Bethany Cieslowski, DNP


Bethany Cieslowski is the Chief Innovation Officer for Immersive Technologies. She earned her BSN from the University of Virginia, MA from Columbia University’s Department of Biomedical (Nursing) Informatics and DNP at the Duke University School of Nursing. 

She came to Mason with several years of experience and training in simulation and debrief.  Prior to coming to Mason, Bethany was the associate dean of undergraduate programs at a local university and helped lead the program through the pandemic. She transitioned students and faculty to completely online clinical experiences using high-quality simulation practices. She received the Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator (CHSE) certification in 2017 and focused on using simulation and technology as effective strategies to educate the nursing workforce of the future.

In April 2016, she attended the Comprehensive Instructor Workshop at the Harvard Center for Medical Simulation in Boston. The training focused on the evidence-based, theory-driven approach debriefing with good judgment and the elements of a safe learning environment. Cieslowski integrates the concepts of a “safe container” into all learning experiences both in the classroom and the simulation lab. This approach enables students to experience learning to its fullest potential. She attended both the Essential and Advanced Instructor Courses at the Center for Medical Simulation at Harvard allowing her to take her debriefing skills to the next level for learners and faculty.

She has collaborated on several innovative teaching and research projects. Currently, working with faculty to understand the impact of virtual reality in education. In addition to the pilot study, she completed an integrative review to explore the state of the science on the prebrief required for high-quality VR/AR simulation. And finally, she developed the “reverse approach” to use VR in the classroom to engage and accelerate student learning. The reverse approach puts an instructor in the headset and requires students in the classroom to collectively care for the patient and family in the VR scenario. Moreover, she was instrumental in developing a VR Training Program based on the core INACSL’s Healthcare Simulation Standards of Best PracticeTM (HSSBPTM) to enable faculty and teaching assistants to facilitate and moderate VR simulation to ensure high-quality simulation at GMU. She is a past INASCL Research Fellow focusing her work on prebriefing the VR/AR simulation space. 

Cieslowski considers herself an innovator and a disruptor - slowly pushing the walls of nursing to build a better future.


Select Publications

  • Matto, H., Ihara, E., Cieslowski, B., Hines, D., & Booth, B. (2023). Virtual reality case simulation to build skill competencies in working with substance-engaged clients, Social Work Education, DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2023.2289452

  • Cieslowski, B., Craig, S, Gummadi, S, & Butler, K (2023). The Prebrief Time for Immersive Virtual and Augmented Reality Simulation: An Integrative Review. Nurse Educator. 

  • Cieslowski, B. & Haas, T., Kyeung M.O., Chang, K., Oetjen, C. (2023). The development and pilot testing of immersive virtual reality simulation training for prelicensure nursing students: A quasi-experimental Study. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 77, 6-12. 001.

  • Cieslowski, B. & Haas, T. (Published online ahead of print). Innovative Learning: Implementing virtual reality in a large class of prelicensure students using limited equipment, time and resources. Nursing Education Perspectives.

  • Landis, A. & Cieslowski, B. (2022). An Innovative Teaching Modality to Promote Proficient Gender-Affirming Care. Clinical Simulation in Nursing, 71, 26-30.

  • Cieslowski, B. & Haas, T. (2022). Accelerating Learning: Virtual reality in the classroom. Nurse Educator, 47(3). DOI: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000001149

  • King, S., Cieslowski, B., Pope, D., & Winkfield, D. (2022). Outcomes of an Innovative Best Practice Clinical Immersion Framework: A Pilot Study. Nurse Educator, 10-1097. doi: 10.1097/NNE.0000000000001219. Online ahead of print.

  • Want, D. & Cieslowski, B. (2022). Telepresence: An innovative teaching modality to enrich simulation and remote learning. Nursing Education Perspectives. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1097/01.NEP.0000000000001068

  • Want, D. R., & Cieslowski, B. J. (2022). Using Telepresence to Enhance Learner Engagement. Nurse educator47(1), 5.


  • DNP, Doctor of Nursing Practice, Informatics, Duke University
  • POST GRADUATE CERTIFICATE, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner, Duke University, Expected May 2025                                                                        
  • MA, Master of Arts in Biomedical Informatics (Nursing), Columbia University
  • BSN, Bachelor of Science in Nursing, University of Virginia