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Immersive Virtual Reality Training From Wolters Kluwer & Laerdal Medical Transports Nursing Students to a Busy Hospital Floor

vrClinicals for Nursing prepares students for medical practice by building clinical judgment and multi-patient prioritization skills

Wolters Kluwer, Health and Laerdal Medical announced the development of vrClinicals for Nursing, an immersive, virtual reality (VR) nursing education experience designed to strengthen practice readiness. vrClinicals is built on evidence-based scenarios authored by the National League for Nursing (NLN) that simulate a realistic hospital environment, including challenging elements such as multiple patient scenarios, and interruptions to better prepare students in delivering quality patient care.

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“Using immersive virtual reality, vrClinicals for Nursing allows students to benefit from clinical training in a controlled environment where they can safely make and learn from their mistakes”

Limitations that impact real-life clinical training for nursing students, including a lack of physical clinical site availability and an unpredictable mix of patients, have opened the door for safe, resource-effective training modalities, such as VR, that offer a greater breadth of experiences. Students using vrClinicals for Nursing with a Meta™ Quest 2 headset will be immersed in an authentic, virtual clinical environment where they must navigate real challenges nurses encounter on the job – such as prioritizing multiple patients with varied, complex cases, interruptions from colleagues, or patient requests.

According to Leila Casteel, DNP, APRN, NP-C, a practicing family nurse practitioner and Associate Vice President, Curriculum & Innovation at Herzing University, “The vrClinicals for Nursing solution offers just the right amount of urgency that students need to hit the ground running once they enter clinical practice. It prepares students to think critically and hone their prioritization skills across multiple, diverse patients and clinical scenarios, which mirrors the day-to-day unpredictability of nursing.”

Nursing shortage puts pressure on new nurses
Newly licensed nurses are increasingly managing higher patient caseloads and must refine their independent clinical judgement earlier in their careers, especially with the impacts of the current nursing shortage. To better prepare today’s nursing students for this environment with a backdrop of limited clinical opportunities, educational tools using metaverse related technologies can provide a broad range of experiences that reflect the expectations of real-world practice.

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“Using immersive virtual reality, vrClinicals for Nursing allows students to benefit from clinical training in a controlled environment where they can safely make and learn from their mistakes,” said Julie Stegman, Vice President, Nursing Segment, Health Learning, Research & Practice at Wolters Kluwer, Health. “This experiential learning fosters in-the-moment decision making that allows students to react and reflect on the decisions they’ve made in multiple, complex care scenarios. Developing this skillset early is essential to ensuring nurses feel confident as they onboard, while shortening their ramp-up for clinical practice.”

Promoting clinical preparedness with virtual reality
With fewer on-site educational opportunities available, VR technology is meeting the need for realistic, experiential learning for student nurses that allows them to receive real-time feedback in a hospital setting, without putting patients at risk.

“Using Virtual Reality, we are filling a gap in nursing education with immersive training that puts the student in a life-like clinical setting where they practice being a nurse and caring for a diverse set of patients. The goal is to develop their ability and confidence in clinical judgement,” said Cansu Akarsu, Vice President of Healthcare Education at Laerdal Medical

vrClinicals for Nursing can be used as a building block on top of the critical clinical decision-making skills developed in vSim® for Nursing. Progressing from the screen-based, simulated single-patient scenario in vSim for Nursing to the advanced multi-patient, complex care scenarios within vrClinicals allows students to virtually practice in a clinical setting.

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