Findings point to a hybrid classroom geared for digital learners with emerging and existing technologies
New technology is set to have a significant impact on the classroom of the future for nursing education, as indicated by the results of a new survey of nurse educators published today by Wolters Kluwer, Health. “Forecast for the Future: Technology Trends in Nursing Education” identified respondents’ plans for technology usage, adoption, and investment during the next five years and shed light on the barriers and opportunities related to those initiatives. This is the second survey of nursing school administrators, faculty, and deans conducted by Wolters Kluwer in collaboration with the National League for Nursing.
Post-COVID tech adoption
“Technology adoption was well underway in nursing education before the COVID-19 pandemic, but in transitioning to remote instruction, faculty quickly learned how diverse technologies can work together to give students an optimized, hybrid learning experience that they crave as digital learners,” said Julie Stegman, Vice President, Nursing Segment of Health Learning, Research & Practice at Wolters Kluwer. “Educators are now seeing how technology investment can help address several of the longstanding challenges they face including clinical limitations, assessing students’ cumulative performance as they learn, and developing practice-ready nurses. That is a powerful shift.”
The survey found that 73% of institutions went fully online at the start of the pandemic and those technologies that aid in remote learning all had significant increases in adoption. Nearly 40% of respondents said they plan to offer more online courses in the future, and many forecast a continuation of the investment in technology seen during the pandemic. Based on the survey data, the report predicts the classroom of the future will be a hybrid learning environment that is in-person and leverages existing and next-generation technologies including the emergence of virtual reality and augmented reality (VR and AR).
More VR, more adaptive tech, more security ahead
Additional key findings of the survey include:
- Virtual simulation’s role in nursing education will continue to grow with 48% of respondents indicating that they plan to invest more in virtual simulation over the next two years.
- Online learning, virtual simulation, adaptive quizzing, video for skills training and EHR applications will reach full adoption by 2025.
- Future learning environments will increasingly focus on secure exam delivery systems as institutions look to ensure the integrity of students’ test results.
- Respondents identified three key barriers to technology adoption: a lack of funding; challenges with student access to technology; and senior faculty who are opting to retire instead of adapting to new ways of teaching.
Scaling up the opportunity for future nurses
“The survey findings underscore the need for rapid and increased investment in, and adoption of, digital learning tools to support nurse faculty and help nursing programs create more opportunities to educate nurses,” said Dr. Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN, President and CEO, National League of Nursing. “The urgency is obvious with more than 80,000 qualified applicants turned away by U.S. nursing schools from baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in 2020 due to insufficient numbers of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space, clinical preceptors, and budget constraints.”
For more information, download the full survey report.