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Virtual Simulated Nursing Placement to Support Nurses and Midwives Worldwide

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Coventry University is set to play a key part in training the next generation of nursing and midwifery leaders in Uganda, the US and Ireland through its Nursing Now Challenge programme and the innovative use of digital technology.

In collaboration with Nursing Now Challenge members: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, MILCOT Uganda and Children’s Health Ireland, Coventry University will create and implement a new Virtual Simulated Nursing Placement (VSP) to improve the digital literacy skills of early-career nurses and midwives.

The placement has been made possible thanks to a grant from the Burdett Trust for Nursing of almost £100,000. VSPs are virtual environments created to simulate healthcare scenarios, recreating life-like challenging situations. The placement will help develop leadership skills among nurses, with a specific focus on digital leadership for early-career nurses.

It will allow participants to make independent and autonomous decisions in a safe, virtual environment and provide the opportunity to learn from role models, helping to build confidence. Those taking part will get immediate performance feedback and enhance their digital literacy skills.

One advantage of a VSP over a traditional nursing placement is that everyone will experience the same clinical scenarios, making it equal for all those taking part.

Nursing Now Challenge participants from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, MILCOT Uganda, and Children’s Health Ireland will be the first to pilot the placement, with the hope of one-day offering exchange opportunities to nurses having completed the VSP. Nurses will create it, with early-career nurses heavily involved during the development phase.

Professor Lisa Bayliss-Pratt, programme director, Nursing Now Challenge, said: ‘We are delighted to add this VSP to the vast eco-system of support that we offer to our members. We hope this project will facilitate and improve global partnerships and placement opportunities for early-career nurses and midwives worldwide.’

Coventry University assistant professor (health simulation) Abbie Green, who is leading this project, said: ‘We are excited to be collaborating with organisations such as Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, MILCOT Uganda and Children’s Health Ireland to develop this Simulated Virtual Nursing Placement, helping to provide early-career nurses across the world with leadership and digital skills.’

‘I would like to thank The Burdett Trust for Nursing for funding this project, which will offer real benefits to future health professionals. In addition to this placement, Coventry University is also currently developing a VSP to train nurses in Indonesia, creating realistic environments and situations to prepare participants for the challenges they may face in the course of their vital work.’

The project manager’s role is Ros Alstead, a recent recruit to Coventry University, bringing a wealth of experience, having worked as Chief Nurse at NHS Foundation Trusts in the Midlands and South East for more than 20 years. She was an Honorary Professor at Oxford Brookes University and was co-founder and Chair of the National Mental Health Nurse Directors Forum.

Coventry University is known for its pioneering research in digital healthcare through its PgCert/PgDip/ MSc in Health Simulation. Global Healthcare Management and Leadership MBA are also helping to develop healthcare leaders.

Learn more about the Nursing Now Challenge here.

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