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Your Guide to a Successful Nursing Simulation Program



Everything You Need to Know to Make an Informed Decision About UbiSim

We’re excited that you’re exploring how immersive virtual reality (VR) can enhance your nursing simulation program! While VR technology has been around for decades, recent advancements have made it an even more affordable and invaluable addition to your curriculum. UbiSim is proud to be at the forefront of VR-based education for nurses. 

You may be wondering where to start. In this brief guide, we’ll share why we think UbiSim is an ideal training solution for your learners, how our VR scenarios work, and just how easy (and cost-effective) the platform is to implement in your lab.

Why UbiSim – And Why Now?

We need more high-quality nurses. UbiSim can train them on a budget.

Within the next few years, we’ll face an industry-crippling nursing shortage. According to the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN), nearly 20% of the United States’ 4.5 million Registered Nurses intend to leave the workforce by 2027. Canada is also experiencing an alarming lack of nursing professionals.

Nursing education and training programs at the forefront of the healthcare crisis have been handed the heavy task of addressing this healthcare crisis, which is poised to worsen without strategic intervention. First and foremost, schools are looking to find ways to scale nursing programs and  attract motivated nursing students by offering them a learning experience they want – and they want VR-based education.

We recently surveyed more than 1,200 nurse learners, instructors, simulation directors, and program administrators. A whopping 96% of nursing deans and directors said they’ve had to turn away qualified applicants due to inadequate simulation facilities and resources. Fortunately, nearly three-quarters of respondents reported that their nursing program has grown by ten percent or better since implementing UbiSim.

We understand that a significant program change is hard (and often expensive). However, more than 95% of those surveyed indicated that they believe UbiSim is a cost-effective way to enhance their curriculum. 

We’ll talk more about the financial side of adopting UbiSim shortly. For now, let’s dive into how UbiSim works – and why your students will benefit from our immersive virtual reality scenarios.

Good to know: All of our scenarios meet the NCSBN’s rigorous clinical standards, so you can rest assured that they will help your nursing students prepare for their licensure exams. Some states even permit you to substitute virtual scenario-based learning for a percentage of a student’s clinical hours.

How UbiSim Works

Learning without risk

UbiSim scenarios allow your students to immerse themselves in realistic nursing situations without fear of harming a live patient or needing to travel to a medical facility. They’ll be face-to-face with a virtual patient dealing with a common health problem from wherever they’re located.

Your learners will use dialogue (from the patient, family members, and other providers), on-screen medical tools, and their nursing knowledge to diagnose and treat the sick or injured party. Instructors and peers can offer guidance and encouragement as the situation unfolds. The system keeps track of learner performance, making it easy to spot missteps and skill gaps.

UbiSim helps your students:

  • Put theory into practice.
  • Develop their clinical judgment skills.
  • Apply their lived experiences and personal knowledge.

Our VR training scenarios help your students turn the ideas they learned in your lectures into highly realistic, applied learning experiences.

Good to know: UbiSim can be used alongside the manikins and task trainers already in your simulation lab.

UbiSim Scenarios: Developed By Nurses, for Nurses

Scenario development is led by Christine Vogel, a Registered Nurse, Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator®, and Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations Specialist®.

We currently offer educators 50 ready-to-use scenarios to help nurses-in-training hone their clinical judgment and communication skills. We continuously add new, peer-reviewed titles to our catalog and keep our existing titles updated on an annual basis. You can also easily customize existing scenarios to meet specific learner needs or build your own new scenario from scratch using the Intuitive Editor that has been a core part of our platform since day one. Plus, you can use (or edit) scenarios built by other UbiSim users and shared in our platform under By The Community. 

Visit our website to browse our scenario catalog. You can sort scenarios by:

  • Bodily system (cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, general nursing skills, integumentary, musculoskeletal, neurological, reproductive, respiratory, and urinary).
  • Learner level (Fundamentals, Medical-Surgical I, Medical-Surgical II, Pediatrics, Mental Health, Obstetrics, or UbiSim Tutorials).
  • Type of care (inpatient or outpatient).

All UbiSim scenarios are authored, peer-reviewed, updated annually by expert nurse educators, and meet INACSL best practice standards. This provides you with a repeatable, realistic learning experience that helps your nurse learners improve their clinical judgment, decision-making, team interaction, and patient engagement skills. Each scenario aligns with the Next Generation NCLEX-RN test plan developed by the NCSBN, the NCSBN Clinical Judgment Measurement Model, and the AACN Essentials Core Competencies for Professional Nursing Education.

We’re happy to give you a closer look at our scenarios in action. Request a demo today!

Equipment You Need to Succeed  

It’s not as much as you think!

Incorporating UbiSim into your curriculum is easy (and cost-effective). You likely already have some of the required equipment on hand. 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A computer with the latest version of Windows, Mac OS, or ChromeOS installed
  • A stable internet connection
  • Access to the Google Chrome web browser
  • A VR headset (Meta Quest 2, Meta Quest 3, or Meta Quest Pro)
  • Ample space for students to move so they can complete scenarios safely (each learner wearing a headset needs a 7x7 ft clear space).

Learn more about the technical requirements here.

Preparing for VR Simulation

Set learners up for success

Preparing to guide your students through a VR simulation is similar to developing any lesson plan. You’ll need to familiarize yourself with the scenario content and anticipate potential challenges your learners may face.

Immediately before the VR session, you’ll share the learning objectives and identify the key players in the scenario. You’ll also provide any background information that may help students properly diagnose and treat the patient.

Pro Tip: Let your students play in the virtual world before the scheduled formal instruction window. That way, the novelty will be worn off come class time, and they can focus on the task at hand.

What to Do During Each VR Simulation

Facilitate learning

As students engage with the virtual reality scenario, you can help them deepen their nursing knowledge and hone their critical thinking skills by:

  • Encouraging realistic dialogue. They should talk to the patient and other scenario participants just as they would in the real world.
  • Having them verbalize their thought process as they work through the situation. You may spot opportunities to assure them they are on the right track or help them course-correct if necessary.
  • Reminding them about essential details that apply to the case. Doing so can increase the odds of a successful outcome. 
  • Pointing out on-screen medical tools and devices at their disposal. If they’re unsure what to do, you may be able to help them get unstuck. 
  • Including students not wearing the VR headset in the experience by asking questions and encouraging observations. That way, the whole class benefits from each UbiSim session.

The most important thing you can do is give students ample time to navigate the interaction. Since no one’s life is on the line, learners should be allowed to work through each scenario methodically at their own pace – at least the first time.

Debriefing Post-Scenario

Help students reflect and carry their new knowledge forward

Once back in the real world, it’s critical to go through a debriefing process with your students. We strongly encourage using the evidence-based PEARLS method because it’s proven to help learners retain and apply new information. 

This method involves discussing which learning objectives were met (and which ones were missed) and helping students identify how they can improve their performance in future scenarios. UbiSim provides a recording of each student’s time within the scenario, making it easy to assess the experience and discuss specific moments.

Paying for UbiSim

Purchasing UbiSim could save your institution money!

Believe it or not, adopting VR-based education is a budget-friendly decision. While your institution or program will need to invest in some equipment upfront (mainly VR headsets), the institution won’t have to cover ongoing expenses. On the other hand, providing students with standardized patient role play involves recurring costs, ultimately resulting in a heftier price tag over time.

However, we understand that your funding is limited, and you may need financial assistance to adopt and implement UbiSim. Fortunately, there are many grant programs available that can help you defray the expense.

Here are a few grant opportunities you can explore:

Learn about even more ways to fund VR technology in your nursing program.

Note: The grant opportunities listed in this guide are current as of the publication date but can change or be discontinued at any time.

If you’re curious about how much UbiSim will cost your institution, reach out to us for a quote!

UbiSim Customer Support 

Getting Assistance from Onboarding Through Implementation

UbiSim’s Customer Support Team will kick off your new VR simulation program with an onboarding and training session. They will stay in touch with you until you and your team are able to access and use UbiSim. Once you’re up and running, the Support Team will transition to a “standby” role to respond to any technical requests or urgent needs for troubleshooting assistance. 

At this point, your dedicated Customer Success Manager (CSM) will take over as your primary point of contact from UbiSim. Consider them the “face” of UbiSim to your institution. Your CSM will work with you throughout your partnership with UbiSim to share best practices for implementing a nursing simulation program with immersive virtual reality, provide any relevant research findings, help you set measurable goals for your training program, provide usage data from the platform, offer contract renewals, and connect you with other people and resources within UbiSim as needed. 


Now that you know more about UbiSim, it’s time to try it. When you schedule a meeting with one of our experts, we’ll give you a guided tour of our immersive virtual reality simulation platform. We guarantee that it’s unlike any nurse training you’ve seen before! 

Get started!

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