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How Healthcare Disruptions Will Reshape Nursing Education

by  Daniel Weberg     Jun 1, 2022
HowHealthcareDisruptionsWillReshapeNursingEducation_blog_1200w630h

The healthcare system is ripe for disruption, and that disruption is happening whether it is known or not. Nursing educators must adapt their teaching techniques, incorporate new content and context, and prepare students for a very different future. This can be an overwhelming proposition as many educators have worked their entire careers in the old system. To educate the next generation of professionals to work in a system that does not yet exist seems daunting. Instead, educators should see this as an opportunity to create the nurse of the future, and that is exciting.

 

The Underlying Issue Leading to Disruption

For decades, healthcare systems have grown more and more fragmented. There are a billion apps, thousands of siloed health systems, professions that have grown insular, and data that does not pass easily between entities. All of this has led to a poor patient experience, high cost of care, and medical errors. Consumers are demanding something better and are willing to pay for it; therefore, organizations that have never provided healthcare are entering the industry with the hope to solve these consumer issues and tap into the billions of dollars spent every year in the healthcare industry.

 

The Big Disruptors

Amazon, Google, Salesforce, Walmart, and hundreds of other non-traditional organizations have entered healthcare for a chance to impact patient lives and make some money. Amazon recently launched a nationwide platform called Amazon Care to provide high-quality and technology-enabled care. Walmart is building clinics all over the country to improve access to primary care, and Google is tapping into medical records to try and find insights to improve care and operations. The location of care is quickly shifting to the home and the internet. While physical care will never cease, it will be significantly augmented by technology and delivered in non-traditional settings. In the future, care will be delivered anywhere.

 

Healthcare Education Mismatch

On the education side, teachers are still preparing the majority of students to work in a hospital or a traditional healthcare setting. This creates a mismatch between what the job market will be and how our new clinicians are being trained. If educators are creating nursing generalists that are prepared to take entry-level roles on a medical unit in a hospital, but Amazon is hiring nurses to work in telehealth and triage roles, they are only further contributing to the nursing shortage. The good news is that there are some ways educators can start to change their courses and curricula to meet this changing market.

 

Insights for educators

A great start to reimagine healthcare education is to look at the new nursing essentials from AACN. There are few major themes that educators can begin to incorporate into their curricula to support the nurse of the future.

 
Theme 1: Incorporating machine-generated insights into clinical decision-making.

With the rise of Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and big data sets, the care setting is changing rapidly. Nursing education needs to incorporate the skills and assessment techniques for clinicians to incorporate machine-generated insights into their clinical decision-making. That means teaching nursing students how to assess complex algorithms by evaluating the evidence of their validity or risking students taking one of two paths. The first path is that the nurse will blindly trust the machine, reduce their critical thinking, and potentially misuse the insights. The second path is that the nurse blindly rejects those insights from machines and misses critical data that could impact patient care. Without a framework by which the nurse can quickly assess the trustworthiness, relevancy, and accuracy of the data being presented they will not be prepared for the future of care delivery.

 
Theme 2: The rise of massive longitudinal data sets.

Up until now, much of how care delivery has happened has been based on episodic encounters and fragmented data. Now there is technology the size of wedding rings that can accurately assess blood pressure 18,000 times in one day. The data from patients and clinical encounters is now massive and longitudinal. The question that needs to be answered is who will help parse through this data to deliver quality patient care and gain new insights to change the trajectory of chronic disease. Nursing educators should begin to incorporate the skills of assessing large data sets into undergraduate nursing programs. Nurses are positioned well to be navigators and connectors to link new data and insights directly to patient care. 

 
Theme 3: New care settings

As discussed, the places where nursing care occurs are rapidly changing. Nurse educators must begin to prepare new nurses for roles that will primarily be outside the hospital. This means even eliminating some of the long-held clinical experiences that have been the backbone of nursing education for millennia. The market demands more specialization, ambulatory care, and telemedicine skillsets. Nursing faculty needs to seriously consider the structure of nursing education moving forward and potentially adopt a specialization or track approach to support the need for nurses with skills beyond the med surge floor.

 

Overall, nurse educators should see these themes of disruption as an exciting opportunity to build the future nurse. The education system is no longer relevant to the demands of the future healthcare system. Nurse educators must disrupt themselves to build nurses ready for the increasingly technological and connected healthcare system.

 

About the Author

Daniel Weberg, PhD, MHI, RN - Head of Clinical Innovation, Trusted Health, Nursing Faculty, The Ohio State University College of Nursing

Dan Weberg is a nurse leader and expert in human-centered patient design and simulation and healthcare innovation with extensive clinical experience in the emergency department, acute in-patient hospital settings, and academia over the past 10 years. Dan has held a variety of leadership roles, including nursing director, clinical faculty director, consultant, and has worked in settings such as direct nursing care in emergency departments, academic medical centers, large colleges of nursing, and private educational firms. Dan has extensive experience developing nursing technology strategy, collaborating with executive sponsors and key stakeholder groups, doing ground-up collaboration with frontline nursing and care delivery teams, and leading and influencing teams at the unit level, hospital-wide, and across health systems to lead and sustain innovative technology, informatics, and education change initiatives.

 

He earned his Bachelors in nursing and was in the first cohort to graduate from the Masters in Healthcare Innovation and PhD in Nursing and Healthcare Innovation Leadership from Arizona State University.  This makes Dan a chronic Sun Devil. Dan’s clinical background is in Emergency and Trauma nursing at Level 1 trauma centers in California and Arizona.  Dan is also faculty at Ohio State University College of Nursing and taught previously at Arizona State University in the subject of Innovation, Nursing, and Leadership.  

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How Healthcare Disruptions Will Reshape Nursing Education

by  Daniel Weberg     Jun 1, 2022
HowHealthcareDisruptionsWillReshapeNursingEducation_blog_1200w630h

The healthcare system is ripe for disruption, and that disruption is happening whether it is known or not. Nursing educators must adapt their teaching techniques, incorporate new content and context, and prepare students for a very different future. This can be an overwhelming proposition as many educators have worked their entire careers in the old system. To educate the next generation of professionals to work in a system that does not yet exist seems daunting. Instead, educators should see this as an opportunity to create the nurse of the future, and that is exciting.

 

The Underlying Issue Leading to Disruption

For decades, healthcare systems have grown more and more fragmented. There are a billion apps, thousands of siloed health systems, professions that have grown insular, and data that does not pass easily between entities. All of this has led to a poor patient experience, high cost of care, and medical errors. Consumers are demanding something better and are willing to pay for it; therefore, organizations that have never provided healthcare are entering the industry with the hope to solve these consumer issues and tap into the billions of dollars spent every year in the healthcare industry.

 

The Big Disruptors

Amazon, Google, Salesforce, Walmart, and hundreds of other non-traditional organizations have entered healthcare for a chance to impact patient lives and make some money. Amazon recently launched a nationwide platform called Amazon Care to provide high-quality and technology-enabled care. Walmart is building clinics all over the country to improve access to primary care, and Google is tapping into medical records to try and find insights to improve care and operations. The location of care is quickly shifting to the home and the internet. While physical care will never cease, it will be significantly augmented by technology and delivered in non-traditional settings. In the future, care will be delivered anywhere.

 

Healthcare Education Mismatch

On the education side, teachers are still preparing the majority of students to work in a hospital or a traditional healthcare setting. This creates a mismatch between what the job market will be and how our new clinicians are being trained. If educators are creating nursing generalists that are prepared to take entry-level roles on a medical unit in a hospital, but Amazon is hiring nurses to work in telehealth and triage roles, they are only further contributing to the nursing shortage. The good news is that there are some ways educators can start to change their courses and curricula to meet this changing market.

 

Insights for educators

A great start to reimagine healthcare education is to look at the new nursing essentials from AACN. There are few major themes that educators can begin to incorporate into their curricula to support the nurse of the future.

 
Theme 1: Incorporating machine-generated insights into clinical decision-making.

With the rise of Artificial Intelligence, machine learning, and big data sets, the care setting is changing rapidly. Nursing education needs to incorporate the skills and assessment techniques for clinicians to incorporate machine-generated insights into their clinical decision-making. That means teaching nursing students how to assess complex algorithms by evaluating the evidence of their validity or risking students taking one of two paths. The first path is that the nurse will blindly trust the machine, reduce their critical thinking, and potentially misuse the insights. The second path is that the nurse blindly rejects those insights from machines and misses critical data that could impact patient care. Without a framework by which the nurse can quickly assess the trustworthiness, relevancy, and accuracy of the data being presented they will not be prepared for the future of care delivery.

 
Theme 2: The rise of massive longitudinal data sets.

Up until now, much of how care delivery has happened has been based on episodic encounters and fragmented data. Now there is technology the size of wedding rings that can accurately assess blood pressure 18,000 times in one day. The data from patients and clinical encounters is now massive and longitudinal. The question that needs to be answered is who will help parse through this data to deliver quality patient care and gain new insights to change the trajectory of chronic disease. Nursing educators should begin to incorporate the skills of assessing large data sets into undergraduate nursing programs. Nurses are positioned well to be navigators and connectors to link new data and insights directly to patient care. 

 
Theme 3: New care settings

As discussed, the places where nursing care occurs are rapidly changing. Nurse educators must begin to prepare new nurses for roles that will primarily be outside the hospital. This means even eliminating some of the long-held clinical experiences that have been the backbone of nursing education for millennia. The market demands more specialization, ambulatory care, and telemedicine skillsets. Nursing faculty needs to seriously consider the structure of nursing education moving forward and potentially adopt a specialization or track approach to support the need for nurses with skills beyond the med surge floor.

 

Overall, nurse educators should see these themes of disruption as an exciting opportunity to build the future nurse. The education system is no longer relevant to the demands of the future healthcare system. Nurse educators must disrupt themselves to build nurses ready for the increasingly technological and connected healthcare system.

 

About the Author

Daniel Weberg, PhD, MHI, RN - Head of Clinical Innovation, Trusted Health, Nursing Faculty, The Ohio State University College of Nursing

Dan Weberg is a nurse leader and expert in human-centered patient design and simulation and healthcare innovation with extensive clinical experience in the emergency department, acute in-patient hospital settings, and academia over the past 10 years. Dan has held a variety of leadership roles, including nursing director, clinical faculty director, consultant, and has worked in settings such as direct nursing care in emergency departments, academic medical centers, large colleges of nursing, and private educational firms. Dan has extensive experience developing nursing technology strategy, collaborating with executive sponsors and key stakeholder groups, doing ground-up collaboration with frontline nursing and care delivery teams, and leading and influencing teams at the unit level, hospital-wide, and across health systems to lead and sustain innovative technology, informatics, and education change initiatives.

 

He earned his Bachelors in nursing and was in the first cohort to graduate from the Masters in Healthcare Innovation and PhD in Nursing and Healthcare Innovation Leadership from Arizona State University.  This makes Dan a chronic Sun Devil. Dan’s clinical background is in Emergency and Trauma nursing at Level 1 trauma centers in California and Arizona.  Dan is also faculty at Ohio State University College of Nursing and taught previously at Arizona State University in the subject of Innovation, Nursing, and Leadership.  

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