Developing an immersive virtual reality medication administration scenario using the nominal group technique

Kelly L. Rossler, Ganesh Sankaranarayanan, Mariana H. Hurutado

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Aim: This paper aims to describe how the Nominal Group Technique was applied to obtain focused content to develop medication administration error scenarios for future use to educate practicing RNs with immersive virtual reality simulation. Background: In the United States, medication errors account for up to $46 million in daily loss to hospital operational budgets. Each phase of prescribing, dispensing, administration, monitoring, and reconciliation is crucial in reducing potentially life-threatening outcomes associated with medication errors. Registered Nurses are responsible for safely administering diverse classifications of medications to patients in various healthcare settings. However, human and system factors can contribute to the exposure of hospitalized patients to a medication error. Virtual reality simulation-based education can be a methodology to educate practicing Registered Nurses on safe medication practices. Design: A Nominal Group Technique process was used to generate consensus from participating Registered Nurses on human and system factors that can contribute to medication administration errors. Methods: The process consisted of (a) preparation, (b) running the group with an introduction of the subject, (c) generation of ideas, (d) listing of ideas, (e) discussion of ideas, (f) ranking of top ideas, (g) voting on top ideas, (h) discussion of the vote outcome, and (i) re-ranking and rating the top items. Human and system factor idea items encompassed medication errors during ordering, prescribing, or administering medications. Both novice and experienced Registered Nurses rank-ordered these factors as those most likely to encounter or which would most likely occur during one working shift. Results: Descriptive statistics of frequencies and percentages were used to analyze the findings when grouped by human and system factor categories. Non-parametric testing with a Kruskal-Wallis test was conducted to compare the human and system factors by categories and years of Registered Nurse experience. Findings revealed that the factors of Time Management: getting behind, hurried, urgent (KW-H 11.2, df 4, p =.025) and Right Medication: medications have similar look and sound-alike names (KW-H 11.1, df 4, p =.025) impacted safe medication administration for both the novice and experienced nurse. Conclusion: The NGT process identified human and system factors contributing to errors and impacting safe medication administration practices. Findings will support the creation of medication administration scenarios for use with immersive virtual reality simulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103191
JournalNurse Education in Practice
StatePublished - Oct 2021


  • Medication errors
  • Nominal group technique
  • Nursing education
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Education


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