Maria College opens virtual reality nursing hub

Maria College opens new virtual reality nursing hub

Students at Maria College will soon be trained with the latest technology. A grand opening was held at the college's virtual reality nursing hub, in its Center for Academic Innovation.

ALBANY, N.Y. (WNYT)- Students at Maria College will be able to use the latest in extended reality for training in nursing, anatomy, physiology, and human biology with the opening Friday of the college’s virtual reality nursing hub in it’s Center for Academic Innovation (CAI).

The CAI was funded federally as part of the 2023 Congressional appropriations package. Approximately $770K was used to purchase equipment, software, hardware, and monitors with the goal of providing top training for nurses.

“With N-CLEX pass rates above the national average, Maria College nurses are already among the best trained in the country,” said Dean of the Andrea Lewis Siek School of Nursing, Dr. Colleen Carmody. “We want our nurses to have knowledge and feel confident – and the Center offers a chance for both.”

New York is expected to fall short of 40K nurses by 2030, according to the State University of New York (SUNY). SUNY says part of the shortage stems from a shortage of clinical training placements.

Maria College said extended reality training will put nursing students in the best position to transition into clinical training with simulations being an essential aspect of training.

“The new technology that we now have available to deliver our nursing curriculum is a great example of the positive role XR (extended reality) can play in healthcare and, more broadly, in higher education, said CAI Director, Dr. Jason Coley. “I’m thrilled to be able to bring these tools to our students – and hope to also bring them into other academic communities through our mobile VR (virtual reality) labs.”