Nursing Education in a Virtual World

Friday, 28 July 2017: 1:30 PM

Cynthia Foronda, PhD
School of Nursing Health Studies, University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, USA

Studies have indicated that virtual simulation is an effective pedagogy associated with positive student learning outcomes. Nurse faculty members are challenged with translating this evidence into the practice of nursing education. As a global shortage exists in doctoral-prepared nurse faculty members, many faculty carry heavy workloads and lack the time and resources to successfully implement novel technology. The purpose of this presentation is to 1) provide a synthesized review of the evidence in virtual simulation, 2) display technologies including augmented reality and virtual simulation, and 3) provide strategies for successful implementation with students.

Virtual simulation has been used in nursing education to improve teamwork (Caylor et al., 2015; Kalisch et al., 2015), leadership (Foronda, Budhathoki, & Salani, 2014), communication (Foronda, Gattamorta, Snowden, & Bauman, 2014), and decision-making (Hudson, Taylor, Kozachik, Shaefer, & Wilson, 2015). Additional contexts include the art of instruction (Foronda, Lippincott, & Gattamorta, 2014) and disaster triage (Farra, Miller, Timm, & Shafer, 2013; Farra, Smith, Gillespie, Nicely, Ulrich & Hodgson, 2015; Foronda et al., 2016a; Jose & Dufrene, 2014). Students have expressed learning skills of assessment, prioritization, and emergency management through virtual simulation (Foronda, Swoboda, Sullivan, Kamau, & Hudson, unpublished manuscript). Research has supported the use of virtual simulation to impact students’ cognitive and affective knowledge of evidence-based practice (Foronda, Hudson, & Budhathoki, In Press).

After amassing evidence that consistently supports use of this pedagogy, nurse faculty members are challenged to apply the evidence and implement educational technologies. To assist faculty members to develop a better understanding of the existing technologies and how they fit into a nursing curriculum, cutting edge augmented reality and virtual simulation technologies will be displayed and described. Technologies include but are not limited to BodyExplorer™, Microsoft Hololens™, CliniSpace™, Digital Clinical Experience™, and vSim for Nursing™.

The process of testing and implementing new technology demands a culmination of various factors. The faculty member must possess motivation, administrative support, time, resources, and technological assistance. Strategies for facilitating new technology include designating a champion, obtaining funding for purchase or obtaining complimentary use, pilot testing, and faculty development. Faculty should examine the curriculum for existing gaps or areas that can be enhanced or supplemented with virtual simulation. Further, learning objectives, teaching methods, and an evaluation plan warrant consideration. Proper student orientation is critical for student buy-in and implementation success.