Friday, 10 April 2020

Coronavirus outbreak: A turning point in nursing education

1. Assistant professor of nursing, Department of Nursing, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey.

2. Professor of nursing, Department of Nursing, Necmettin Erbakan University, Konya, Turkey.


We are a faculty member of nursing and are writing to you to raise the issue of current nursing education and put forward some solutions for this issue. The epidemic of the Coronavirus in the world in 2020 was a shock to educational systems in some countries in the world which cause a cessation in education. During this period the managers, faculties, and students fully comprehend the importance of distance education and the necessity of incorporating information technology in the educational curriculum. There is a popular fable about a penguin colony quoted by Kotter and Rath­geber in 2006. This penguin colony lived on an iceberg in Antarctica area for several years. But when they identified the problematic symptom of the iceberg, they eventually realized that the environment had changed and it is a need to modify and change how they lived (Murray, 2018).

The current health care system is dynamic and rapidly changing in line with modern technological breakthroughs. To keep pace with these trends, the nursing profession has to be vigilant and incorporate appropriate technologies, especially in educational settings (Nwozichi, Marcial, Farotimi, Escabarte, & Madu, 2019). The nurses of 2025 will most certainly work in a very different environment than what we work today and these trends require a shift in how we educate future generations for the nursing profession (Risling, 2017). We have to stop educating tomorrow’s nurses for yesterday’s jobs; now and tomorrow we are in an unceasing change; thus, con­tinuous adaptation is needed. We have to fully realize that tomorrow’s grad­uates will require a special arts background and have to contribute to soci­ety much more meaningfully by therapeutic re­lationship and creativity and give the mechanized responsibilities to the robots. If we continue to teach as we have done now, we will have to face and struggle with infrastructure shortage and global crises such as war, weather prolusion, and infectious diseases such as Coronavirus (Murray, 2018). So, curricular revisions are required to educate nurses to meet the challenges of the 21st-century (Tellez, 2012), (Darvish, Bahramnezhad, Keyhanian, & Navidhamidi, 2014), (Hunter, McGonigle, & Hebda, 2013) (Ainsley & Brown, 2009Krau, 2015).

These issues are not insurmountable provided that appropriate measures are adopted. Undoubtedly, the most effective way to iron out them is faculty engagement. To have faculty involved in this process adequately, managers should allocate a substantial amount of time, energy and resources to release time and compensate for those who participate in curricular revision. The faculty should receive training to become familiarized to effectively review the curricula (Tellez, 2012) (TOPAZ et al., 2016). Furthermore, they should try to create an atmosphere to promote students’ positive caring attitude and a love of learning for being informed and staying up-to-date on strategies to improve professional practice (Ainsley & Brown, 2009).

In addition to faculty engagement, preparing the atmosphere of the clinical setting cannot be denied. For the clinical setting, it is recommended that information technology become a requirement for all nurses to improve the quality of care. Creating some roles such as Chief Nursing Information Officers or other types of field informatics specialists at organizational or country levels is a good approach. For successful implementation, increasing awareness of information technology relevance and the representation of it at leadership, organizational, and policy levels is a prerequisite. One solution for acceptance is creating a clear relationship between nursing data and health outcomes and improved decision making by nurses in systems (TOPAZ et al., 2016).

Another challenge facing the integration of information technology in nursing education is the lack of support from administration and government. It is therefore recommended that governments should provide sufficient support for the integration of information technology in the various nursing institutions (Nwozichi et al., 2019). Deans of nursing programs were encouraged to create opportunities for faculty to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to teach nursing informatics, to provide the resources for infrastructure (Tellez, 2012). Creating more funding opportunities for information technology research at a government and other levels is highly recommended and existing research funding institutions should allocate information technology specific funds (TOPAZ et al., 2016). Increase multi-disciplinary collaboration and combine resources at the international level, among various nursing organizations, and integrate collaborative and multidisciplinary approaches is a foundation in this trend (Tellez, 2012) (Madsen, Cummings, & M., 2015) (Button, Harrington, & Belan, 2014).

In conclusion, we should assign a high priority to incorporate information technology into the nursing curriculum. A combination of different solutions such as faculty engagement, preparing the clinical atmosphere, and management support would definitely produce more desirable results. As the situation is serious, I request you to highlight it through your journal so that the authorities are sensitized towards it and do the needful. Thank you for allowing us to express our opinion.


Ainsley, B., & Brown, A. (2009). The impact of informatics on nursing education: a review of the literature. J Contin Educ Nurs, 40(5), 228-232. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20090422-02

Button, D., Harrington, A., & Belan, I. (2014). E-learning & information communication technology (ICT) in nursing education: A review of the literature. Nurse Educ Today, 34(10), 1311-1323. doi: 10.1016/j.nedt.2013.05.002

Darvish, A., Bahramnezhad, F., Keyhanian, S., & Navidhamidi, M. (2014). The role of nursing informatics on promoting quality of health care and the need for appropriate education. Glob J Health Sci, 6(6), 11-18. doi: 10.5539/gjhs.v6n6p11

Hunter, K., McGonigle, D., & Hebda, T. (2013). The integration of informatics content in baccalaureate and graduate nursing education: a status report. Nurse Educ, 38(3), 110-113. doi: 10.1097/NNE.0b013e31828dc292

Krau, S. D. (2015). The influence of technology in nursing education. Nurs Clin North Am, 50(2), 379-387. doi: 10.1016/j.cnur.2015.02.002

Madsen, I. , Cummings, E. , & M., Borycki. (2015). Current Status for Teaching Nursing Informatics in Denmark, Canada, and Australia. Stud Health Technol Inform, 216, 1016-.

Murray, T. A. (2018). Nursing Education: Our Iceberg Is Melting. J Nurs Educ, 57(10), 575-576. doi: 10.3928/01484834-20180921-01

Nwozichi, C. U., Marcial, D. E., Farotimi, A. A., Escabarte, A. B. S., & Madu, A. M. (2019). Integration of information and communication technology in nursing education in Southeast Asia: A systematic literature review. J Educ Health Promot, 8, 141. doi: 10.4103/jehp.jehp_240_18

Risling, T. (2017). Educating the nurses of 2025: Technology trends of the next decade. Nurse Educ Pract, 22, 89-92. doi: 10.1016/j.nepr.2016.12.007

Tellez, M. (2012). Nursing informatics education past, present, and future. Comput Inform Nurs, 30(5), 229-233. doi: 10.1097/NXN.0b013e3182569f42

TOPAZ, M., RONQUILLO, Ch., PELTONEN, L., PRUINELLI, L., SARMIENTO, R. F., BADGER, M. K., . . . ALHUWAIL, D. (2016). Advancing Nursing Informatics in the Next Decade: Recommendations from an International Survey. Nursing Informatics 123-128. doi: 10.3233/978-1-61499-658-3-123

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