empathy, health communication, nursing education, virtual systems, virtual simulation



  1. Strekalova, Yulia A. MS, MBA
  2. Krieger, Janice L. PhD
  3. Kleinheksel, A.J. PhD
  4. Kotranza, Aaron PhD


The current study examined the communication strategies used by undergraduate nursing students (N = 343) to express empathy during simulated health history interviews. Interacting with a virtual patient, students encountered up to 9 information disclosures that warranted the expression of empathy but recognized few (33.54%). Sophistication of language to express empathy varied depending on the disclosure topic. These findings suggest that empathy as a learned skill can be incorporated into a variety of nursing contexts.