As we begin a new year nursing educators face many challenges. What are some of the technology issues of interest to all those who teach nurses?
- Need to incorporate electronic health records (EHR) into the curriculum. Documentation has long been taught but faculty now need to address how EHRs affect assessment and evaluation of patients. Additionally, students are entering clinical sites with a need to quickly adapt to various EHRs. Faculty must consider how to teach the principles of EHRs.
- Need to assure access to EHRs by students and faculty. In the past, no hospital would think to deny student access to the patient charts but with the advent of EHRs some hospitals are now doing that. Nursing administrators or staff development people who are faculty liaisons must understand that they must push back when an IT person declines student access to an EHR. Faculty must be clear about learning needs, how they fit the mission of the hospital, and that IT should not be in charge of nursing education.
- Need to plan how social media fits into your nursing program. While nursing students are heavily involved with Facebook and Twitter, how many nursing faculty even understand what they are? Remember when e-mail arrived and some faculty struggled to change the way they communicated? That is happening again with social networking. Nursing programs will need clear guidelines on how to use these media for external marketing and internal communication.
- Need to evaluate your nursing program's use of technology to enhance learning. Technologies that have strong pedagogical advantages are available to faculty at lower cost and are easier to use. Make 2012 the year you investigate how to use Wikis, Blogs, Podcasts, Photo sharing, and Social networking.