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Industry Challenges
July 18, 2023

Immersive Virtual Reality: Onboarding, Continuous Training, and Retention for Nurses in Hospitals

Author

Marissa Kloss
MS, RN, PED-BC
Nurse Educator

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Navigating the complexities of hospital operations, particularly in the domain of nursing, poses a twofold challenge: the necessity for onboarding new nurses and the goal of staff retention. 

There is an innovative solution: immersive virtual reality. It’s not just an entertaining tool for gamers but rather an innovative lifesaver for hospitals to train their nurses.

Let's delve into the potential of immersive virtual reality with UbiSim, a platform made just for nurses, to explore how this technology can offer transformative solutions in enhancing nurse preparation and fortifying retention within our healthcare institutions.

Orientation and Onboarding

There has been a decline in the preparedness of new nurses in the past decade. One study found that 91% of New Graduate Registered Nurses in 2020 landed outside of the acceptable competency range for new nurses. Many nurses are not fully prepared for safe practice in the clinical setting when they graduate from school. 

Enter immersive virtual reality, where hospitals can use this technology to onboard nurses to better prepare them for specific needs or specialty areas of nursing. Boston Children’s Hospital uses UbiSim to train new nurses on how to manage sepsis in pediatric patients. They’ve used UbiSim’s sepsis simulations, designed by our team of nurse educators, and made adjustments with our intuitive Editor to tailor the scenarios to the needs of their learners. 

This type of continuous training is beneficial because sepsis management calls for timely recognition and treatment. New nurses who have never been exposed to sepsis cases may lack the necessary skills to care for these patients safely and effectively. With immersive virtual reality, learners can experience a simulated environment to gain the exact skills they need to succeed in real time. Because of this, immersive VR builds confidence and enhances clinical judgment skills.

Hear more about immersive VR and clinical judgment from one of UbiSim’s Nurse Educators:

“Clinical judgment is really important because nurses need that, not only to pass the Next Generation NCLEX but also to practice safely with their patients. Nurses in the clinical setting typically make decisions very quickly. With immersive VR, we’re able to break that down into the six cognitive steps of clinical judgment.” - Christine Vogel, MSN, RN, CHSE, CHSOS

Continuous training & retention

According to the 2023 NSI National Healthcare Retention & RN Staffing Report, the average hospital turned over 101.4% of its RN workforce in the last five years. The national average turnover rate of RNs is recorded at 22.5% annually. 

One solution to the retention of nurses is continuous training with immersive VR. With it, hospitals can effectively bridge knowledge gaps, improving both the competence and confidence of their nursing staff. The conclusion of a study found that, “VRS [virtual reality simulation] may provide a valuable option for promoting skill development and retention.”

Jeff Jacobson of Boston Children’s Hospital shared about the success of immersive VR with nursing trainees: “The feedback from trainees is very positive because there’s this novelty factor. They're going to pay a lot more attention and get more excited because it's interesting for them. Our nurses have that sense of novelty every time they play.”

Immersive VR can also help learners gain more confidence in challenging situations such as caring for a patient with mental illness. UbiSim has several mental health scenarios, including caring for a patient with schizophrenia, where nurses can practice gaining confidence in their therapeutic communication skills. In VR simulations, nurses can make mistakes in a safe environment without fear of consequences of harming a patient. This leads to feeling better prepared when facing a similar situation in clinical practice. 

Conclusion

Immersive virtual reality, through platforms like UbiSim, has proven to be transformative in enhancing nurse onboarding, continuous training, and staff retention in hospitals. It not only bolsters competence and confidence in a safe, engaging learning environment but also addresses the crucial issue of staff retention by enhancing job satisfaction. As healthcare embraces digital transformation, this technology is set to greatly improve patient care quality, placing forward-thinking hospitals at a competitive advantage.

Interested in trying UbiSim in your healthcare institution? Schedule a demo now.

Author: Marissa Kloss, MS, RN, PED-BC, is part of our team of Nurse Educators at UbiSim. She has more than 10 years of inpatient clinical practice experience, specializing in pediatric nursing and over 7 years of experience as a nurse educator. Her primary focus in education is working with baccalaureate nursing students in the clinical setting as well as lab and simulation. Her role at UbiSim encompasses various activities including designing and piloting evidenced-based simulations and maintaining the ever growing catalog of scenarios to ensure all scenarios are up to date and current. She is passionate about designing and incorporating innovative opportunities into our learners journey to advance their skills through exciting experiences. 

Interested in trying UbiSim in your healthcare institution?
Request a Demo
Marissa Kloss
Nurse Educator

Marissa is an experienced nurse educator who started her career as a registered nurse in the inpatient pediatric healthcare setting. With over 10 years of practice in general pediatric healthcare, some focused on educating children and families on diabetic care, she developed an interest in nursing education. She expanded her educator role in clinical instruction and simulation, working with and mentoring nursing students. After joining UbiSim in 2021, she has taken on a role that includes designing simulations, consulting on new features and providing subject matter expertise for the UbiSim team. She is passionate about educating upcoming generations of nurses to feel better prepared for practice by using our immersive VR platform to create realistic scenarios and enjoyable learning experiences.

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