Michelle L. Aebersold, PhD, RN, CHSE, FAAN

Clinical Professor
Department of Systems, Populations and Leadership Vice Chair for Research
Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Michigan School of Information
Faculty Lead for Innovation, Research, and Technology Development
Department of Systems, Populations and Leadership
Room 4112 NURS2

University of Michigan School of Nursing
426 North Ingalls Building
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2003

Telephone: (734) 615-8498
Fax: (734) 647-2416


  • Simulation
  • XR-Mixed, Virtual and Augmented Reality
  • Serious games
  • Quality and Safety
  • Teamwork and Communication Training

Dr. Michelle Aebersoldis a Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator and a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing. She is currently an XR Faculty Innovator in Residence through the University of Michigan XR Initiative at the Center for Academic Innovation. Dr. Aebersold has extensive experience in using a variety of simulation learning methods including Extended Realities to improve the care of patients through caregiver education and training. She has developed the Simulation Model to Improve Learner and Health Outcomes (SMILHO).

Current Research Grants and Programs

  • A Multi-Modal Interprofessional Training to Improve Chemotherapy Safety from the National Cancer Institute (NIH R25CA214227), Co-I.
  • Getting Under the Skin: A Virtual Reality Experience to Improve the Safety of Chemotherapy Treatment. Academic Innovation XR Initiative, PI.
  • Immersive Virtual reality Environment for Training Acute Care Teams (iREACT) funded by The Doctors Hospital, Co-I.
  • Academic-Community Nursing Clinical Education Partnership: Caring for our Veterans funded by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, PI.
  • Virtual Reality Nature Experiences as an Intervention for Cancer-Related Cognitive Impairment funded by NRG Oncology NCORP Research Base, Co-I.
  • Anatomy-augmented visual training on mobile devices for rapid dissemination of best practices during pandemics (NIH 1 R43 GM140751-01), Co-I.


A day in Dr. Aebersold’s class is often a novel experience. You may find yourself climbing Mount Everest or trying to figure how tall a structure you can build to hold your marshmallow so your team can win. Dr. Aebersold uses innovative teaching strategies such as case based learning, virtual reality or augmented reality, simulation (computer based and mannequin) in her courses for both graduate and undergraduate students. She teaches in the area of leadership in complex system, quality and safety and management and operations. She also teaches in the fully online Masters Degree in Learning, Analyics and Innovation.  Using a student centered teaching approach she engages her students in learning activities to further their learning and develop skills to support their success. 

Affiliations / Service

  • Member, Society for Simulation in Healthcare (several service roles 2014-present, Chair Technology Committee 2020, Co-Chair VR/AR/XR Section of SSIH Research Summit).
  • Member, International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (several service roles 2011-2015, Vice President for Operations 2016-2020).
  • Member, XR Safety Initiative Medical Advisory Committee.

Notable Awards / Honors

  • Fellow, American Academy of Nursing, 2015
  • Certified Simulation Health Care Educator, 2015
  • Excellence in Research, Midwest Nursing Research Society Systems Research Interest Group, 2016
  • Excellence in Research: Advancing Research in the Field of Nursing Simulation & Clinical Laboratories-International Association of Clinical Simulation and Nursing (INACSL)
  • SSH Presidential Citation – Knowledge Map Task Force-Development of an Interactive Research Map, Society for Simulation in Healthcare, 2020


  • PhD, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, 2008
  • MSBA, Madonna University, Livonia, MI, 1991
  • BSN, Madonna University, Livonia, MI, 1985

Publication Highlights

  • Aebersold, M. (2018). Simulation-based learning: No longer a novelty in undergraduate education. OIJN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 23(2). DOI: 10.3912/OJIN.Vol23No02PPT39.

  • Shuman, C. J., Liu, X., Aebersold, M., Tschannen, D., Banaszak-Holl, J., & Titler, M. (2018). Associations among unit leadership and unit climates for implementation in acute care: A cross-sectional study. Implementation Science, 13(1), 62. http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13012-018-0753-6.

  • Sirihorachai, R., Aebersold, M., Sarter, N., Harris, M., Marsh, V., & Redman, R.W. (2018) Examining interruptions in the operating room using simulation, Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 24, 14-24.

  • Aebersold, M., Mariani, B. & Cherera, L. (2018). Do experts and novices agree? A Qualitative Review of the 2016 INACSL Standards of Best Practice: SimulationSM Reviewer Feedback, Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 25, 1-5.

  • Bryant, K., Aebersold, M., Jeffries, P., & Kardong-Edgren, S. (2020) Innovations in Simulation: Nursing Leaders Exchange of Best Practices, Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 41, 33-40.

  • Aebersold, M., Rasmussen, J, & Mulreini, T. (2020) Virtual Everest: Immersive Virtual Reality can Improve the Simulation Experience, Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 38, 1-4.

  • Aebersold, M., & Schoville, R.S. (2020) Preventing the next generation of nurses from eating their young, Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 38, 27-34.

  • Whalen, M., Aebersold, M., Nelson, K., & Rooney, D (2020) The use of simulation to assess parent learning, Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 38, 23-26.

  • M. Nebeling, M. Speicher, X. Wang, S. Rajaram, B.D. Hall, Z. Xie, A.R.E. Raistrick, M. Aebersold, E.G. Happ, J. Wang, Y. Sun, L. Zhang, L. Ramsier, R. Kulkarni: MRAT: The Mixed Reality Toolkit In Proc. 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (ACM CHI 2020).

  • Schoville, R. & Aebersold, M. (2020) How Workplace Bullying and Incivility Impacts Patient Safety: A Qualitative Simulation Study Using BSN Students, Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 45, 16-20.

  • Farina, C., Hranchook, A., Bittinger, A. & Aebersold, M. (in press) The flipped classroom with case-based learning in graduate anesthesia education, AANA Journal.

  • Liang, C.J., Start, C., Boley, H. Kamat, V.R., Menassa, C.C., Aebersold, M. (2020) Enhancing stroke assessment simulation experience in clinical training using augmented reality, Virtual Reality, https://doi.org/10.1007/s10055-020-00475-1.

  • Abulebda, K., Whitfill, T., Montgomery, E. E., Thomas, A., Dudas, R. A., Leung, J. S., Scherzer, D. J., Aebersold, M., Van Ittersum, W. L., Kant, S., Walls, T. A., Sessa, A. K., Janofsky, S., Fenster, D. B., Kessler, D. O., Chatfield, J., Okada, P., Arteaga, G. M., Berg, M. D., Knight, L. J., … Improving Pediatric Acute Care through Simulation (ImPACTS) (2020). Improving Pediatric Readiness in General Emergency Departments: A Prospective Interventional Study. The Journal of pediatrics, S0022-3476(20)31337-8. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpeds.2020.10.040.

  • Aebersold, M. L., Kraft, S., Farris, K. B., Scherdt, M., Olsen, M., Polovich, M., ... & Friese, C. R. (2021). Evaluation of an Interprofessional Training Program to Improve Cancer Drug Therapy Safety. JCO Oncology Practice, OP-20.

  • Aebersold, M., McCullagh, M., Titler, M., Jiang, Y., Zhang, X., Tschannen, D. & Friese, C. (in press). Improving patient/population health: Using why to develop a transformative research center, SAGE Open Nursing.

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