December 5, 2011

Nursing graduate competencies in technology in 2012

While it's obvious our graduates are entering a practice world that increasingly uses technology, it is less clear how students are being prepared for such practice. Nearly all nursing faculty had their basic education at a time without desktop computers, electronic health records, and handheld computers. Faculty are expected to have clinical expertise in their specialty but how many nursing schools expect their faculty to have technological expertise? Most faculty develop their skills through experiences in their clinical sites or by attending conferences, but is that enough?

Accrediting agencies at both the nursing level and the general higher education level are expecting graduates to have skills in technology. Nursing has a long history of constant revision with curriculum. You curriculum revisions of 2012 need to focus on these areas:
1. What are the expected technology competencies of our graduates?
2. Are our faculty prepared to teach students how to use these technologies?

The answers to those questions will require debate, a commitment to financial resources, and faculty development. Those questions will not be quickly answered. It will take a great deal of short and long term planning. What is your department doing to answer these questions?

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