Can Your Nursing Skills Pass This Virtual Challenge?

This week the headlines have been dominated by video games, as Nintendo introduces the long-awaited and mysterious Nintendo Switch-which is great for taking heroes like Mario and Link on adventures. But if you want an adventure that puts you in scrubs and prepares you for the day-to-day challenges of life in the hospital halls, drop the Nintendo controller and check out Your Future In Nursing.

Your Future In Nursing is a nursing simulator created by Johnson & Johnson, and as the game explains in its introductory video, its purpose is to help nurses make the jump from life in the classroom to life in the clinic. The software (which can be played online or downloaded to your PC) “was developed with insight from a diverse team of nurses”, according to jnj.com, and helps identify some of the common challenges that nurses face when first adjusting to life outside of nursing school.

“The game is great because everywhere you turn you are encountering a different situation with doctors, nurses and patients,” says Katie Hungarter, a recent nursing grad who used the game to help with her transition. “That is the real life of a nurse-you don’t know what you’ll run into on any given day.”

To get a better idea of how Your Future In Nursing works, we downloaded a copy to take a look for ourselves.

For starters, don’t expect to see high-end graphics or amazing special effects. You play the game by navigating a “nurse avatar” from a third-person perspective (as if the camera is floating behind them instead of looking through their “eyes”) and each scenario you encounter is solved by correctly choosing a multiple choice answer.

They begin simple enough: within moments of starting, your character is confronted by a doctor for being 30 minutes late, and you must decide whether to make excuses or own up to your mistake. But the stakes quickly start to go up from there. In the scenario we tested, a patient needed a long list of procedures done, but our character was only comfortable with four out of five. The game helped us explore how we would address our limitations in this moment, what resources we would tap, and gave us the opportunity to think through the situation in a calm environment rather than in the heat of the moment.

As we exited that scenario, another “nurse” approached us and asked if we’d like to take a lunch break, suggesting we hand off our patients to another nurse temporarily. Thinking this was an obvious trap, we answered no, we’d prefer to keep working. But surprisingly, the game used this moment to remind us of the importance of mental and physical breaks during a long shift.

Throughout the game, a virtual Nurse Manager is available at any time to offer tips, and as you complete each scenario, you’ll be given a breakdown by one of several actual nurse managers who appear throughout the program.

Throughout the game, a virtual Nurse Manager is available at any time to offer tips, and as you complete each scenario, you’ll be given a breakdown by one of several actual nurse managers who appear throughout the program.

You can play the game by following this link. Good luck!

If you’d like to learn more about beginning a career in nursing, Unitek College has multiple programs and campuses to help you reach your goal. You can contact us here for more information.