Winston-Salem State University and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts have partnered to create a new virtual reality training program for nursing students.

The VR training was incorporated into WSSU’s curriculum in late April.

Chancellor Elwood Robinson praised the collaboration in a press release and cited its significance for the school as one of North Carolina’s highest producers of nurses.

The curriculum is experienced through a headset and users will be able to practice techniques and approaches in a simulated clinical environment.

UNCSA’s Dean of the School of Filmmaking Deborah LaVine says UNCSA’s role was to bring something technical to life through narrative storytelling.

“You give us the details and the expertise — telling us what nurses need to know, what the content of training needs to be, and we're really great at fashioning the narrative that can put that into play,” she says.

LaVine adds that the project is highly customizable. “Not every hospital, not every doctor's office, not every clinic needs the exact same information, and they have different practices. And the fact that this can be crafted in a way that suits a particular practice, I think is really remarkable.” 

Funding for the initiative came from a nearly $800,000 grant from the North Carolina Collaboratory.

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