New technology is transforming the nursing industry, and nurse educators must keep up with these changes. This includes implementing virtual learning, a student-centered classroom approach, and web 2.0 technologies.
Other tech-driven trends include electronic medication administration and telehealth, which connect patients with healthcare providers in different locations.
Electronic Medication Administration
Today’s nursing students use various technology tools to enhance their learning experience and better prepare for clinical practice. This ranges from immersive virtual reality simulations to telehealth platforms. This trend will continue as healthcare shifts to digital platforms and artificial intelligence.
One example of this change is electronic medication administration or EMAR. This system allows nurses to document, store, and administer medications. EMAR can potentially reduce medication errors and increase efficiency in patient care.
EMARs must be integrated throughout a nurse’s career to develop practice-ready nursing professionals. This includes prelicensure education, nursing education advancement, and post-licensure programs.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs)
As healthcare evolves, nurses should know how technology impacts their training. From telemedicine to immersive virtual reality simulations, new nursing trends are constantly forming and changing how nurses learn and deliver patient care.
EHRs centralize a patient’s medical history, diagnosis, and treatment plans online and provide easy access for physicians to review patient records. They also offer several additional features, such as alert systems that notify providers of important information such as immunizations, medication refill requests, physician referral responses, and upcoming appointments.
While many experts agree that EHRs improve patient outcomes, they may also increase physician documentation time.
Patient portals tethered to EHRs allow patients to view their medical information, request prescription renewals, schedule appointments, and contact their healthcare teams. They have been shown to enhance patient engagement, reduce office phone calls, emails, and letters, lower medication adherence issues, and increase patient satisfaction.
However, studies have found that many sociodemographic factors are associated with low portal adoption rates. These include older patients, black patients, those with Medicaid, and those less educated. Healthcare organizations can encourage patient portal use by providing information on how to access the portal and placing information about the software in waiting rooms, exam rooms, and printed after-visit summaries.
Some physicians have expressed concern that patient portals increase their workload. These concerns can be addressed by designing portal message routing rules that minimize the number of messages sent directly to a physician. Alternatively, the practice can designate a nonphysician team member to field these messages and triage them to be acted on as needed.
Virtual Reality Simulation
Virtual reality simulation is a technology that enables nursing students to practice clinical skills in a secure and regulated setting. This helps to prepare nursing students for real-life scenarios and boosts their confidence in the patient care setting.
A student can work through a scenario with high-fidelity mannequins and a simulator that mimics their responses, like a code or a deteriorating patient. A virtual debriefing follows the simulation, allowing students to apply concepts, ask questions, and learn from their mistakes.
In the past, these types of immersive learning experiences were only available on campus.