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Big 10 Practice-Ready Nursing Initiative

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Immersive virtual reality simulation in tandem with debriefing and clinical preceptorship prepares students to care for multiple, complex patients


Nurse graduates are not ready to practice in today’s highly complex and dynamic care environments. Yet, the ability to reform the current clinical education model is constrained by an understaffed and overburdened care system and limited administrative support, creating barriers to testing new methods of clinical learning supported by academic-practice partnerships. Bold interventions are crucial to transform how nurses are taught and evaluated, to ensure nurses are ready for safe practice.

What we are doing

Simulation provides an environment for students to practice without risk to patients. Like traditional clinical training, simulation focuses on caring for one patient, as few programs have the simulators, technicians, or space for multiple patient scenarios. Immersive virtual reality simulation (IVRS) will offer an innovative platform for students to care for multiple patients in a controlled environment with enhanced realism. This project will use IVRS for learning and assessment in tandem with one-on-one, nurse-guided clinical experiences and theory-based debriefing to teach quality care for multiple and diverse patients with complex needs. University of Minnesota will partner with University of Michigan, Purdue University, and two other Big 10 schools to test this model with senior students and its impact on practice readiness.

Cynthia Sherraden Bradley Assistant Professor/Director of Simulation, University of Minnesota
Clinical instruction throughout the pandemic has faced increasingly harsh realities. Practicing nurses are vital to helping students learn to provide care in complex care systems, but they are facing their own challenges of understaffing and compassion fatigue. Without radical change in clinical education, the revolving door of new nurses entering and quickly leaving the profession will continue. It’s past time to reimagine how we prepare nurses to meet the needs of the future.


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