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As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country and universities shifted to online learning, nursing programs needed a new way to deliver clinical experiences to students. Drawing inspiration from long-standing online nursing programs like the RN at BSN, universities have turned to technology for help.
What is a virtual nursing simulation?
Over the years, traditional nursing programs have used in-person clinical simulations, which place students in a real-world learning experience using interactive mannequins or standardized patients (actors who represent patients), with many variations between the two. However, the pandemic changed everything and nursing programs have come to rely on virtual reality simulations in place of their regular clinical simulations to provide meaningful educational opportunities.
Virtual simulations are valuable educational tools that not only provide nurses with hands-on experiences in a safe environment, but also allow students to effectively apply critical thinking skills and theoretical principles of nursing to better prepare them for a career in a real acute care setting. setting.
Take inspiration from 100% online RN programs at BSN programs
Online programs like Ohio University’s RN to BSN program have been using virtual patient platforms such as Shadow Health for years with great success. Shadow Health is included in two of the nine nursing courses required for the OHIO program.
These RN to BSN simulations allow online learners to participate in realistic conversational interactions with a wide variety of virtual patients. Learners improve their clinical and communication skills by interviewing, examining and treating virtual patients. According to Dr. Sherleena Buchman, assistant professor in the OHIO School of Nursing and Health Professions, a variety of technologies can be used for virtual experiments.
VR or vSim simulations in nursing courses
Often, universities have clinical simulation programs integrated directly into their nursing curriculum. Virtual nursing simulations (vSim) are a platform that more universities have adopted during the pandemic to help develop clinical judgment skills in a realistic virtual environment, Dr Buchman says.
Cine-VR, a 360 virtual reality video simulation experience that uses the same clinical simulation principles, is a popular nursing tool. This way, students can see and hear someone in need, rather than using a mannequin.
“One example is administering NARCAN to a student who overdosed in a dorm,” said Dr Buchman. “The learners are immersed in the virtual dormitory, which is visualized through virtual reality glasses, and are able to turn 360 degrees and see what is happening all around them. Additional Cine-VR simulations include two more opioid-related scenarios and a three-part experience of caring for a patient with Parkinson’s disease.
Why is simulation important in nursing?
Simulation is important for nursing because it provides the safe learning environment that students need. “They are able to ask questions, make mistakes and learn from them without harming a patient,” says Dr. Buchman.
“There are many possibilities for using virtual and augmented realities in nursing education. Our profession as a whole is just beginning to understand the potential of this type of learning, ”explained Dr Buchman. “VSim helps learners to develop confidence in their knowledge, skills and attitudes of their profession, which is extremely important in the field of nursing. “
Nursing electronic simulated health records (EHRs)
Electronic health records are an essential part of simulations. Nursing students who graduate from BSN online or in person can expect not only to learn about electronic health records, but to put them into practice as well. Nurses must document everything they do on a daily basis.
“There is a famous saying in nursing, ‘If it hasn’t been documented, it hasn’t happened.’ As vSim and Cine-VR are realistic nursing scenarios, it is important for learners to develop the skills of mapping and understanding the electronic health record. said Buchman.
What to expect from a BSN program
The course requirements for BSN students, whether online or on campus, are guided by the National Council of State Boards of Nursing, Quality Safety, Nursing Education, and are built around the nine BSN Essentials of the American Academy of Colleges of Nursing. Ohio University’s RN to BSN Diploma is designed for working adults and offers 100% online courses, 5-week sessions, and affordable tuition under $ 7,600 for all nine nursing courses required of the program.
Interested in learning more about an RN to BSN degree online? Visit ohio.edu/rn-to-bsn.