The ISBAR Interprofessional Communication Rubric (IICR)

As part of the Evaluating Healthcare Simulation tools, the ISBAR Interprofessional Communication Rubric (IICR) was developed by Foronda and Bauman (2015) to evaluate student nurses’ / nurses’ performance of nurse-to-physician communication using ISBAR.. The researchers noted that students exhibited difficulty in phone communications to physicians during Simulation-Based Education (SBE). Communication with physicians and healthcare providers in the traditional clinical setting is not permitted for students. So, SBE is the only opportunity for the students to learn these required skills. This tool was developed for the educator to measure the level of communication performed for the purpose of feedback and instruction.

Download the ISBAR Interprofessional Communication Rubric (IICR).

Permission to Use FREELY: General use is already permitted by posting the statement: I understand that I have been granted permission by the creators of the requested evaluation instrument to use it for academic, clinical and/or research purposes. I agree that I will use the evaluation instrument only for its intended use, and will not alter it in any way. I will share findings as well as publication references with the instrument creator(s). I am allowed to place the evaluation instrument into electronic format for data collection. If official ‘Permission to Use’ letter is required, please contact the primary author. Include the purpose of the official request (research, grant), the intended use of the tool and with what population.

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Why the IICR was Developed: This instrument was developed because we noted that nursing students exhibited difficulty in phone communications to physicians in simulation-based education. Miscommunication is a leading cause of sentinel events in healthcare. The literature notes challenges in communication amongst diverse disciplines. Further, many clinical sites do not permit students to take verbal orders from physicians; therefore, the simulation setting is an optimal place to practice this skill. This rubric was developed to help guide the students in terms of best practices of communication as well as enable educators to measure the level of communication performed for purposes of feedback and instruction.

How the IICR was Developed: This instrument was developed based on two nurse faculty members’ experience in the field and informed by the literature. Twelve health care providers (including nurses and physicians) participated in the content validation of the instrument.

Reliability: Using Spearman’s rho to measure inter-rater reliability among the raters, the correlation coefficient among all nurse educators using the rubric was rs = 0.79.

Content Validity: Twelve health care providers rated each item of the tool on a scale of 1 to 4 to determine validity (1 = not relevant, 2 = needs some revision, 3 = relevant but could be improved, 4 = very relevant). Item content validity index (I-CVI) was computed for each item. I-CVIs for 14 items were equal to or greater than 0.83. The scale content validity index (S-CVI/Ave) was calculated by averaging the I-CVIs of the 12 experts at .92.

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Using the IICR: The IICR is used to evaluate student nurses’ / nurses’ performance of nurse-to-physician communication using ISBAR. Inter-rater reliability (α = .79)


Students should achieve no lower than a 2 in all categories for a passing performance.

  • Scoring (0-lowest to 15-highest)
  • A score of 3 indicates Exceeds Expectations.
  • A score of 2 indicates a Pass.
  • A score of 1 indicates a need for Remediation.
  • A score of 0 indicates a No Credit performance.

Notes: Please view the rubric. You will notice that each component of ISBAR contains 3 criteria. In an ideal performance, the student will present all 15 criteria in a concise, organized manner. For each criterion addressed, the student will obtain one point. The minimum score possible is 0 and the maximum score possible is 15. When the student is speaking, the rater should place a mark in the hollow box next to the criteria as the student communicates. Please wait until after the communication finishes to tabulate the total score.

Download the ISBAR Interprofessional Communication Rubric (IICR).


  • Foronda, C., Alhusen, J., Budhathoki, C., Lamb, M., Tinsley, K., MacWilliams, B., Daniels, J., Baptiste, D., Reese, K., & Bauman, E. (2015). A mixed methods, international, multisite study to develop and validate a measure of nurse-to-physician communication in simulation. Nursing Education Perspectives, 36(6), 383-388. Doi: 10.5480/15-1644
  • Foronda, C., MacWilliams, B., & McArthur, E. (2016). Interprofessional communication in healthcare: An integrative review. Nurse Education in Practice, 19, 36-40.
  • Webpage suggested citation: Foronda, C., & Bauman, E. (2024). ISBAR Interprofessional Communication Rubric. Retrieved from
  • If you need an official ‘Permission to Use’ letter, or have other questions regarding this tool, please contact Dr. Cynthia Foronda.

Return to the Evaluating Healthcare Simulation tools webpage.

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