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Carolinas Simulation Center’s research team conducts both basic and applied research using a variety of techniques. Our team has access to a variety of clinical subspecialties and patient care settings. Through a multidisciplinary approach, we seek to advance research in simulation, education, and patient safety. Currently, our research focus is on evaluating and improving communication and engagement in simulation education.

Interested in initiating a research project involving simulation?
We would love to hear from you.

Please complete the Research Request Form to tell us more about what you’re interested in researching. The Research Team will review the completed form and reach out to schedule an initial meeting. If you have any questions, you can contact us at

Research Initiatives Spotlight

Validation of the Simulation Learner Engagement Scale (SLES)

Carolinas Simulation Center’s research team has created and is currently validating a scale for measuring learner self-reported engagement during simulation education sessions. Validation of the SLES follows two frameworks outlined by Boateng et al., 2018 and Messick, 1989, and will be deployed for testing in the fall of 2022, with data collection being completed in 2023. Our intention is that the scale will be generalizable to measure learner engagement in both virtual and in-person simulation environments and across multiple types and levels of learners including nursing students, nurses, medical students, medical residents and APP fellows. Results of this study may be used to inform improvements in program curriculum at CSC and ultimately at other simulation centers.

Clinical Interviewing Skills (CIS) of Residents throughout Objective Structured Clinical Reviews (OSCRs)

Family Medicine Faculty Allison Bickett, PhD, MS recognized an opportunity to utilize Family Medicine residents’ Objective Structured Clinical Reviews (OSCRs) as a platform to explore potential barriers to effective physician-patient communication. Post-graduate years (PGY) 1 through 3 residents will complete OSCRs, which includes in-person simulated scenarios with simulated patients (SPs) followed by video review of the encounter and a didactic session with faculty. Residents, SPs, and faculty will complete surveys meant to assess communication skills throughout the OSCRs. Results will be compared to examine differences between resident self-perceived communication, faculty and SP reported communication skills of the residents, and changes in resident skills throughout and across PGYs. Results of this study may be used in evaluation of residency programs’ curriculum and as a reference to identify areas of improvement.

Improvement of Debriefing Sessions After Simulation Experiences: The Systematic Approach for Nurse Debriefing (StAND) Tool

Nurse Educators Patricia Campbell, MSN, RN and Jennifer Noble, MSN, RN, AGCNS-BC, CEN, CHSE created the Systematic Approach for Nurse Debriefing (StAND) tool with the purpose of providing generalizable and simple guidance for improving the quality of post-scenario debriefs. The StAND tool will be globally available for facilitators in a nursing program to use during debriefing sessions. The hope is to improve facilitator confidence in debriefing sessions, better engage learners, and improve the overall quality of debriefing sessions for all participants. Improving the quality of debrief sessions may have a direct impact on future engagement in simulation and enhance learner understanding and knowledge takeaways.

If you are interested in implementing this tool at your simulation center, please reach out to us at to learn more.

Upcoming Research Events

Our Simulation Brown Bag Series is an opportunity for others to learn about Simulation and Research, and a place for professionals across a variety of specialties to share ideas and network with one another.

Our next Simulation Brown Bag is scheduled for February 9th, 2023, from noon to 1 p.m. Dr. Kim Leighton, Executive Director, ITQAN Clinical Simulation & Innovation Center, will be presenting on the education and assessment of nursing students for clinical competence and judgement. If you are interested in attending this virtual event, please RSVP by emailing Darla Morton at

Previous Brown Bags

9/27/2022 Current Research Priorities in Simulation
5/10/2022 Prep & Practice: Tips & Tricks from a Past SP
2/3/2022 Safety in the Process of Simulation
10/27/2021 Moulage in Simulation