Second Opinion

In this forum for discussing the “hot button” issues facing the nursing profession today, we welcome your thoughts and opinions. Check this space in each issue to see how readers answer the provocative questions we pose.

Our question this issue:
What are the essential components of a 21st-century nursing education?

The results:
(A) Complementary and alternative therapy knowledge (190)
(B) Critical thinking and problem solving (372)
(C) Cultural competency d. Empathy and compassion (253)
(D) Empathy and compassion (267)
(E) Experience with an interdisciplinary health care team (281)
(F) Leadership and advocacy (284)
(G) Patient care quality and safety (351)
(H) Professional values, ethical behavior, and civility (306)
(I) Scientific knowledge (295)
(J) Technological knowledge (330)
(K) Understanding of the continuum of care (263)
(L) Verbal and written communication skills (320)

Total Responses: 394

It totally amazes me that people (especially nurses) would not check ALL the criteria you had listed. To be a good nurse one must be well-rounded and open to all sorts of therapies and also to have good communication, leadership, technical, scientific skills. I truly am flabbergasted!

Mary Bier Wilson ’63

By 2014 all documentation, regardless of acute, ambulatory, or chronic care, will need to be done in a clinical electronic medical record format. Medical schools and residents are already having their students utilize PDAs and computer software for learning and documentation. This is going to have these colleagues critically prepared to make that jump to documenting and coordinating care within an electronic strategy. Nursing students need that same hands on thought process and critical thinking now. I am quite surprised at the low percentage of responses to this area.

Laura Nevill, APRN
Director of Nursing Informatics
Departments of IT and Nursing
Cambridge Health Alliance

Your survey lacks one of the most important critical skills for the nurse of today and tomorrow: informatics! Informatics, including nursing informatics, focuses on managing the data, information, and knowledge that all nurses need for excellent and safe practice. It’s important for nurses to be comfortable with the technical aspects of informatics work, but using a computer is a small part of what is involved in informatics practice.

You must include informatics (not computers!) in your next survey.

Kathleen M. Hunter, PhD, RN, BC
President & CEO
K&D Hunter Associates, Inc.

Informatics is a topic that is visibly missing from this listing. With the advent of the Electronic Medical Record, nursing students must have this incorporated into their studies. This is a must.

Sue Thomson, BS, CRNI, BC
Clinical Process Redesign Consultant
Wellspan Health Information Technology

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