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A gaming plan for nurse education

Booting up a videogame in class or at home might help students hone nursing skills, a new study suggests.

A group of Australian researchers looked at the ways videogame-based learning links to the development of decision-making, motivation and other benefits.

“Demand on the nursing profession to make clinical decisions about clients under strict time-restrained conditions leads to uncertainty and risk,” the authors wrote. “Such pressure is particularly evident in outpatient and community settings where nurses need to perform complex problem-solving activities involving clients with multifaceted disease processes within an ever-changing environment.

"While the precise mechanism through which videogames may improve decision-making is unclear, features such as multisensory stimuli, time limitations, feedback, and repeated exposure may have an influence in several ways."

The study’s authors added that although game-based learning potentially offers a safe and convenient environment for nursing students to develop essential skills, nurse educators are typically slow to adopt such methods.

Nursing Review spoke with co-author Dr Amanda Müller from Flinders University about some of the other bottlenecks to game-based nursing education and the learning potential of videogames.

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