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Heidi Singleton

  • hsingleton at bournemouth dot ac dot uk
  • PGR
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Heidi's route through academia in the UK has led her to Children’s and Young People’s Nursing, a research field that she feels extremely passionate about.

"Blending evidence based practice with innovative ideas to engage and keep pace with the changing nursing landscape should be at the heart of nurse education.” The core of her work "focuses on how technology (in particular Virtual Reality) can engage and improve student nurses’ understanding of complex concepts".

Having joined BU as Lecturer of Children’s and Young People’s Nursing, Heidi brings a range of experience to the role. Having trained as a CYP Nurse at the University of Surrey, she worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Southampton School of Nursing. Next, obtaining a Post Graduate Certificate of Education and a Master’s Degree in Education, and is currently undertaking Doctoral studies at BU.

In her spare time, Heidi enjoys walking and Yoga.


Heidi is conducting a research study comparing the use of a virtual reality training simulation to traditional nurse education methods. The study has been chosen as a Fusion Case study and the link can be found here:

Together with diabetes expert Dr Janet James and diabetes specialist nurse Simone Penfold, Heidi focused on developing a patient case study to teach student nurses how to effectively treat a diabetic emergency – hypoglycaemia.

Hypoglycaemia is a medical emergency experienced by diabetics where their blood sugar drops too low. Hypoglycaemia was chosen as the focus of the work because an increasing number of patients admitted to hospital also have diabetes as a secondary condition so it’s becoming ever more important that nurses understand how to treat hypoglycaemia.

In the case study, a patient is admitted to hospital and then experiences hypoglycaemia. The patient’s condition deteriorates and throughout the scenario the student is given a number of choices and their decision affects the patient’s outcome. Technology company Daden worked closely with the BU team to create an app based on the case study that simulates the emergency. The software can be used on computers, immersive technology including Oculus Rift and mobile phones with virtual reality (VR) headsets to really bring the experience to life. The simulation was carefully created to be both accurate and realistic – the setting is based on wards at Royal Bournemouth Hospital that the student nurses have worked in and the software has replicated the same equipment used within the wards so the experience is familiar to the student nurses...


Heidi is a member of the BU iWell Research Centre

Journal Articles

  • McDonald, H. and Rushforth, H., 2006. Children's views of nursing and medical roles: implications for advanced nursing practice. Paediatric nursing, 18 (5), 32-36.
  • Rushforth, H., Burge, D., Mulee, M., Jones, S., McDonald, H. and Glasper, E.A., 2006. Nurse-led paediatric pre-operative assessment: an equivalence study. Paediatric nursing, 18 (3), 23-29.
  • Rushforth, H. and McDonald, H., 2004. Decisions by nurses in acute care to undertake expanded practice roles. British Journal of Nursing, 13 (8), 482-490.


  • James, J., Singleton, H., Penfold, S. and Holley, D., 2020. Virtual Reality can improve nursing students’ knowledge of hypoglycaemia; do students prefer immersive virtual reality to non-immersive virtual reality? In: Diabetes UK 17-19 March 2020 Glasgow.
  • Singleton, H., James, J., Penfold, S. and Priego-Hernandez, J., 2019. Assessing student nurses' knowledge of hypoglycaemia- the first step to improvement. In: Diabetes UK 5-8 March 2019 Birmingham.

PhD Students

  • H. Singleton. Immersive worlds, augmented reality and tools for learning innovation: an empirical investigation in the UK Higher Education context

Conference Presentations

  • NETNEP 2020, Singleton, H. James, J. Holley, D. Priego-Hernandez, J. Beavis, J. Penfold, S. Evaluation of a non-immersive virtual reality deteriorating patient simulation in higher education, 26 Apr 2020, Barcelona
  • Diabetes UK Professional Conference 2020, James, J. Singleton, H. Penfold, S. Holley, D. Virtual Reality can improve nursing students’ knowledge of hypoglycaemia; do students prefer immersive virtual reality to non-immersive virtual reality?, 18 Mar 2020, Glasgow
  • Café Scientifique, Singleton, H. Holley, D. Falconer, E. . A ‘wicked challenge’: supporting our students’ learning with new technologies, 01 Jan 2019, Bournemouth
  • Diabetes UK Professional Conference 2019, H Singleton, Dr J James, S Penfold and Dr J Priego-Hernandez . Assessing student nurses’ knowledge of hypoglycaemia- the first step to improvement., 01 Jan 2019, Liverpool
  • UCISA Conference, Singleton, H. Falconer, E. Holley , D. Engage and Educate with Virtual Reality: sharing our experiences of VR Deteriorating Patient, 05 Dec 2018, Birmingham
  • BU PGR Conference 2018, Singleton, H. Evaluation of the effectiveness of virtual, augmented and mixed reality technologies for learning, in higher education: a systematic review of the literature, 02 Dec 2018, BU
  • OER18 Bristol, Falconer,  L. King, D.  Singleton, H. Holley, D. Virtual Reality: the implications for open educational resources, 18 Apr 2018, Bristol
The data on this page was last updated at 04:04 on August 14, 2020.