Major Article 

Improving Nursing Students’ Communication Skills Using Crew Resource Management Strategies

Michelle Aebersold, PhD, RN; Dana Tschannen, PhD, RN; Gary Sculli, MSN, RN, ATP

  • Journal of Nursing Education
  • March 2013 - Volume 52 · Issue 3: 125-130
  • DOI: 10.3928/01484834-20130205-01


To provide optimal patient care, all members of the health care team must effectively communicate patient status and the current plan of care. The Crew Resource Management (CRM) training system has been successfully used in the aviation industry to manage human error and reduce risk in the operational environment. CRM focuses on behaviors that support communication and teamwork and is modifiable to be used in nursing education. A version of CRM—nursing crew resource management—was implemented in a group of senior undergraduate nursing students. Students were satisfied with the program, and in a subsequent simulation they demonstrated the ability to use the communication techniques learned.

Dr. Aebersold is Clinical Assistant Professor and Director, Clinical Learning Center, and Dr. Tschannen is Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Michigan School of Nursing; and Mr. Sculli is Director of Clinical Training Programs, Veterans Affairs National Center for Patient Safety, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Dr. Aebersold is a faculty advocate for Pearson Education, the publishers of The Neighborhood™. The remaining authors have disclosed no potential conflicts of interest, financial or otherwise.

Address correspondence to Michelle Aebersold, PhD, RN, Clinical Assistant Professor, Director, Clinical Learning Center, University of Michigan School of Nursing, 400 North Ingalls, Ann Arbor, MI 48109; e-mail:

Received: January 23, 2012
Accepted: September 19, 2012
Posted Online: February 05, 2013



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