Virtual Reality Simulation and Nursing Research Paper

Pages: 8 (2802 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 8  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: Master's  ·  Topic: Teaching

Students often have trouble engaging in their required class curriculum. Whether it be lack of motivation or discipline or both, students may not put forth the necessary effort to complete assignments and read chapters. Simulation/gaming strategies offer students options to learn, especially if they take online courses. It offers variety and a break from traditional learning methods (Cioffi, 2013, p. 83).

With newer technologies and invention of smart phones and inexpensive laptops, virtual reality simulation, virtual reality patient trainers, and other simulation/gaming options are available to teach nursing students the fundamentals of nursing. Therefore, schools, teachers must learn to engage the student in a more proactive and fun way. Various organizations from hospitals and universities have adapted ways to include a virtual simulation environment to educate medical/nursing students leading to positive results. The two organizations are Birmingham City University and Duke University Medical Center.

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Shareville a virtual environment developed by instructors at Birmingham City University, allows student nurses to learn from realistic, problem-based situations highlighting people with learning disabilities. Subsequent of the implementation of the innovative resource was an assessment of both student and staff experiences. Students stated that they enjoyed problem-based scenarios and that within this environment were sufficiently real as well as immersive. Scenarios presented beforehand offered unanticipated considerations, and delivered new insights by giving students the chance to practice decision-making in thought-provoking scenarios before coming across them in practice.

Research Paper on Virtual Reality Simulation and Nursing Assignment

The interface as well as the quality of the programs graphics were criticized; nonetheless, this did not inhibit learning. Part of the assessment that Saunder & Berridge share in their article involved nine lecturers that were interviewed. The researchers explained the lecturers generally felt positively to the resource. They also stated it helped in identifying strengths in terms of combined learning and cooperative teaching. The assessment contributes to considerations for learning via virtual or simulated reality, and identifies "process issues that will inform the development of further resources and their roll-out locally, and may guide other education providers in developing and implementing resources of this nature. There was significant parity between lecturers' expectations of students' experience of Shareville" (Saunder & Berridge, 2015, p. 1).

Another aspect of virtual reality are games of which the Duke University Medical Center chose to take part. Virtual Heroes presented a serious game titled 3 DiTeams, developed with cooperation from Duke University Medical Center and utilized to teach and enable medical training. 3 DiTeams as described by the developers is a first person game that offers multiplayer training application. The game places the user within a high-fidelity virtual hospital. "The training is based on the DoD Patient Safety Program and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Team STEPPS curriculum" (Ricciardi & De Paolis, 2014, p. 5). The game honors team-working actions and involves two phases. In the first phase, users are introduced to communication and teamwork skills. In phase two, users apply these skills on a virtual setup where the maximum of 32 players may play together.

Each user acts within his or her predetermined role. Such roles are doctor, nurse, observer, or technician and begin the game with a teacher-based mission briefing. Mission briefings focus on the upcoming patient. The instructor/teacher has the option to manually control the virtual patient's vital signs "in response to the player actions or can leave the patient control to the embedded physiology engine. Players can have a video playback of the scenario to observe and reflect on their own behaviors as well as those of the team" (Ricciardi & De Paolis, 2014, p. 5).


Virtual reality environments, games allows Duke University Medical Center and Birmingham City University to give students a learning tool that promotes other avenues of academic growth besides theory. This is because virtual reality environments offer communication with people in a team setting as described in the 3 DiTeams. They offer practical application in various scenarios as well as interactive guidance from an instructor. The scenarios depicted in Shareville also prepare students for real-world medical situations and gives them room to make errors and learn.

In a 2012 study, researchers explored the effectiveness of a virtual patient trainer. The results were positive suggesting benefits from implementing use of a virtual patient trainer. Virtual patient trainers not only offer convenience, but also ease of use and flexibility for medical students, especially nursing students.

Although the virtual patient trainer experience produced statistically better outcomes, the differences may not be clinically significant. The results suggest that a virtual patient trainer may be an effective substitute for the achievement of learning outcomes that are typically met using a traditional lecture format. Further research is needed to understand how best to integrate a virtual patient trainer into undergraduate nursing education (LeFlore et al., 2012, p. 10).

Another study utilizing virtual reality simulation or VRS saw favorable results. "The main effect of the virtual simulation was strongly significant (p < .0001). The VRS effect demonstrated stability over time. In this preliminary examination, VRS is an instructional method that reinforces learning and improves learning retention" (Farra, Miller, Timm & Schafer, 2013, p. 655). Students engaged more in their required learning activities through use of VRS. Students also learned more because of additional images, video, and diagrams that come from VRS-based curriculum. Learning games can be implemented utilizing a virtual reality simulation that not only entertains the student, but also teaches them.


Using simulation and games, faculty can offer interaction besides the traditional assessment and discussions. They can see firsthand how students react to potential scenarios by seeing how well they handle the virtual reality assignments and game missions. They can also tailor the information and level of difficulty to meet the needs of the student. This promotes a higher level of immersion for both the student and the faculty.


Although it may seem like a daunting process for an instructor getting used to interacting within a virtual environment, it just takes some getting used to. Familiarization with the interface of these programs and games will allow instructors to become at ease with using them. Participation in these virtual environments as the role of the student will allow instructors to understand potential hang-ups and hiccups users may have when first playing the game or using the software. In the end, practice and trial and error will prepare instructors to take on the addition of virtual reality environments to meet learning objectives.


Nursing Fundamentals through Virtual Reality Simulation.


Self: Customization of avatar

Exploration: Movement around the virtual world

Communication: Sharing ideas, course concepts, and information with others

Navigation: Examining and observing 3D content

Interaction: Utilization of 3D objects

Creation: Designing and creating a class project

Delivery: Handing in project to the instructor

Assessment: Evaluation of other's class projects

Feedback: Compiling performance and progress reports


I would teach an online course that has a virtual reality game that simulates medical scenarios. I will then tailor weekly interactions in the game for each student based on assessed skill levels and for students that score lower in the game, I will modify the gaming experience for them. Class projects will revolve in formulating a case study based on scenarios experienced in the game. Students will assess their fellow classmates' work and compile the results in a short paper. Assessments will only be one paragraph for each student (Green, Wyllie & Jackson, 2014, p. 135).


Feedback will come in various forms. The first will be initial assessment of skills to surmise level of competency. Then games will be tailored to the student's skill level. At the end of each week, they will receive a short survey asking if the experience within the game was too hard or too easy. Depending on the game scores of the week and the weekly feedback, the levels within the game per student will be modified. The games will have quizzes as well as practical application of theory discussed in PowerPoint presentations. Students that receive low scores will be assessed individually to see what they may lack and the game can be customized to include information for that.

Feedback coming from other instructors will come from in-class observations that they can take when they wish with information relayed after class either in person or via online communication. If it is solely an online class, instructors can ask other instructors to take over for a week (switch) to see if students are turning in their work on time and are able to show they learned the material. If feedback received is negative, instructors can ask the evaluating instructor to provide explanation for the negative assessment. These notes will be stored for future reference.


In order to evaluate feedback from nursing/nurse educator peers my chosen course innovation, I would ask them to play the game and see if they feel a student will gain enough information from the approach. They can submit their answers anonymously via email. They can also elect to tell me in person any changes they may make. They can also notify… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Virtual Reality Simulation and Nursing.  (2015, August 23).  Retrieved September 25, 2020, from

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"Virtual Reality Simulation and Nursing."  23 August 2015.  Web.  25 September 2020. <>.

Chicago Style

"Virtual Reality Simulation and Nursing."  August 23, 2015.  Accessed September 25, 2020.