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Can Virtual Sim Replace Nursing Instructors? 

I sure hope not. 

I’m just a virtual sim vendor, but I enjoy a unique vantage point most people in sim don’t experience until IMSH.  I get to regularly meet with a broad cross-section of hundreds of brilliant educators, sim techs, and sim center directors from all over the world.  

I listen carefully and hear their pains. I try to spot trends. I take notes. I offer our solution in hopes it can be of service.

What’s the scariest thing I see?  

Nurses and nursing instructor shortages are real, and rapidly getting worse.

What’s even scarier?  

Nursing schools increasingly see virtual simulation as a way to replace or minimize the need for instructors.  

If you’re in the trenches, you know exactly what I’m talking about.  If I surveyed nursing instructors, the majority would vote for automated virtual sim every. time.

They imagine students going off by themselves, talking to automated AI-driven patients.  Boxes are checked in the curriculum, beautiful analytics are reported, and everyone wins, right?

I’m not so sure, but I’m admittedly biased.  We took a different approach with Acadicus.  

If we were supported by institutional investors, they would demand we pivot toward building a library of canned, automated virtual sim.  It’s the fastest path to profitability, and what everyone wants, right?

Time will tell if we’re wrong, but we’ve remained 100% committed to our strategy, and we’re still growing faster than we ever imagined.    


20% is why.  

This is roughly the percentage of schools I meet with who see virtual sim not as a means of automating learning, but as an opportunity to provide better learning experiences for their students. 

They see it as a way to expand their offering, augment their physical sim activities, and explore entirely new possibilities.  They leverage virtual sim to substantially reduce costs, and massively increase access, while recognizing the important role of the instructor and live patients in this new frontier of simulation.  

They’re quietly establishing powerful use cases and demonstrating efficacy in a way that will lead and inspire future generations of nursing simulationists.  It’s truly a thrilling experience to be working with so many innovative educators toward such an important and timely cause.

Virtual sim isn’t just a short-term band-aid to minimize the role of instructors.  Established best practices matter.  Decades of research still matters.

Virtual sim presents a whole new world of possibilities waiting to be explored, and we’re just getting started.

If you want to chat or try out high fidelity virtual simulation, send me a note:

See you on the virtual frontier!

Jon Brouchoud

CEO at Arch Virtual, Developers of Acadicus

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