CDU Virtual Hospital receives funding boost 

Mock resuscitation of Beth Sheba after her car accident

TLDG's Paula Wilson films Beth Sheba getting a plaster cast on her arm by RDH physiotherapist Simon Drew

The Charles Darwin University (CDU) Virtual Hospital, also known as the ‘vHospital’, has received a significant funding boost from CDU’s Faculty of Education, Health and Science.

This investment will enable four additional patient case studies to be developed, and is in addition to the two existing patient case studies already being cared for by CDU nursing students, as part of their studies in the Bachelor of Nursing.

The CDU Virtual Hospital environment has been designed using a case study approach which allows students to assess, manage and evaluate caring for patients, from triaging them in the emergency department, through the patient journey, to treatment and discharge.

Associate Professor Isabelle Ellis, who has been working on the development of online learning resources since 1998, said the vHospital evolved from the need to produce authentic learning material for the nursing course’s many external students.

“The virtual hospital gives students the opportunity to practice their decision-making skills on realistic and complex cases before they are placed in a real hospital environment,” she said.

“Importantly, students get to watch as the consequences of their decisions play out.”

The vHospital production team recently completed a day of filming at Royal Darwin Hospital (RDH) to produce the third case study, Beth Sheba, who is admitted to the Charles Darwin vHospital following a motor vehicle crash.

During filming, the production team used resuscitation rooms, the general ward and the surgical ward as settings to ensure that the case was as authentic as possible.

Charles Darwin vHospital Project Manager Kara Burns said the staff at RDH were highly supportive and extremely professional.

“Graduate Nurse Educator Raelene Messenger made an outstanding contribution to the production day by providing her clinical expertise to guide the production team,” she said.

For more information on the vHospital project please contact the Bachelor of Nursing Program Manager Julie Hercelinskyj on 08 8946 6128 or email