Impact of Virtual Reality Simulation on New Nurse Assessment of Pediatric Respiratory Distress

Author(s): Dana L. Raab, MS, RN, CCRP, Kelly Ely, MSN, RN, CCRN, CNL, Keith Israel, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, Li Lin, MS, Amy Donnellan, DNP, APRN, CPNP-AC, Jennifer Saupe, MSN, RN, NPD-BC, CNS, Melissa Klein, MD, MEd, and Matthew W. Zackoff, MD, MEd

Contact Hours 1.00

CERP A 1.00

Expires Mar 01, 2027

Topics: Education, Pulmonary

Population: Pediatric

Role: Educator

Member: Free
NonMember: $10.00

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Activity Summary

Required reading for all learners: Implicit Bias impacts patient outcomes

Children often experience respiratory illnesses requiring nurses skilled in recognizing respiratory decompensation. Historically, recognizing respiratory distress relied on teaching during patient care. Virtual reality simulation may accelerate recognition among new nurses. To determine if a virtual reality curriculum improved new nurses’ recognition of respiratory distress and impending respiratory failure in pediatric patients based on assessment of physical exam and appropriate escalation of care. New nurses (n = 168) were randomly assigned to complete an immersive virtual reality curriculum on recognition of respiratory distress (intervention) or usual orientation curriculum (control). Group differences and changes from 3 months to 6 months after intervention were examined. Implementation of virtual reality–based training curriculum was associated with improved recognition of pediatric respiratory distress, impending respiratory failure, and altered mental status at 3 and 6 months compared with standard training. Virtual reality may offer a new approach to nurse orientation training in pediatrics-specific assessment skills.


  • Evaluate benefits of a virtual reality modality displaying realistic assessment findings in children with respiratory decompensation.
  • Identify the primary outcomes of interest in this virtual reality curriculum when assigning an appropriate respiratory status.
  • Explore the benefits and disadvantages of virtual reality education when compared to other types of educational modalities.

Continuing Education Disclosure Statement

Successful Completion

Learners must attend/view/read the entire activity, read Implicit Bias impacts patient outcomes, and complete the associated evaluation to be awarded the contact hours or CERP. No partial credit will be awarded.


The American Association of Critical-Care Nurses is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider number CEP 1036, for 1.00 contact hours.

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