How to Make Virtual Reality a ‘Reality’ in Nursing Education

How to Make Virtual Reality a ‘Reality’ in Nursing Education

Interested in including virtual experiences as a learning strategy with your nursing students? Are you unsure of the process for including virtual experiences in your course? If so this session is for you! We will explore different virtual reality experiences that enhance learning and engagement. You will be taken on a journey to explore divergent ways to embed these virtual experiences within your course and nursing program. We will share with you tips and tools to support effective learning and student engagement through virtual modalities. You will leave with ways to optimize student learning in innovative and exciting ways.


Margaret Verkuyl, NP-PHC, MN

Margaret Verkuyl NP:PHC, MN is a nursing professor at Centennial College for over 16 years. Since, 2013, she has been a leader in developing and researching virtual simulations and interactive etextbooks. She created a number of virtual gaming simulations for nursing students which are embedded in the open access Virtual Healthcare Experience website.The simulations have been played over 800,000 times in 25 different countries. Over the years, the virtual gaming simulations won nine prestigious local and international awards. While gaining international attention, the virtual gaming simulations have become pervasive in nursing education globally. These experiential learning experiences reflect her personal teaching philosophy to engage learners in experiences and provide reflection opportunities to increase knowledge, acquire skills and develop clinical decision-making skills. More recently, she has been involved in numerous research projects related to the outcomes of using virtual simulations and how to embed them effectively in curriculum. Her research and work are disseminated through articles in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and presentations at conferences. Her research in simulation has been recognized a number of times, for example she received the 2018 INACSL, Research Excellence Award and this past year, one of her research publications was awarded the Society for Simulation in Healthcare: 2021 Article of Influence.

Michelle Aebersold, PhD, RN, CHSE, FAAN

Michelle Aebersold PhD, RN, CHSE, FAAN is a Clinical Professor at the University of Michigan School of Nursing in the Department of Systems, Population and Leadership. She is an assistant editor at Clinical Simulation in Nursing and a former board member of INACSL. She is also a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Michigan’s School of Information and an XR Faculty Innovator in residence at the Center for Academic Innovation. As part of a team, she has received grant funding from the National Cancer Institute to use simulation to improve the safe delivery of chemotherapy by nurses and pharmacist. She lead the development of a Virtual Reality Application called, Under the Skin, which focuses on improving the care for patients undergoing chemotherapy. She has developed 360 videos to support the care of patients who are Deaf or hard of hearing and she is also working on using immersive virtual reality and augmented reality to determine how those methods can be integrated into the practice environment in adult and pediatric emergency environments. She has published in the area of virtual reality and integrating simulation into the curriculum. She is well published, presents her work nationally and internationally and loves to mentor others in the field.