Nurse educators are leading the charge when it comes to adopting new technologies. A 2017 Wolters Kluwer survey found a significant increase of new technologies used in nursing education, including 65% of programs using visual simulation and nearly half expected to use virtual reality within five years.
The increased use of new technologies in education comes in response to a shortage of clinical trial sites and demonstrates a progressive approach to meeting the demand for practice-ready nurses – prepared not just to pass board exams, but also to deliver hands-on patient care. Across the world, healthcare practice is becoming more technology driven. Digital learning is growing in popularity and with it, new and creative ways to engage students in acquiring, managing and using knowledge.
It turns out that nurse educators are adopting new technologies faster than those in general education. For example, adaptive quizzing models have been found to improve learning and retention of course content, according to a 2016 paper in the journal Nurse Educator. The high use in nursing education makes sense given the growing importance of technology in healthcare settings from Electronic Health Records (EHRs) to monitors, drug dispensers, and hands-free communications used throughout the day. Programs designed to prepare the nursing workforce have a clear goal in sight: improved outcomes.
In the next five years, it’s expected that innovative solutions will play a bigger role in nursing programs, including virtual reality for skills development, mobile app use, and, although at a slower pace, analytics tools.