Technology in Nursing Education Sample Essay

Nursing Education

Abstract 

The paper has discussed the use of technology in nursing education. The various areas where technology has been deployed include distance learning and clinical training. The two forms of deploying technology in distance learning are synchronously and asynchronously. Synchronous technology is preferable where students utilize archived presentations, because it is hard to schedule times where all students can be in attendance at specific locations. In asynchronous distance learning, students access the course material on their own time through partially web-based or fully online course. Nursing education programs deploy high levels of technology in segments requiring performance assessment and nursing practice. Inadequate funds and lack of time to train the nursing faculty were the main hindrances to attaining the objectives of deploying technology in nursing education.

Introduction 

In an extremely busy and interconnected world, students expect technology to satisfy their needs quickly, be feasible and customized to meet their requirements. According to De Veer, Fleuren, Bekkema, & Francke (2011), technology assists in delivering these fulfillments by putting power in the students’ hands. The significances of technology are very obvious in the field of nursing, nurses are only involved in when there is a need, and patients can feel empowered and remain where they are comfortable (De Veer, Fleuren, Bekkema, & Francke, 2011). It is the reduction of pressure on nursing students and health services where technology reveals its importance. In this regard, this paper discusses technology in nursing education.

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Technology has been deployed in nursing education to facilitate distance learning. Distance learning programs can either deploy synchronous or asynchronous technology (Overstreet, 2008). Synchronous technology is preferable where students utilize archived presentations, because it is hard to schedule times where all students can be in attendance at specific locations. According to Overstreet (2008), fewer nursing education programs are deploying synchronous technology for distance learning. Examples of synchronous deployment of technology include video-conferencing that facilitates live presentation to be sent into and out of a classroom. This allows nursing students who are not present at the place during presentation to participate in the learning process. With video-conferencing via Interactive Video Network (IVN) and BioTerrorsim Wide Area Network (BTWAN) and web-conferencing applications being available, fewer education programs presently utilize video conferencing as part of nursing education (De Veer, Fleuren, Bekkema, & Francke, 2011). Video streaming, another example of synchronous utilization of technology, enables nursing student to view videos as it downloads rather than waiting until the whole file is downloaded to a computer. According to Russell (2008), video-streaming permits students to only view a video conference, but not participating, because it streams one-way.

In asynchronous distance learning, students access the course material on their own time through partially web-based or fully online course (White, Allen, Goodwin, Breckinridge, Dowell, & Garvy, 2009). In the survey conducted by Vogt, Schaffner, Ribar, & Chavez (2010), almost all education programs utilized asynchronous distance learning technology like Jansibar, E-College, Wimba and Moodle. The utilization of these technologies permits nursing students to be updated about what is or what is not completed. About 60% of nursing education programs utilizing asynchronous technology has discussion board (White, Allen, Goodwin, Breckinridge, Dowell, & Garvy, 2009). 

Clinical training technologies have also been deployed in nursing education. All education programs use low fidelity simulations and about 82% showed that they use some form of medium to high fidelity simulators. Students acquire ability and confidence in a safe learning environment (De Veer, Fleuren, Bekkema, & Francke, 2011). According to White et al. (2009), all education programs that have utilized simulators showed that the technology was very efficient.

In relation to the level of utilization, nursing education programs deploy high levels of technology in segments requiring performance assessment and nursing practice (De Veer, Fleuren, Bekkema, & Francke, 2011). On the other hand, education programs deploy low end technology in areas of investigative research and student delivered content. Successful integration of technology in nursing education programs requires both faculty and student readiness. White et al. (2009) found out that half of nursing education programs were perceived to have low percentage of trained faculty. Almost half of all nursing education programs consistently have students using PowerPoint, e-mail, classroom response systems, computer adaptive testing and online discussion boards. The utilization of these technologies by nursing students shows their readiness in using new technologies. 

Nursing education programs have showed that technology can be efficiently utilized. Most education programs, according to De Veer, Fleuren, Bekkema, & Francke (2011), show the desire to use technologies, which increase the number students to be trained. Compared to technologies, video-streaming is widely used, whereas video-conferencing seems to be the least used. 

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A research conducted by Vogt, Schaffner, Ribar, & Chavez (2010) showed that inadequate funds and lack of time to train the nursing faculty were the main hindrances to attaining the objectives of deploying technology in nursing education. Other hindrances to the deployment of technology are inadequate resources and student readiness for special programs. 

A crucial initiative to improving the deployment of technology in nursing education will be to identify technologies that are most efficient for limited funding (Overstreet, 2008). Nursing faculties can best accomplish this by building on the present technologies and on a program-by-program basis. In addition, methods that are efficient in terms of time for training students and faculty on the deployment of technologies need to be researched. The biggest hindrance towards greater dependence on technology in nursing education is training, funding and staff support (Russell, 2008). 

In conclusion, the significance of technology are very obvious, nurses are only involved in when there is a need, patients can feel empowered and remain where they are comfortable. Therefore, technology has been deployed in nursing education to facilitate distance learning. Distance learning can either deploy synchronous or asynchronous technology. Moreover, in asynchronous distance learning, students access the course material on their own time through partially web-based or fully online course. Clinical training technologies have also been deployed in nursing education. Nursing education programs deploy high levels of technology in segments requiring performance assessment and nursing practice. Most education programs show the desire to use technologies, which increase the number students to be trained.

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