Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) is partnering with the University of North Carolina School of the Arts to launch a new virtual reality training program to its nursing curriculum.

WSSU will be the first Historically Black College and University in North Carolina to use virtual reality training in its nursing program.

The nearly $800,000 project is funded by the North Carolina Collaboratory through an appropriation from the state general assembly.

Through the new program, nursing students will gain real-world experience by using virtual reality in clinical environments like hospitals.

Dean of WSSU’s Health and Sciences School, Leslee Battle, said that the training begins with knowing the fundamentals.

“We’re able to both use it as a learning tool for the students to go through… as well as an assessment,” Battle said. “For example, faculty can add a reminder in a session for the student to wash their hands when they enter a patient’s room; then add an assessment to see if the student remembers to wash their hand during another session.”

The curriculum was launched on April 25. The VR lab will be housed in the Center for Design Innovation.