Crisis in Competency: A Defining Moment in Nursing Education

Joan M. Kavanagh, PhD, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN; Patricia A. Sharpnack, DNP, RN, CNE, NEA-BC, ANEF, FAAN

Disclosures

Online J Issues Nurs. 2021;26(1) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Advancing the mission of nursing education for a future we cannot yet fully conceive is a daunting task. The rapidly changing healthcare landscape is an exciting world of innovation, digital transformation, and accelerated knowledge creation that offers hopeful, and infinite possibilities to improve patient care, safety, and outcomes. New data suggest a continuing decline in the initial preparedness of new nurses at a time when preparation is most needed. We must adapt and embrace pedagogies relevant to a new generation of learners. In this article, we first describe the digital disruption informed by innovation moving at warp speed, catalyzing necessary and long overdue change not only in healthcare, but in how education is conceptualized and delivered. Leading and promoting the paradigm shift needed for this change is not discretionary as nurse educators strive to enhance the competency of new registered nurses. Leaders in nursing education have initiated efforts to appraise the state of the academy and find approaches to lessen the transition gap, such as competency-based education. We discuss current trends at this defining moment in nursing education, and strategies to leverage the tipping point as educators mobilize to prepare future nurses for successful collaborative artificial intelligence-infused, clinical practice.

Introduction

The rapidly changing healthcare landscape is an exciting world of innovation, digital transformation, and accelerated knowledge creation that offers hopeful, and perhaps infinite possibilities to improve patient care, safety, and outcomes. The exponential rate of progress in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning, along with advances in genetics, genomics, and dramatic enhancements in wearable and implanted sensors, are pressurizing and shifting tectonic plates in every industry (Marx & Padmanabhan, 2021). In healthcare, the changes are massive and, in many instances, long overdue. Reforms include the move from volume to value; from process to a focus on quality and outcomes; from episodic to life cycle care; and from acute care to population health. This new world order shift from sick care to health care generates continued and critical opportunities for nurses to play a vital role in patient safety, advocacy, education, and leadership, regardless of the setting and focus of care.

This new worldorder shift fromsick care to healthcare generatescontinued andcriticalopportunities fornurses to play avital role…

In this article, we first describe the digital disruption informed by innovation, and the paradigm shift needed for change, particularly to address the continued decline in initial competency of new registered nurses. We discuss current trends at this defining moment in nursing education, and strategies to leverage the tipping point as educators mobilize to prepare future nurses.

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