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August 18, 2023

How to Train Nursing Students: Immersive Virtual Reality as an Engaging New Method for Clinicals

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Ginelle Testa
UbiSim Story Teller

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In recent years, the field of nursing education has been transformed by the introduction of Immersive Virtual Reality as an innovative method for clinical training. It’s not meant to replace traditional clinicals entirely but rather to supplement them. 

To mitigate the challenges faced, such as lack of clinical placement options and shortage of preceptors, many nursing programs started substituting students’ traditional clinical hours with some form of simulation years ago. Immersive VR is one of these options.

UbiSim is a virtual reality platform built just for nurses, with scenarios created by nurse educators.

In this article, let’s explore the various advantages of immersive VR for clinical nursing training. 

Advantages of Using Immersive VR for Clinical Training in Nursing

1. Enhanced experiential learning opportunities for nursing students

immersive VR  takes learning to a whole new level by providing nursing students with immersive, interactive, and hands-on experiences. Through realistic simulations and virtual patient interactions with haptic feedback, students can apply theoretical knowledge in practical scenarios, gaining valuable insights into patient care. 

Immersive VR allows students to actively engage with medical procedures, treatment planning, and clinical judgment. These experiences are invaluable in preparing future nurses to handle real-world healthcare challenges confidently.

2. Realistic simulations for High Accuity Low Occurrence (HALO) events 

Clinical environments can be highly demanding, especially during emergencies and high-stress situations. Immersive VR  enables nursing students to practice in a controlled virtual setting that replicates complex HALO events such as acute myocardial infarction. By repeatedly encountering such situations in a risk-free environment, students can build competence, develop quick-thinking skills, and enhance their ability to manage critical incidents in real clinical settings.

3. Creating a safe environment for making mistakes and learning from them

One of the key benefits of immersive VR  is the ability to learn from mistakes without consequences for patients. In traditional clinical training, errors may lead to adverse patient outcomes, causing students stress and anxiety. Immersive VR eliminates this fear, allowing students to experiment, make errors, and learn from them without risking patient safety. 

This nurturing and non-judgmental environment fostered by immersive VR creates psychological safety, enabling students to build confidence and competence while reducing the fear of failure.

4. Prepares students for the Next Generation NCLEX (NGN) Exam

Nursing immersive VR prepares learners for the Next Generation NCLEX (NGN) exam by offering realistic patient scenarios, practice in decision-making, active learning, immediate feedback, interdisciplinary collaboration, stress management, and skill reinforcement. It complements traditional education but should not replace hands-on clinical experiences.

5. Cost-effectiveness and scalability 

Traditional clinical training can be expensive and resource-intensive, requiring extensive coordination with healthcare facilities and preceptors. Immersive VR offers a cost-effective and scalable alternative. Once developed, virtual training modules can be accessed by multiple students simultaneously, eliminating the need for additional clinical resources. Immersive VR also allows nursing schools to reach students in remote locations, democratizing access to quality clinical training.

Conclusion

In the ever-evolving landscape of nursing education, immersive VR emerges as an exciting and promising new approach to clinical training, again not replacing traditional methods but supplementing them.

Interested in trying UbiSim in your healthcare institution?
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Ginelle Testa
UbiSim Story Teller

As an integral center of UbiSim's content team, Ginelle pens stories on the rapidly changing landscape of VR in nursing simulation. Ginelle is committed to elevating the voices of practicing nurses, nurse educators, and program leaders who are making a difference.

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