60 new virtual simulations provide more innovative learning experiences for healthcare students

Ottawa, January 24, 2024 – On the occasion of the International Day of Education, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), in partnership with Simulation Canada, announced today 60 new innovative learning experiences added to its unique Virtu-WIL (Virtual Work-Integrated Learning) collection of virtual simulations for healthcare education. The addition means educators and students across the country now have free access to over 185 simulations to enhance curriculum and learning in nursing, paramedicine, medical laboratory technologies and, sonography a new addition to the project. 

All Virtu-WIL simulations were created by Canadian educators and are free for Canadian educators and students, and many are available to international educators. In one year of the Virtu-WIL program, the open educational resources were viewed by more than 30,000 educators, students, and community members; and over 4,700 students gained job-ready skills through Virtu-WIL while being connected with labor market partners. 

Virtual simulations are simulated clinical experiences to enhance curriculum, based on well-defined pedagogical objectives and clinical competencies. By leveraging the latest technology of this unique collection– including some simulations that use artificial intelligence and language processing, students, especially those with reduced access to in-person clinical placements, get to explore clinical scenarios, assess different situations, and receive instant feedback on their decisions.  

In an increasingly complex and diverse healthcare sector, virtual simulations help students feel more confident and prepared for the workplace and are indispensable resources for those seeking practical experience in their respective fields. The Virtu-WIL also creates sustainable, collaborative partnerships among post-secondary institutions, employers, and suppliers of technology. 

Access the full Virtu-WIL collection. 

This project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Innovative Work-Integrated Learning Initiatives. 


“The International Day of Education recognizes the importance of making inclusive and equitable education and lifelong learning opportunities available for all. In that context, we’re so proud of the innovative resources that have been developed to enhance learning through Virtu-WIL. The growing collection means more students across the country will have access to quality education in healthcare and will complete their training with the skills needed to respond to the challenges of the workplace.” Pari Johnston, President & CEO of CICan   

“The job market is evolving and becoming more digitized, and we must ensure that young people are equipped to do the jobs of the future. This is why we support Colleges and Institutes Canada’s Virtual Work-Integrated Learning program, that gives young Canadians a chance to sharpen their skills before entering the job market. By investing in partnerships between industry and post-secondary education institutions, students can build their resumes and make connections that will open doors to their future careers.” Marci Ien, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Youth 

“Virtual simulations are providing accessible, powerful, immersive learning opportunities. This project has been a tremendous collaboration in Canada’s post-secondary education and healthcare sectors. We are excited to see the release of 60 additional simulations, free for Canadian educators and students.” Timothy Willett, President & CEO of Simulation Canada   

About Simulation Canada 

Simulation Canada is the interprofessional, cross-sector, nonprofit network for the advancement of simulation in healthcare and beyond. We connect the simulation community, facilities, and resources across Canada and link to national and international stakeholders. We advocate for and advance simulated learning in education and in practice for the benefit of patient care and safety.  

About Colleges and Institutes Canada 

CICan is the national and international voice of Canada’s largest post-secondary education network. It advocates, builds capacity, and drives knowledge to strengthen Canada’s publicly supported colleges, institutes, CEGEPs, and polytechnics. With more than 95% of Canadians living within 50 km of a member institution, and thanks to its extensive reach around the globe, CICan works to future-proof communities in Canada and abroad. 

We respectfully acknowledge that CICan’s offices in Ottawa are located on the traditional and unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabe Nation. 


For more information: 

Katrina King 

Senior Digital Communications Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
Email: kking@collegesinstitutes.ca
Twitter: @CollegeCan