Northumbria University Leads the Way in Simulation-Driven Nursing Training

by | Feb 17, 2024

In the field of nursing education, Northumbria University stands out for its creative use of simulation-based learning in its courses. The university’s use of advanced virtual reality tools is changing how students experience healthcare training, by putting them in the middle of very real-seeming medical situations. This forward-thinking method is reshaping how nursing students learn and greatly improving how well they are prepared for their future jobs.

The Department of Nursing, Midwifery, and Health at Northumbria has tapped into the benefits of simulation learning with its SkillsFest program. This simulated practice placement is now a key part of Northumbria’s educational offerings. Made with help from respected partners, including NHS Trusts and the Nursing and Midwifery Council, SkillsFest gives students a chance to improve their clinical skills in a safe setting that copies real medical cases. The program uses detailed scenarios to teach a wide range of clinical skills based on actual challenges.

A group of 500 second-year nursing students took part in SkillsFest, facing a variety of medical cases covering different conditions and body systems. They dealt with everything from heart problems to childbirth emergencies, getting a wide range of clinical experience. Impressively, these students finished over 13,000 simulation sessions in just one month, showing the high demand and value of such learning experiences in nursing.

Feedback from the first SkillsFest has been overwhelmingly positive. Students praised it for the hands-on learning and reported a big boost in their confidence and clinical know-how. Oxford Medical Simulation, a partner, has recognized Northumbria University as a leader in nursing education and has encouraged other schools to adopt similar teaching methods.

Northumbria University has also received £300,000 from Health Education England, which supports its role as an innovator in the field. This money will help the university continue to explore new ways to use simulation and immersive technology in nursing education. By adding these advanced tools and methods, the university is making sure its students are ready to face the healthcare industry with skill and confidence.

Northumbria University’s work in simulation education has not only raised its own profile but has also started to change the wider field. Other schools are now looking to Northumbria as a model and trying to include similar improvements in their nursing programs. The university’s commitment to virtual reality and immersive learning has set a new standard for healthcare training in the UK.

Associate Professor Barbara Davies has been key to these changes at Northumbria. Her leadership in the SkillsFest program has pushed the university to the front of nursing education. The impact of Northumbria’s work is spreading, as more places start to use simulation-based learning, which could change healthcare training around the world.

Northumbria University plans to keep leading in nursing education by adding simulation programs to both its undergraduate and master’s courses. By staying ahead in healthcare education, Northumbria is shaping not just how nursing is taught now but also the future of the profession. As healthcare gets more complex, the university’s focus on real-life training is becoming essential. Northumbria’s innovative path could lead to big changes in healthcare training, with effects that go far beyond the university itself.