MetaNurse Project funded by InnovateUK

In June 2021 there were 93,000 nursing vacancies in the NHS. It takes three years to train a nurse in the UK and costs up to £70,000. Currently around 17,000 new nurses qualify each year meaning it will take many years to address the shortfall.The government has pledged an additional 50,000 nurses by 2025 yet this drive for more home-grown means demand outstrips capacity, a problem exacerbated by restrictions under covid, limiting access to high-quality training facilities.

Simulations of procedures are an important element of training which allows students to learn by doing, practicing with real equipment in a safe environment. Patient mannequins are conventionally used but these are low-fidelity, expensive and do not allow for remote training. MetaNurse will address this by using mixed reality to simulate clinical procedures. Mixed reality combines VR with real-world objects, using direct hand tracking to enable simultaneous interaction with tactile feedback.

MetaNurse is a project in collaboration with the Faculty of Health and Social Care and Nudge Reality Ltd. We were delighted to get funding from InnovateUK for this exciting project.