The Technological Transformation of Nursing Education


The world is changing fast. A virtual meeting is not just a fancy tool to be explored but an inevitable necessity after the pandemic. When we can conduct virtual meetings across countries without traveling, we certainly can provide consultation to patients located in remote areas.

The nursing profession is embracing the digital future by adapting to a world-class cutting-edge technological upgrade. Fundamentals of nursing care are demanding data-centric solutions, and real-time analysis of patient information to provide safe and quality care. 

Artificial intelligence and robotics are offering precise solutions to complex problems. The use of AI and machine learning enables us to locate information from complex data stored in clinical systems. Technology has advanced to a level where with the help of robots, surgeries are being conducted without human intervention. 

When the profession is transforming at a rapid pace, the related education should not be outdated. The technological transformation of nursing education has to be in line with the healthcare industry’s demands. 

Changing roles of educators and academic institutions 

Before the onset of the covid-19 pandemic, there was a severe shortage of qualified nurses in the US and the rest of the world. In 2020 globally the demand for caregivers and nurses shot up. Owing to the ever-rising supply constraints for nurses, educators and schools have to equip themselves to prepare future nurses in these challenging times.

The technological transformation of nursing education has to embed clinical simulations that resemble real-time scenarios. Nursing schools have to increase their capacity and admit more nursing aspirants on digital platforms that can prepare them for a future-centric profession. 

Machine learning or robotics can be used as a substitute for a real patient. Symptoms related to diseases can be created on robotic mannequins to assess the quality of the care and the response time taken by the nursing students. 

Some of the schools in the country are already setting up labs that mimic real-time clinical environments. This is a huge investment. But in future nursing students have to be prepared to enter the workforce, ready to handle the clinical pressure from day one. This is the only way a shortage of qualified and able nurses will be fulfilled in a couple of years. In short, there is no scope for on-job training for future nurses. They will be trained in simulation labs. 

The last few years have witnessed productive studies that recommend ways to overcome the challenges in preparing nurses to give safe patient care in an informatics intensive Healthcare environment

In the future nurses will be able to get any information they want on the fly. Information can be related to the best possible care that needs to be given to a patient, academic research, current innovations related to patient care, or simple patient-related data. 

The near future demands state-of-the-art care from the nursing staff. The only way nursing schools can meet this demand is by trying to incorporate a new approach to their education model. The current model of nursing education is no different from primary education which is good for young children. Adults who need to be professionally ready to combat challenges that can impact patients’ lives, need learning methods that can help them understand the reasoning behind everything they do. The teaching experts have to come out of their traditional roles and act as facilitators only.

Nursing schools should provide technological upgradations as an add-on course or certification for registered nurses- RNs who are already working, to come back to school to upgrade their digital skill sets in order to meet the telehealth patient needs

Though we understand the need to change how nursing education has been provided to date, one must also be aware that ever-changing technology and the need to keep abreast with it, is not free. Companies that develop health information technology products, will be expecting something in return from their academic partner or nursing school. Institutions availing such facilities provided by these companies should give them marketing preference by promoting the products at medical conferences. 

Covid- 19 pandemic has changed the way people work or study. Remote learning and virtual classrooms became a reality overnight for many of us. There were cases where people who could never handle computers, found themselves grappling with virtual platforms to conduct interactive classes for their students. 

Now that virtual learning is normal, nursing schools should adopt this change in every sphere. They can accommodate virtual classrooms for their students in both synchronous and asynchronous modes.

There is another challenge that should not be overseen by the academic institutions and the boards that are recommending digital transformation in the deliverance of nursing education.

The current educators of nursing schools are experts in their designated fields only. They are not information technology experts or people who understand technical jargon. How can we expect teachers to teach something they are not good at? The only solution for this would be a collaborative project between the academicians and the developers of help Information Technology software and products.

By working together on designing a curriculum that can change the way nursing education is being provided, the developers can step into the shoes of the educators while the educators can close all the gaps that will crop In a project like this. 

Change is constant

The potential of Artificial Intelligence and machine learning is immense and is currently in its infancy. Practical applications of artificial intelligence are already being used to decide on the most effective treatment plan for a patient in a given scenario. These results are being back-tested across many healthcare facilities across the world. Backed by data analytics and nursing Informatics, the results are accurate with a quick response rate.

The end-user and the beneficiary of these AI solutions are patients. Their lives are changed for the better with these precise and fast solutions. So adopting new changes in nursing education is imperative for all the stakeholders. 

Automated optimum solutions in the healthcare industry without human error are not a distant reality and everyone should be prepared to not just accept this change but continuously update it as well.


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