From next year, lectures at Glasgow Caledonian University will encourage the student nurses to test their knowledge and skills by entering the virtual world of Second Life and create their own online character, known as an avatar.
The student nurses can then assess a range of virtual patients which lecturers have programmed in advance with a variety of ailments.
Nursing lecturers hope students will use an avatar to explore the virtual hospital in Second Life and treating the virtual patients.
This will allow the student nurses to practice their theory in a safe environment without fear of making mistakes.
A university spokesperson said: 'As part of its innovative approach to learning, Glasgow Caledonian University has created a Second Life island, which includes a recreation of the university's state-of-the-art clinical skills laboratory.
'Avatars have been created to represent typical patients and they can interact with our nursing students' avatars to allow them to carry out patient assessments.
Each patient can be controlled by a tutor or by artificial intelligence and has a different history and reason for being admitted to hospital, as well as the ability to respond to a broad range of questions. The assessments are recorded and can be analysed later with the student's tutor.'