RPCC Nursing Students Get Virtual Reality Equipment

Published 3:10 pm Monday, December 18, 2023

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River Parishes Community College (RPCC) has innovatively stepped into the future of nursing education by integrating virtual reality (VR) into its LPN program. During the intense finals week, nursing students at the Reserve campus embarked on clinical preparation using VR. This advanced tool simulates real-life healthcare scenarios in an engaging 3D interactive environment.

Consequently, Lori Dimperio, RN, RPCC’s Nursing Coordinator, is thrilled with this shift. After initial exposure to VR, students are already looking forward to more immersive practice next spring. They are keen on sharpening their skills through consistent practice.

Furthermore, VR offers a risk-free platform for students to practice. James McCrary, the Director of Innovative Teaching & Learning, highlights VR’s safety and its measurable benefits. It provides valuable support to both educators and learners.

Moreover, RPCC has expanded its learning tools significantly. This expansion includes a state-of-the-art VR Sim Lab at the Reserve campus. The lab, equipped with over 50 ready-to-use scenarios, facilitates immediate immersion and effective evaluation of student performance.

Additionally, the VR platform is not merely for practice. It enables RPCC’s teaching department to develop customized VR experiences. These experiences closely mirror the unique healthcare challenges found in southern Louisiana.

Similarly, Gretchen Schmidt, Dean of Health Sciences, commends the VR simulations for their realistic portrayal of nursing tasks. Students leave the VR sessions feeling more prepared for the demands of actual nursing work.

Looking forward, RPCC plans to broaden the reach of VR learning. Starting in spring 2024, a pilot program will allow students to access VR technologies from home. Thus, they will be able to practice and connect with peers without needing a physical lab.

By embracing VR, RPCC demonstrates a strong commitment to cutting-edge educational experiences. These experiences not only benefit the students academically but also enrich the community. The college is excited to continue this trend, equipping graduates for the dynamic healthcare industry.

About Timothy Holdiness

Timothy Holdiness is a native of Louisiana and has been published in several state, national and international publications. He has earned two undergraduate degrees in Biology, most recently from Northwestern State University in 2022. Notably, Holdiness was the 2014 Microsoft Office Specialist United States Champion in PowerPoint 2010.

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