How Virtual Reality in Nursing Education Aids ABSN Students

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Virtual reality in nursing education is an innovative emerging tool. VR is used in Felician ABSN to familiarize students with clinical judgment-making and patient interaction during labs, before further developing these skills through clinical placements and into a nursing career.

nurse with VR goggles on

Virtual reality (VR) technology has provided an innovative platform for education across numerous fields, and nursing is no exception. This immersive, highly interactive, and uniquely realistic technology helps students learn crucial nursing skills and apply theoretical knowledge in a simulated yet accurate clinical environment.

Virtual reality technology is an invaluable tool for students enrolled in Felician University’s Hybrid or On-Ground Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, which condenses a bachelor’s-level nursing education into a 16- or 18-month window (depending on the delivery option). It helps nursing students learn crucial nursing skills in a safe and realistic way, bridging the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application.

Still have questions about VR in nursing education? Read on as we explore how nursing programs use this tool to educate the next generation of professionals.

What Does Virtual Reality in Nursing Look Like?

Virtual reality in nursing education is far more than just an educational tool. It's a fully immersive experience allowing nursing students to interact with a three-dimensional environment that closely mimics real-world clinical scenarios. Students wear augmented or virtual reality headsets to see computer-generated imagery within their environment. While wearing them, they can practice medical procedures, interact with virtual patients, and respond to various simulated clinical scenarios.

Virtual environments are designed to mimic various healthcare settings, complete with virtual patients exhibiting a variety of symptoms. The key aspect is the responsive nature of these simulations, which react and change based on what the student does, just like an actual patient.

The audio cues, such as the tone and volume of a patient's voice or the sounds of medical devices, are equally crucial. This multi-sensory simulation provides a holistic learning experience, preparing students for the unpredictability and dynamism of a real healthcare setting. As such, a virtual reality platform transforms learning from a passive process to an active, learner-centered experience.

nurse wearing a VR headset reaching out in front of her

How Does Virtual Reality Help Nursing Students?

Virtual reality in nursing education expands the educational framework and can offer myriad benefits to nursing students. When engaging with virtual reality simulations in their nursing studies, students experience realistic but repeatable situations that hone their clinical and decision-making skills in preparation for working with actual patients. Let’s explore how virtual reality in nursing education is making a difference.

Practicing Clinical Judgment

ABSN students use virtual reality to learn with advanced technology that is safe, interactive, and immersive. As a Felician ABSN student, you can use virtual reality and in-person skills and simulation labs to practice evaluating patients and interviewing them to gather more relevant information for their treatment plan.

Clinical judgment is a critical nursing skill best developed through experience. Virtual reality scenarios provide nursing students the opportunity to make real-time decisions. By navigating complex clinical scenarios, students practice their clinical judgment and decision-making skills without impacting real patients. A safe place to make mistakes helps you feel more assured to make better decisions faster and more accurately.

nurse smiling at child patient

See how your time as an ABSN student can shape a successful future in nursing practice.

Repetition of Controlled Learning Scenarios

In traditional clinical practice, nursing students might only get a few opportunities to observe or perform a specific procedure. In contrast, virtual reality lets students practice clinical scenarios repeatedly until they become skilled at a procedure. This repeated exposure to a controlled learning scenario can enhance skill retention and boost students' confidence in their abilities.

In conjunction with elements like high-tech medical manikins, virtual reality can enhance nursing labs. Practice and repetition help students gain confidence and perform treatments calmly and effectively in any situation.

Developing Interpersonal Skills

Although nursing VR scenarios are artificial, they can closely mimic human behavior and responses. This includes patients communicating their symptoms but can also include hiding or withholding important information. Students practice their communication and interpersonal skills when dealing with these situations and interacting with virtual patients.

Students need to learn essential nursing skills early on to build a strong foundation for their careers, as they will use these skills daily. Every bit of learning counts, especially in an accelerated nursing program like Felician’s. It can be completed in 16 or 18 months (depending on the delivery option), so it’s crucial to fit in as much education as possible.

school nurse sitting with child patient

By responding to a virtual patient's questions, concerns, or fears, students develop their ability to have sensitive conversations, break down complex medical jargon into comprehensible information, deal with patient fears, and build a rapport with patients — all before beginning clinical placements with real-world patients.

Providing a Uniquely Interactive Medium

The distinguishing feature of virtual reality is its highly interactive nature. It propels nursing students from being passive receivers of information to active participants in their learning journey. Virtual reality offers instant feedback to students, helping them improve through a loop of action and evaluation. Students can quickly fix mistakes with help from their instructor’s direct feedback, creating a better environment for improvement.

woman sitting on couch with laptop

Want to learn more about what an ABSN program looks like? Read our guide to online nursing education.

Ready to Pursue a Nursing Degree with Help from Virtual Reality?

Using virtual reality in your nursing education can give you a professional advantage, whether you’re starting or advancing your career. It's about equipping yourself with the critical skills necessary to excel in an ever-evolving healthcare landscape.

Are you ready to embrace the future of nursing education? Contact us today to begin the conversation with an admissions counselor and take the first step toward your next career.