Health News

Virtual reality simulation used to improve patient care and nurse onboarding at Nuvance Health

VR Simulation


Nuvance Health has launched a new virtual reality (VR) simulation program to enhance its innovative nurse residencies. This initiative provides new nurses the opportunity to work through challenging patient scenarios in a virtual setting, strengthening their clinical reasoning and decision-making skills.


“This is transformative and very exciting. We have been using VR for various types of skills training for a while but using it for scenario-based simulation has just started to become a reality,” Nuvance Health Director of Simulation John Leopold said. “Simulation is the safest and most effective way to strengthen the skills nurses need to provide high-quality care, but resources and logistical constraints can limit the use of in-person sim. VR helps overcome some of these hurdles, making quality simulation more accessible. It is also an engaging and fun way to learn.”


The pilot project is taking place at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Connecticut, and Vassar Brothers Medical Center (VBMC) in Poughkeepsie, New York, with plans to roll out across other Nuvance Health sites in the future.


VBMC is the first hospital in New York to integrate this VR platform into training for practicing nurses, reflecting Nuvance Health’s dedication to providing top-tier resources and support for its nursing staff.


“Watching the nurse residents at VBMC engage in VR simulation has been amazing. As they progress through scenarios, they become more comfortable with the technology and build their confidence in nursing skills, as well as critical thinking,” said Lisa Cerniglia, Director of Nurse Residency Programs and Nursing Professional Development Educator. “As an educator, I foresee it accelerating the transition from nursing school to the acute-care setting.”


“We expect VR simulation will go a long way in strengthening nurses’ ability to make clinical decisions, building confidence in their skills and expediting orientation time so they can get to the bedside faster,” said Endowed Chair in Nursing Practice, Education and Research Jasper Tolarba.


Along with Cerniglia and Leopold, Tolarba is spearheading further research into its effectiveness for newly graduated nurses during onboarding and orientation.


Learn more about research and innovation at Nuvance Health.