Technology in Nursing: Advances in Education and Patient Care

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There have been many exciting developments in technology in nursing. Some changes in technology in nursing education include online coursework, high-fidelity medical manikins and virtual reality simulations. In patient care technology, nurses use automated IV pumps, electronic health records and wearable devices. Similarly, telehealth services have transformed patient care.

nurse interacting with monitor

If you aren’t entirely satisfied with your current career and want to change, consider switching to nursing. Nursing is an exciting field because you can serve others in need and stay at the forefront of ever-evolving technology. Indeed, healthcare continues to evolve with new advancements in technology in nursing, both in the field and nursing schools.

Furthermore, nursing school may be more within reach than you’d think. If you have a prior non-nursing college education, you may be eligible to enroll in Madonna University’s hybrid Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program. In this accelerated nursing program, you could graduate and be ready to sit for the NCLEX-RN licensure exam in as few as 16 months.

Innovative Technology in Nursing Education

Nursing school looked like any other college experience in years past, except for in-person clinical rotations at nearby healthcare facilities. Students studied nursing theory in textbooks, attended classroom lectures, and developed patient care skills during clinical rotations.

Nursing schools have significantly transformed in recent years, with powerful technologies incorporated into the curriculum and teaching methods. In short, technology in nursing education has completely upgraded the way nursing students learn concepts and develop skills. As a result, nursing students today can enter the workforce fully prepared as confident, capable clinicians ready to use patient-focused medical technology in the workplace.

Hybrid/Online Learning

student nurse doing homework

One of the most noticeable ways that nursing school has changed is the ability to complete coursework and attend lectures online. In Madonna’s ABSN program, you complete all nursing theory classes online. You still need to meet all your deadlines, but you enjoy greater convenience with the ability to work through the curriculum from home.

No one can become a nurse entirely online, however. You’ll visit our ABSN Learning Site several times per week to participate in nursing skills and simulation labs, and you’ll work through clinical rotations at our clinical partner.

High-Fidelity Manikins

You’re likely familiar with the mannequins in clothing store windows, modeling the latest fashions. However, these bear little resemblance to the high-fidelity medical manikins that nursing schools like Madonna use. Medical manikins are computerized patient replicas that allow nursing students to assess various clinical situations and learn to develop appropriate responses.

The manikins even provide physiological responses, displaying changes in respiration, heart rate, and blood pressure. When programming a manikin, the nursing instructor can have it simulate cardiac arrest, for example, to allow nursing students to practice their responses. Nursing students can practice various procedures on manikins, such as administering blood, inserting catheters, and more.

madonna nurses with mannequin

Virtual Simulation

Virtual simulation is another exciting advancement in nursing technology. Using virtual reality (VR) simulation, nursing students can immerse themselves in a lifelike, computer-generated clinical setting. Here, they can practice interacting with “patients” and developing their clinical skills without the risk of harm to an actual patient. VR allows students to build clinical skills, improve their analytical reasoning and critical thinking skills, and gain confidence in developing nursing judgments in fast-paced clinical situations.

Cutting-Edge Patient Care Technology

It isn’t just technology in nursing education that has improved recently; patient care technology has also developed by leaps and bounds. Previously, for example, nurses relied on paper charts to see how a patient was progressing. They were often hampered by playing phone tag if they needed to collaborate with another provider.

Now, thanks to nursing technology, nurses can see a patient’s health records at a glance and easily collaborate with other providers. Recent developments in patient care technology have revolutionized how patients are evaluated and treated. The patients themselves also benefit, as many advances in technology have made it easier and more convenient to access the care they need.

Wearable Devices

Many patients have chronic health conditions that require close monitoring. These patients often benefit from advances in patient care technology, including wearable devices. A wearable device that connects securely to a Wi-Fi network can monitor a patient’s health status and transmit data to their healthcare provider, allowing providers to keep a close eye on changes in health.

Automated IV Pumps

Intravenous lines are essential for pumping fluids and medications into patients. However, the manual method is prone to inaccuracies and can lead to medical errors. In contrast, automated IVs, or smart pumps, can ensure that each patient receives the right amount of medication at the correct rate. This can reduce the potential for errors and help patients receive the care they need — all while lightening the workload for overworked nurses.

portrait of madonna nursing student

Telehealth Services

Telehealth has been around for quite a long time. If you’ve ever called a doctor or nurse to discuss the side effects of a prescribed medication, you’ve accessed telehealth services. However, technology has improved considerably in recent years, and usage has exploded. Now, it’s relatively common for patients to book a telehealth appointment for routine medical matters so they can be evaluated and counseled from the comfort of their homes.

Telehealth services are lauded for their convenience, but in some cases, they are essential. Many patients live in “healthcare deserts”— areas of the country lacking reasonable access to primary care, reproductive care, or other needed healthcare services. Telehealth visits can’t entirely replace in-person care, of course, but they help bridge the gap in accessibility.

Curious about telehealth? Find out precisely what telehealth nursing is.

Nurse speaking virtually to patient on tablet

Electronic Health Records (EHRs)

Electronic health records are one of the most significant changes in the nursing field in recent years. Instead of relying on paper charts — which are time-consuming and can feature illegible handwriting, thereby increasing the risk of medical errors — nurses document patients’ health histories, prescriptions, and other important information on a HIPAA-compliant digital platform. Moreover, healthcare facilities can more easily share these electronic records. This means it’s easier for patients to access care from specialists across different facilities.

In addition, EHRs encourage patients to become active participants in their healthcare. Patients can access their records through digital patient portals, enabling them to see their prescribed medications, documented health history, upcoming appointments, lab test results, and more at a glance.

Benefits of Using Advanced Technology in Nursing

There are considerable benefits to using various technologies in the nursing field. Some of these include:

  • Reduction in errors in patient records, which in turn reduces the likelihood of medical errors such as incorrect medication dosages or medication interactions
  • Improved efficiency in the nursing field
  • Better communication among providers
  • Reduction in geographic barriers/improved access to care
  • Enhanced patient engagement (e.g., through patient portals)

Overall, technology in nursing can improve patient outcomes — the goal of every nurse.

Madonna University’s Hybrid ABSN Program

If you’re excited to pursue a high-tech career and make a difference in your community, it’s time to look at Madonna University’s ABSN program. If you have a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or a minimum amount of non-nursing college credits, you could leverage that prior education to earn a nursing degree in as few as 16 months.

Madonna University embraces technology in our nursing program — from our online coursework via an intuitive e-learning platform to our high-fidelity medical manikins in our nursing labs that simulate clinical situations. What’s more, Madonna nurses tend to excel in the workplace because of the values-based education we provide.

Contact an admission representative today to find out if our ABSN program could fit you well.