How To Upgrade Your Skills As A Nurse In A Digital Age?

Nurses diligently recorded patient information data in chronological order in paper format. Accurately filling in every piece of information about a patient’s clinical and medical record was done by nurses long before the advent of computers or electronic media in the healthcare industry. The clinical skills for nurses are supplemented with the use of informatics that help to remove any barriers in a nursing workflow.

The healthcare industry, hospitals and clinics around the world are opting for a better management system for electronic health records (EHR). A good EHR can improve the clinical environment for the nurses and provide a better experience for the patients.


Although the handwriting of patient data was a common practice among nurses, the information was only recorded electronically among nationwide hospitals and clinics a decade after the advent of the twenty-first century.

Nurses across the healthcare industry have begun using a data-driven approach to provide better patient care. This transition was also possible when the federal government made it necessary for the healthcare community to provide complete and accurate information on medical records that can be accessed even by individual patients.

Under the provisions of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH)., Health Information Technology (HIT) training and development received awards. HIT enablers have received help and grants while those who do not comply are penalized.

Nursing is a profession where one meets old and new. In some clinical settings, the workforce can vary over four decades. While the new nurses may have better digital skills due to their schooling, the old but experienced nurses may find it difficult to understand the use of technology. But as hospitals actively train, develop and engage nurses of all frameworks in EHR system design and other IT-related decisions, the obstacles facing nursing in the digital age will be overcome.

Now that we know that it’s the only outcome for nurses to be in sync with a digital future, let’s look at how to upgrade your skills as a nurse in a digital age.


Explore teaching or nursing courses that offer a certification program for nursing-related information technology. Many online courses offer digital skills required in the clinical or nursing profession. You can sign up for an online program if you are already working as a Registered Nurse (RN) practitioner, who cannot find time and can understand everything at your own pace. Look out for opportunities in a bridge program that offers information technology as course credit.

Colleges, universities and online education providers teach basic computer skills like MS-Office suite, familiarity with using Google products like Google Drive to store and access information, use virtual meeting platforms as part of their course credits. Earn this credit even if it is offered as an extra one. This will be an essential skill forward for every nurse.

Vocational training opportunities

The healthcare industry is obliged to maintain the clinical informatics and patient data in the form of Electronic Health Records (EHR), both by the federal government through the enactment of the HITECH Act in 2009 and the requirements of demands of the world population. The health care community enablers digitize the hospital record management system and even provide on-the-job training to existing nursing staff.

When a nurse encounters a training and development opportunity offered by the workplace, they must seize it. This training is comprehensive and is offered in a clinical setting. One does not have to go out of your way to use these learning opportunities.

Such on-the-job training will provide hands-on experience in real-time or simulated environments so that the learning nurses can understand the procedure and implement the knowledge. Some of the common topics covered in this training are –

  • Electronic Health Record: – How to enter data and access it in EHR instead of documenting the prescription and diagnostic results of a patient in a paper-based system.
  • Use of electronically controlled monitors and devices that minimize delays, provide accurate patient vital signals, and enable rapid response in critical care.
  • Use simple tools like Excel, Word and PowerPoint to store and access information from the enterprise software
  • Use the Internet to navigate portals and related links to source related information
  • Use meeting platforms like Skype, Zoom or Google Meet to enable virtual meetings with patients
  • Retrains to understand software upgrades or updates.


Get comfortable with social media

Social media platforms like facebook and instagram are used by everyone to showcase skills and knowledge of their chosen profession, hobby or career. Nurses are not behind and are making good progress with it. It can be a boon for a self-taught nurse who wants to keep up with the latest developments in healthcare research.

Experienced nurses blog consistently and share best practices in the field along with the latest developments in healthcare research. A nurse starting her career can follow the recommendations of experienced nursing leaders or clinical managers by following their instagram or twitter handles.

One can also check online medical journals and white papers about the latest advances in clinical practice. The information can be used by nurses to streamline their resources and learn what is relevant. Thus, instead of trying to delete ten different unwanted courses, a nurse can focus on two courses or certification that will help them succeed in the domain in which they want to gain expertise.

Nurses must be willing to upgrade, retrain and learn skills to embrace the digital future for the benefit of patients, nursing staff and effective management of clinical management. An electronic Health Record not only stores patient data and information in a paperless form, but also provides fast signals that help nurses focus on urgent medical interventions and provide good care to their patients.

Many other advances in the healthcare field such as telegealth is eventually used by the nurses to give the best care to their patients. Henceforth, the skills of a nurse will not be limited to their knowledge of the clinical aspect of a caregiver, but also of how deftly they can handle the technology. It is therefore in their best interest to upgrade their skills.

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