ARLINGTON -- Your kids have probably begged to play video games with names like Grand Theft Auto and Mortal Kombat, but how many would join you in a rousing round of iNurse RN?
Judy LeFlore of Arlington invented the instructional computer game to combine her student nurses' love of virtual reality and fast-paced technology with their need to learn standard hospital procedures.
LeFlore, associate professor of the College of Nursing at the University of Texas at Arlington, was awarded the $10,000 Bayada Award for Technological Innovation in Nursing Practice last month by Drexel University in Atlantic City, N.J., for coming up with the concept.
She has made it a priority to add more technology to the curriculum since arriving at UTA in 2003.
"It helps them to transition to the world they'll be working in," she said. "Even at the bedside there's more technology to nursing than most people realize."
The Bayada Award characterized iNurse RN as "a learning activity leveraging the interactive capabilities of the 3-D virtual world to create an environment that allows students to apply knowledge and demonstrate mastery of nursing concepts in a realistic setting."
The game simulates several scenarios of pediatric patients in distress. "There's even hands-on technology in the game," LeFlore said.
It has proven success.
The 108 senior UTA nursing students were divided into two study groups in spring 2010.
"We put half on the game and half in class listening to lecture," LeFlore said. "Then we tested them on life-size manikins in our Smart Hospital. The students on the game did a much better job, statistically and clinically, than the others."
LeFlore received a federal grant for the iNurse RN project. She assembled the clinical and instructional materials, then approached the University of Texas at Dallas arts and technology department, which developed the game.
"We're just trying to keep up with the kind of students we're getting," LeFlore said. "They're used to learning with technology, and we've got to be ready for them."
Shirley Jinkins, 817-390-7657