing, implementing, and assessing our simulation-enhanced IPE activities (12). Participants will work in small groups using the 6-step model together with guided questions to begin to think about their own institution and to have a plan started to take back to their institutions. There were about a dozen posters and 4 oral presentations related to IPE at IAMSE2019 but few if any focused on simulation-enhanced IPE. Given the fact that more institutions are using simulation in IPE and the increasing interest in best practices, the proposed workshop will help fill a need.

Workshop description including teaching methods and timeline for educational activities

  1. Introduction of faculty & disclosures: Length, 15 min; Faculty, All; Format, didactic and engage learners in dialogue; Instructional tools, Audience response system used to collect information on the workshop participants to learn about the audience in terms of their experience with IPE and simulation.
  2. A brief description of Kern's 6-step model for curriculum development to serve as a framework for the workshop: Length 15 min, Format, didactic; Instructional tools, handout summarizing the 6 steps.
  3. A representative from each of two health professions schools will describe how they designed their simulation-enhanced IPE activity using Kern's 6-step model including mention of similarities and differences: Length 20 min; Faculty, Reed & Szarek; Format, didactic; Instructional tool, handout for each attendee illustrating the use of the 6-steps which they can use as a model during the small group work.
  4. The participants will break into small groups and develop a plan to take back to their institution using the 6-step model with guided questions provided for consideration during the discussion. Course faculty will rotate among the small groups providing guidance as necessary. Length 65 min; Faculty, All; Format, small group discussion; Instructional tools, a flip chart will be used by each group to summarize one example of a plan for the next part of the session.
  5. A representative from a representative group will report on one example from their group discussion. Participants will be asked to provide feedback on the proposal. Length 20 min; Faculty, Callender & Horsley; Format, analyze case studies & engage learners in dialogue; Instructional tools, a computer will be used to record an example from each group.
  6. The participants with the faculty will discuss strategies for implementation of their event upon returning to the institution. This discussion also will include assessment and evaluation. Length 25 min; Faculty, All; Format, engage learners in dialogue; Instructional tools, a computer will be used to record an example from each group.
  7. The session will be summarized with respect to the objectives of the session. Length, 20 min; Faculty, Szarek; Format, didactic.
  8. Post session: Post session: The names, institutions, and email addresses of the participants will be collected during the session. The slide set including the recorded examples and all handouts will be sent to the participants via email after the session.

Presenter's qualifications/expertise in area A 90-minute version of this workshop was presented at the International Meeting for Simulation in Healthcare (IMSH) in 2018 and 2019 receiving excellent reviews. Sixteen or 17 of 18 respondents agreed/strongly agreed to the survey questions in 2018 and, in 2019, the overall rating among 34 respondents was 4.8 with an average of 4.9 with respect to importance of topic. The faculty in this session have worked together in other workshops at IMSH. In addition to presenting this same workshop at IMSH2018 and 2019, Drs. Szarek and Callender conducted 90-minute workshops on preclinical use of simulation at IMSH2015, 2016 and 2017; Drs. Reed and Szarek worked together on a 90-minute workshop on the flipped classroom and simulation which was presented at IMSH2016 and 2017. Each of the presenters has presented at other society meetings as well including IAMSE and published on the use of simulation in health professions education. Additionally, the faculty hold administrative positions at their institutions with respect to simulation as assistant/associate deans, director, education director, and course director. Our experiences working together and our roles as leaders in simulation and IPE at our institutions will ensure a successful session. The nature of our interprofessional team will serve as a role model for the participants.

Outcomes - What skills will attendees acquire? The attendees will be able to use the Kern's 6-step model to develop simulation-enhanced IPE activities. The 6-step model is generalizable to other curricular projects so the attendees will acquire a valuable tool to add to their repertoire for course and curriculum development.


  1. World Health Organization. Framework for Action on Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice. Geneva: WHO Press; 2010; Available at Accessed June 1, 2017.
  2. Freeth D, Hammick M, Reeves S, Koppel I, Barr H. Effective interprofessional education: development, delivery and evaluation. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing; 2005.
  3. Oandasan I, Reeves S. Key elements for interprofessional education. Part 1: the learner, the educator and the learning context. J Interprof Care 2005;19 Suppl 1:21-38.
  4. Horsley TL, Reed T, Muccino K, Quinones D, Siddall VJ, McCarthy J. Developing a foundation for interprofessional education within nursing and medical curricula. Nurse Educ. 2016;41(5):234-238.
  5. Reed T, Horsley TL, Muccino K, Quinones D, Siddall VJ, McCarthy J, Adams W. Simulation Using TeamSTEPPS to Promote Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice. Nurse Educ. 2017;42(3):E1-E5.
  6. Szarek JL, Manetti W, Shea DM, Arscott K, Pellegrino A, Spelman D, Zielinski D, Triano M. Implementing Simulation-Based Interprofessional Education: Students' Evaluation of the Pilot Indicate a Very Successful Program. Sim Healthcare 2014; 8:633.
  7. Szarek J, Manetti W, Zielinski D, Heckman C, Shea D, Arscott K, Pellegrino A, Triano M, Spelman D. Trials and Tribulations in the Development of a Simulation-Based Interprofessional Education Activity. Med Sci Educ 2013; 23(3S): 542-553.
  8. Szarek JL, Subasic K, Zalon M, Dunleavy E, et al. Quality of care is at the forefront of students' thinking in simulation-based interprofessional education: Results of a 4-year, multi-institution cross-sectional study. IMSH 2019, San Antonio TX, Jan 2019.
  9. Interprofessional Education Collaborative. (2016). Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: 2016 update. Washington, DC: Interprofessional Education Collaborative.
  10. US Department of Health and Human Services. TeamSTEPPS: national implementation. Available at Accessed June 1, 2017.
  11. INACSL Standards Committee (2016, December). INACSL Standards of Best Practice: Simulation: Simulation-enhanced interprofessional education (sim-IPE). Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 12(S), S34-S38. Accessed June 6, 2017.
  12. Thomas PA, Kern DE, Hughes MT, Chen BY (2009) Curriculum development for medical education: a six-step approach. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. Interprofessional education (IPE) is most effective when learning methods reflect real-life practice. Simulation offers many of the desired educational benefits in an IPE activity. In this workshop participants will learn from our experiences in designing simulation- enhanced IPE based on the IPEC Core Competencies and TeamSTEPPS for students.
Leann Horsley Trent Reed John Szarek