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Transformative Nursing Education with Immersive Virtual Reality, Courtesy of UbiSim


Let’s start with a fair question (albeit a multilayered one):

Do nurses learning in their fields today trust modern technologies to provide adequate training?

The answer (again, with multiple layers) is thankfully overall positive, according to a recent study conducted by UbiSim, a “world’s first” when it comes to immersive virtual reality (VR) platform solutions for simulating nursing environments.

As we know, VR technology has opened the virtual doors, so to speak, to opportunities for impactful learning experiences; in this particular case, for avid nursing students. That’s why, back in 2015, UbiSim began its journey to help train a new generation of nurses for safe and effective clinical practice. Its mission is to democratize simulation by making it much more accessible for aspiring nurses, so UbiSim provides nurse learners and educators with immersive training experiences (and in a safe setting where skills can be honed and boosts to quick decision-making and overall confidence can realistically be achieved).

Still, there’s always room for improvement (especially as next-gen technologies evolve), and feedback from hard-working nurses should be welcomed. That’s why UbiSim ran its survey of 1,276 nurse learners, instructors, simulation directors and program administrators on the practicality of this VR-centric approach. From the total set of surveyees, a subset of 204 self-identified nurse learners were also spoken with in greater detail in order to determine whether or not VR simulation modalities in nursing education are truly gaining traction (in addition to assessing the perceived benefits therein, when it comes to exams and unique career preparation).

 The following is a breakdown of the study’s results:

  • 43% of the nurse learners surveyed chose VR-based nursing simulations as their preferred simulation modality for training. The respondents were evenly split between headset-based VR and computer screen-based immersive experiences. (A large cohort of 37% still prefer live role-play with actors, but only 19% favor manikins.)
  • When asked specifically about training through immersive, headset-based VR simulations, the vast majority of nurse learners surveyed (84%) found it comparable to (or better than) other simulation modalities, such as manikins. In fact, over one-third (34%) of respondents definitely like headset-based VR better than other simulation alternatives.
  • More than two-thirds of respondents (69%) said they feel comfortable using a VR headset, with less than 5% feeling uncomfortable.
  • 75% of nurse learners surveyed said that headset-based VR simulations aid in their preparation for becoming a nurse.

And according to UbiSim Healthcare Simulationist and Lead Nurse Educator Christine Vogel, MSN, RN, CHSE, CHSOS, VR simulations being accessible at any given time (and from essentially anywhere) reduce the need for costly physical resources associated with traditional training methods. (e.g. live actors, manikins, lab equipment, etc.)

“Improved competency and confidence among nurse learners in a safe environment is our primary goal,” Vogel explained. “In this vein, our survey’s results have clearly indicated that nurse learners find VR technology highly beneficial. The immersive nature of VR allows them to fully engage with the training simulations, enhancing their learning experience and preparedness. Nursing deans, directors, administrators, and simulation directors may want to adjust their training delivery methods to integrate the cost-effective option that VR presents for scaling nursing education."

Read more stories like this on one of our sister sites, HealthTechZone.

Also, learn more about technologies like these at Future of Work Expo and IoT Evolution Expo, both of which are part of the ITEXPO #TECHSUPERSHOW experience taking place from February 13-15 at the Broward County Convention Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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