The goal of the project is to strengthen the capacity of graduating nursing students, new front-line nurses, and nurses returning to work to provide care during the COVID-19 health crisis.
Registered nurses (RNs) are frontline responders in the COVID-19 health crisis and critical to the effective delivery of health care services. Despite social distancing, COVID-19 has increased the need for RNs and will continue to do so. Retired RNs are being called on to re-register, and the graduating class of nursing students are being recruited to provide care in a non-registered nursing role. For many nursing students, however, the end-of-program clinical practicum experience and high-fidelity simulation labs have been cut short because of COVID-19. Moreover, they are entering a highly stressed health care system and are liable to receive less mentoring, orientation and support than is normally provided. They will also be facing advanced, high acuity, and high-risk nursing care demands that will be new to them and that carry exposure risks to the nurse.
Without additional education on clinical situations and skills related to COVID-19, nurses and patients will be placed at risk. We believe directed nursing education and training that can be easily accessed virtually is an essential service during this health crisis. This will enable new, front-line nurses to better provide care for patients with COVID-19 and better protect themselves.
We created a Virtual Simulation Series to support nursing students and frontline workers. The Series consists of multiple virtual simulation training modules for registered nursing students and new graduate nurses. These simulations are freely available and accessible to graduating nursing students nationally. They are available to nurses in the workforce wishing to refresh or update their knowledge. These virtual simulations are interactive, experiential learning opportunities that are easily scalable and accessible by distance for self-learning. They may also be used by faculty members in courses they are offering to students.