ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Maria College has been awarded $770K to develop a virtual reality nursing simulation hub. The college claims the project will help bring more-qualified nurses into the workforce in New York State. The project will be called “Reimagining Nursing: Virtual Reality Simulation Hub.”

“The Maria College ‘Reimagining Nursing: Virtual Reality Simulation Hub’ would not have occurred without the unwavering support of Congressman Paul Tonko and his staff, as well as the recommendation from Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gilibrand,” said Dr. Lynn Ortale, President of Maria College. “These leaders are committed to do the hard work to ensure our community is cared for. Maria College is taking the charge of alleviating the nursing shortage and as the largest producer of nurses in the area, we know that this project will mean more-qualified nurses in the workforce, allowing families and children to receive the quality health care they deserve.”

The project itself will allow the college to develop virtual reality (VR) simulation labs that can provide opportunities for students to gain interactive experiences in a three-dimensional environment. They can interact with the healthcare team, perform virtual clinical interventions, and receive immediate feedback, according to the college.

With the development of COVID-19, and more nurses enter the workforce, clinical placement rotations diminish. In turn, additional opportunities for students to practice essential skills must be created.