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Innovative Virtual Training Program for New Nurses Now Available

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April 26, 2010 - The healthcare sector has long been willing to adopt new technology to improve education and patient care, and now technology will take nurse training to a new level, as well.

Your Future in Nursing – a new training program that combines the interactivity of video computer gaming with real-life nursing scenarios – was recently unveiled by the Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future at the National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA) 58th Annual Convention in Orlando. The program is intended to prepare soon-to-be nurses for real-world work experiences and help develop the communication skills that are such a critical part of the transition from classroom to bedside.

“First-year nurse turnover is one of many variables contributing to the significant shortage of nurses in the United States,” said Andrea Higham, director, Johnson & Johnson Campaign for Nursing’s Future. “Understanding the needs and challenges of new nurses and supplying them with supportive tools and resources is key to keeping them in practice.”

The interactive training tool allows nurses to navigate a personalized 3-D nurse character through rooms of a virtual hospital. As they tour the hospital, nurses interact with animated characters representing individuals who will shape their first year on the job – hospital administrators, nurse managers, doctors, other nurses and patients and their families. Nurses work at their own pace to respond to real-life nursing scenarios they would normally encounter throughout the hospital. In addition to getting immediate feedback on each answer, each section ends with a video message from an experienced nurse mentor who provides coaching on the new nurse’s performance.

“I entered the workforce after graduating from nursing school two years ago and experienced several challenging situations that we didn’t prepare for or encounter in our nursing school clinicals,” said Katie Hungarter, RN, Hunterdon Regional Medical Center in Flemington, N.J. and a participant in the focus group of nurses that contributed to the games development. “This game really covers a range of real-world work scenarios that I faced during my first year, and new nurses who use the program will be better prepared for these pressures.”

Developed with input from new nurses like Katie, the eight virtual scenarios in Your Future in Nursing feature common incidents that new nurses may encounter on the job. The scenarios are as authentic and real-life as possible and range from feeling overwhelmed by patient care responsibilities to working with difficult co-workers.

“At more than 27 percent, the rate of first-year nurses who leave their jobs is high, and we believe this fun and interactive learning tool offers new nurses the support they need to make the transition from the classroom to patient rooms,” said Higham.

Your Future in Nursing can be downloaded in digital format by nursing schools, students, nurses and healthcare facilities nationwide at no cost. These items and other collateral resources are available at the Campaign’s Web site, www.discovernursing.com.

Source: Johnson & Johnson