NESIM/VESIM Education Project

Education, NESIM, Second Life, Virtual Worlds on April 24th, 2008 11 Comments

One of the reasons it took me some time to get the blog up and running again is that we at Sand Castle Studios have been so blessed by being able to work on so many great projects in the last few months. 

You can view some of what we have been up to at our picture blog on Flickr.

There is one project in particular though that is very close to my heart.  That project is the development of the NESIM/VESIM technology. 

One of the very first people I met upon coming into Second Life was a nursing instructor who goes by the avatar name of markin Pau.  Even then he was very passionate about the educational uses for virtual worlds, especially in the field of nursing and health care.  At the time he was doing some work with the Ann Meyers Medical Center in Second Life.   AMMC only had a small parcel then and it was in the middle of a noisy lag-filled sim, so markin bought them a sim and had it developed and tried to give them a head start in achieving the goal of education in Second Life.  The head start paid off and AMMC along with markin began to collaborate with some great minds in the healthcare industry.  Eventually they were able to buy the island from markin, team up with Sprott Shaw College, and have since gone on to do some very interesting educational work in Second Life.  While markin found his work with AMMC fulfilling he wanted more.  He wanted to create a simulation tool that would be truly interactive.

A few months ago markin approached me about working on a project with him.  He had met another avatar, JS Vavoom, who was also a nursing instructor.  JS Vavoom is the avatar of real life educator John Miller.  John had a class already established in Second Life.  This gave markin the opportunity to test his concepts for a nursing education simulation tool later to be known as NESIM.  With this new opportunity available to him, markin commissioned us to begin working with him on the development of NESIM.   The task was large and we had only a few weeks to get it completed and in front of John’s students.  

Fast forward to current time… while we knew markin’s concept was innovative, we never could have predicted the amount of attention it would receive and the way it would change education as we know it in Second Life.  NESIM has been recognized by the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Nurseweek Magazine, and many other publications and blogs.  John Miller himself has become somewhat of a celebrity for his work using NESIM.  Other organizations have been inspired and are beginning to work on similar projects.

We at SCS are very excited to be part of the future of education in virtual worlds.  To learn more about NESIM and how it has been used so far, check out the these videos and subscribe to updates for future information.

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11 Responses to “NESIM/VESIM Education Project”

  1. [...] Castle Studios (SLurl) has produced NESIM, a cool nursing simulation in Second [...]

  2. Hi:

    I am Steve Kashdan and I am the Associate Dean at Northcentral Technical College. We are embarking on a second life project, and in our research we saw your nursing simulation and we are looking to leartn more about what you do and if you might be able to help us. We may be looking for someone to contract with to build a sims for us.
    We also wanted to know if we could gain access to their NESIM, or how we might use it.

    Please contact us at you convience.

    Steve Kashdan

  3. Hi,
    In a student-developed project, we’ve developed a medical clinic in SL, demonstrated for a potential client its’ use for resuscitating a patient suffocating from a nerve toxin (the deteriorating vital signs displayed in a webpage), and have unpublished data from a small controlled trial among high school students, about their ability to learn with this technology. We’ve extensive experience with Virtual Worlds for MD & RN educ., and may be able to help you. NESIM is new to me.

  4. [...] the fidelity of such simulations couldn’t be very high, but consider this snippet about the Nursing Education Simulation (NESIM): For sims like these, students wear a heads-up display, similar to those used by pilots, [...]

  5. [...] program is the Nursing Education Simulation, created earlier this year by a nursing instructor in Washington. The program requires students to [...]

  6. Gianna Borgnine says:

    We have had a lot of requests for information about NESIM/VESIM lately. I will try to do an updated post soon, but in the meantime.. if you are looking for more information, would like to use an unit, or would like your own simulation tool build feel free to email me at

  7. This article about the Nursing Education Simulation Project shows us the POWER of a single *dream*, because the people who started this never thought they would get as far as they did, in regards to this statement right here:

    “Fast forward to current time… while we knew markin’s concept was innovative, we never could have predicted the amount of attention it would receive and the way it would change education as we know it in Second Life.”


    Thomas Anderson

  8. [...] can come for training and demonstration of a virtual experience of a neurological disorder. The Nursing Education Simulation (NESIM), a simulation designed to train nurses, has been recognized by the Chronicle of Higher Education, [...]

  9. vanessa says:

    I too have an interest in VSIM. In fact, my research will be focusing on the learning outcomes compared to traditional learning classrooms in compar. to VSIM learning.
    I would love to find some software to use in my research as well as any information leading to potentual grant funding for this project.

  10. justine gliesman says:


    I am looking for some help in researhing various virtual simulation software programs. I am a MSN-education major and we have been challenged to find out costs of certain technologies and if the costs coincide with our hospitals budgets. Given that I am particulary interested in virtual simulation, that is what I chose. Is there anyone who can help me with this??


    Justine Gliesman

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