July 14, 2023

Gamifying nursing education with a virtual escape room

Editor's Note

This study by nurse researchers at UNC Health, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, shows how technology can keep Generation Z nursing students engaged.

After receiving student feedback that lecturers for a new nurse residency program could be “boring” and it was “hard to pay attention,” a virtual escape room was developed by infection preventionists, using software similar to an interactive slide show.

The user acts as the charge nurse and must solve various infection-prevention related puzzles to reach the end of his/her shift.

After implementing the virtual escape room in May 2022, feedback showed:

  • a 26% decrease in the number of students who felt they needed more hands-on experience
  • a 30% increase in the number of students who felt they could perform job tasks at a fully competent or expert level
  • that the sessions were fun, engaging, provided new information, and were a great way to keep students involved.

The authors concluded that a virtual escape room can be used as a strategy to grab the attention of students and provide effective education that develops their confidence and independence.


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