Apr 20th, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM


Nursing Students and Technology: Is Virtual Simulation Feasible?

Faculty Sponsor

Kelley Connor, MS, RNC and Maximilian Veltman, PNP, MSN


Purpose: Simulation learning scenarios are increasingly utilized in nursing education as a way for students to gain experience taking care of patients. Virtual reality is a developing technology where students can participate in nursing simulation scenarios. Student accessibility to virtual reality technology is a potential barrier for implementing this teaching-learning tool. This project will assess the technology needed for virtual reality nursing simulations and the technology available to students enrolled in nursing classes at Boise State University.

Background: There are several virtual reality platforms currently available for instructor-student use, however, Second Life is currently the largest and most well developed. Simulation scenarios can be developed for a traditional lab setting and modified to be used in Second Life. The learning objectives, scenario flow, and debriefing questions remain the same; it is the environment that students participate in that is different.

Description: Based on Second Life technology requirements, a survey was developed to measure students’ technology resources, their experience with Second Life, their computer comfort level, and some basic demographical information. Third semester nursing students will be asked to complete an anonymous paper copy of this survey. All other students will be able to complete an anonymous online survey from the department website. Third semester students were selected to complete a paper survey because they will be invited to participate in a Second Life nursing simulation pilot project in the fourth semester.

Importance: Virtual reality simulation scenarios allow for the creation of learning opportunities for students that are not possible in a lab setting. In addition, virtual reality simulations are not limited to students and faculty located in close geographic proximity to each other. In order to utilize virtual reality simulations, faculty must be aware of students’ access to technology and their experience with this type of environment. The results of this survey will allow faculty to better understand how the availability of technology will affect the potential use of a virtual reality simulation related to nursing education.

Funding provided by the Jody DeMeyer Endowment and the Boise State University Department of Nursing.