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SXU Professor Named 2020 Nurse Educator Fellow


Saint Xavier University (SXU) nursing professor Tina Dorau, MSN, RN, CRRN, CNE, CHSE, has been named a 2020 Nurse Educator Fellow by the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) and the Illinois Nursing Workforce Center. As a recipient, Dorau was awarded $10,000 for the 2020 academic year to help promote excellence in nursing education.

Dorau chose to use the fellowship as a way to advance her knowledge in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), which are becoming increasingly used in nursing training and teaching. These immersive and sophisticated applications help students navigate and interact within virtual environments where information can be passed to them in real time.

 Dorau applied for the grant to help the School of Nursing and Health Sciences' (SONHS) simulation lab obtain AR head-mounted devices. In an AR device, the display is transparent and digital information is superimposed onto real-life objects. Dorau also obtained a new manikin to support additional simulation options. The use of the head-mounted device has been postponed due to COVID-19, but Dorau has agreements from two faculty members who are willing to do a pilot with the AR simulation head-mounted device in their courses.

"The use of AR and VR in nursing will have a huge impact on not only how we learn, but also how we interact with patients, especially in light of the current pandemic. AR and VR are being integrated into physical therapy and occupational therapy, and they are being used to mimic real-life situations in many fields," said Dorau.

The fellowship award has also supported her attendance at the International Society of Medical Hydrology (ISMH) Conference in San Diego in January 2020, where she presented her work in simulation and was able to attend several sessions that support AR and VR simulation. Additionally, the grant supported her attendance at the International Nursing Association for Clinical Simulation and Learning (INACSL) Virtual Conference, where she presented a poster on simulated health records. Her presentation discussed developing and integrating Google Forms as a simulated electronic health record into SXU's BSN program.  

"This technology provides a way for educators both in academia and the clinical setting to gamify education to engage participants more fully, promote critical thinking and enhance simulation problems. To my knowledge, we are one of the first schools in Illinois to adopt this technology," said Dorau.

Dorau is in the process of obtaining her Ph.D. in nursing, focusing on simulation and emerging technologies, especially AR and VR. Much of her work includes focus on aspects of nursing skills, educational modalities and simulation.