Virtual Reality and Nursing

Second Life is an online virtual world where players can create avatars of themselves and perform activities, go to places, or see people that would not be able to otherwise. Imaginary University’s nursing program would benefit from the usage of Second Life and below are the reasons why.

Goals/Objectives for Technology or Service

Goal 1: Improve nurse/patient interactions.

  • The use of Avatars that react emotionally will increase the EQ (Emotional Intelligence of nursing students
  • Students will be better prepared for interacting with living breathing patients.

Goal 2: Become more visible to nursing students.

  • Increased library orientations inside and outside of the library
  • Students will have to go through the library website to get to the Second Life program

Goal 3: Increase student satisfaction with the nursing program and the library.

  • Students will be able to access Second Life at any time.
  • If nursing professors are not available, librarians will be able to help students if they need help with the program.

Description of Community you wish to engage

The current and potential nursing students (A.S. and B.S.N.) and professors of Imaginary University will be the primary users of the Second Life virtual reality program.

Action Brief Statement

Convince school administration that implementing a virtual reality program, specifically Second Life, for the school’s nursing program they will have a competitive edge with other nursing programs which will attract more students, increase library usage, and create more workforce ready graduates.

Evidence and Resources to support Technology or Service

Second Life will give Imaginary University the ability to create a multitude of virtual clinic environments allowing students hands on experience that they may not encounter while in class.  Also, “technologies such as virtual reality can play an important role in teaching clinical skills to the next generation of nurses – and without causing harm to their patients” (Virtual Reality Society, 2017).

There’s also a benefit to cost. According to Morgan, C. (2016), “The simulation technology costs around $5,000 and new simulations can be created in just four to six months, compared to manikins that cost $15-64,000 apiece.” The technology is much more cost effective and provides multiple students access to practicing their skills at varying times. This, of course does not meant the eradication manikins, but an extra tool to use for nursing students to use.

Virtual Reality in The Classroom

Getting Real? Using Virtual Reality in Nursing Education

Nursing Degrees Online Use Second Life Virtual Reality for Teaching

New Virtual Reality Technology Being Implemented in School of Nursing at Boise State University

Mission, Guidelines, and Policy related to Technology or Service

Mission: The mission is to to increase nursing student’s ability to practice their skills while increasing their participation with the library.


  • One must be student or staff member in order to use Second Life.
  • Students and staff must not share their login and password.
  • Students must attend a library orientation (in the library or in class) in order to use the program.
  • Access to Second Life will be terminated one semester after graduation.

Funding Considerations for this Technology or Service

The cost for a Second Life private region is a $1000 setup fee with a $295/month maintenance charge per region. Nursing professor will determine the amount of private regions needed for instruction. For funding of the initial setup, members from both the nursing department and the library will work on applying for grants. One such place that they can find funding is the Instructional Technology Council (further research will be required as membership is required to view grant options).  Once a grant is secured, the library will pick up the monthly costs of maintenance.

Action Steps & Timeline

Once the school President, Dean of Libraries, and Dean of Health and Human services give the go ahead, an implementation and training committee will come together during the spring semester (starting semester can be changed if needed) and will consist of:

  • Library Technology Director,
  • Full-time librarian,
  • Dean of Health and Human Services, and
  • A tenured nursing professor

The committee will find out what requirements are needed in order to use Second Life, how many regions they will need, and how to best to implement the technology within the library website. During the same semester, the committee will begin Beta testing the technology possibly recruiting students to help with the testing.

The committee will also develop the training schedule during the Summer semester  and implement the training during the following Fall and Spring semesters for the adjunct librarians and professors as the committee would best know the ever varying schedules of their staff.

If the President or either of the Deans are reluctant to move forward with the plan, those writing this proposal will take any criticisms in consideration and try again in the next school year.


Staffing Considerations for this Technology or Service

The Second Life program will not need staffing as students are introduced to the program during library orientation. After the orientation, students will have the basic skills needed to successfully use the program inside and outside the library.

Training for this Technology or Service

The nursing professors (tenured and adjunct) as well as full-time and adjunct librarians of the North Campus will be trained on how to use Second Life. These four professionals will design the training and training schedule that the adjunct librarians and nursing professors will receive.

Promotion & Marketing for this Technology or Service

Internal promotion of the program will happen the semester that students begin to use Second Life program. Outside of the college, promotion will begin one semester after Second Life has taken root. This way we can include student and professor testimonials in the promotional materials .

Promotion of the Second Life program within the college will consist of:

  • Library orientations held in a the library computer lab or in a classroom computer lab led by a librarian
  • Promotional materials such as:
    • Bookmarks
    • Flyers
    • Flat screen advertisements
  • Talking about it during student orientations
  • LibGuides

Outside of the organization, promoting will consist of:

  • Promotional materials consisting of:
    • Bookmarks
    • Flyers
    • Television and radio advertisements
  • Speaking and setting up booths and college fairs.
  • Having college representatives mention Second Life while speaking to high school students during site visits


Before the nursing students begin to use the program, data about student performance and satisfaction should be available as a starting point for evaluation. After the first academic year using Second Life, data about student performance and satisfaction will be reviewed alongside last year’s. If we find the technology is a success, we will consider expanding the technology to the rest of Imaginary’s Health and Human Services Department


4 thoughts on “Virtual Reality and Nursing

  1. How interesting! I had a class in undergraduate (an English class) that was conducted in Second Life. We had to submit assignments in the virtual reality classroom! I had never thought about Second Life as an application for education in the medical field. Thank you for providing this example. It seems like this proposal could really enhance a nursing program!

  2. I always enjoy learning about new ideas and concepts. I found your plan to be thought provoking and highly creative. It was well written, organized, and engaging. You have an awesome mind.

  3. This sounds really cool! To be so engaged in learning and real life scenarios would definitely help nursing students to be more fully prepared to enter the work force. Nice job, and great plan.

  4. Angela, I became familiar with Second Life during the Dickens Project and really enjoyed it, and your idea of coupling implementing it within the nursing profession is very creative and thought-provoking! Your plan is very well-laid out, too; nice work!!

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