Adapting to a Digital Future: What Nurses Need to Know


The role of nurses within the healthcare system cannot be understated. 

They are not merely healthcare professionals in uniform – nurses are key educators who impart knowledge to patients and families. They are significant advocates for the empowerment of patients in making informed decisions about their health. Thus, in essence, a nurse is a guardian of health. 

The impact of nurses transcends beyond the patient scope, they drive and push progress in hospitals too.

Results from a 2020 survey done by the American Nursing Association indicated that almost two-thirds of nurses (62%) experience burnout, and it’s usually common among younger nurses, with 69% of nurses under 25 reporting burnout. 

Being a nurse requires the resilience to withstand the unique pressure and day-to-day demands of the job. 

However, in recent times technology is developing at a pace faster than ever before. These advancements are apparent even in the nursing world. 

But, how can the healthcare system leverage these technologies to lower the stress rate on the existing system and its operations?

This article will cover what you need to know in the face of the current technological advancements. The question at hand is – what should nurses know? 

Robots to replace monotonous tasks

Delicate daily tasks such as medication management, disinfection, carrying medical devices from A to B, lifting bedridden patients, and navigating and greeting patients and relatives in the hospitals can be done by robots. 

Although these tasks are of high importance, they however come off as monotonous tasks. Monotony leads to a hypo-stress – a type of stress due to repetitive tasks.

Medical-grade robots such as the TUG robot and the Simeks robot have been developed to aid in the in-hospital transport of medical devices, drugs, laboratory specimens, or sensitive supplies seamlessly. 

The TUG  and Simeks robots allow nurses to spend a healthy amount of time with their patients instead of running up and down the hospital building. 

Other robots such as Moxie, Jibo, Pepper, Pato, Dinsow, and Buddy play are excellent examples that are shifting the paradigm in the practice of nursing. 

Robots to assist in drawing blood from patients 

It is no new news that a handful of patients have a difficult time when their blood samples are being drawn for lab analysis. 

Nurses, on the other hand, tend to get frustrated when patients aren’t cooperating for their blood samples to be taken. 

Researchers are currently looking at the potential of robots to assist in this regard. 

The Veebot, a robot phlebotomist that uses infrared light, image analysis, and ultrasound to detect a vein and check for sufficient blood flow before drawing blood is the first robot of this nature. 

This robot can single out the best vein with an accuracy of about 83% when compared to an experienced phlebotomist. This allows for a more seamless procedure for the patients and the nurses alike. 

In addition to infrared light, image analysis, and ultrasound in drawing blood, Augmented Reality (AR) plays quite a significant role in this regard.

The AccuVein is a leading robotic device that uses AR to locate blood vessels and has already been used on more than 10 million patients worldwide. 

3D printing to assist nurses 

3D printing is often used to create intricate scaffolds that mimic the structure of human tissues or organs. This innovation provides a great opportunity for nurses in practice as they can then use these scaffolds to illustrate complex medical terms and processes easily to patients. 

AI to assist nurses 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the transformative force of the 21st century and a big point of discussion. AI can serve as a risk stratification tool for various diseases. 

A company developed the Sepsis watch, which utilizes AI to detect patients at risk of contracting sepsis –  a serious condition in which the body responds improperly to an infection.  

AI can also help in intelligent patient monitoring. This enables nurses to monitor multiple patients simultaneously. It invariably promotes work efficiency and a comprehensive healthcare system for all and sundry. 

Voice assistance systems can be developed using AI. This can provide nurses with the unparalleled opportunity to make their work more seamless for example they can query the AI to retrieve information on patients or policies. 


There’s no denying that a digital shift is taking place. That’s why nurses and those currently undertaking a direct entry MSN qualification must learn to adapt to these changes as the World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2020 report on the State of the World’s Nursing reiterates the importance of adapting digital technologies in the practice of nursing. 

Financially, digital technologies contribute to the healthcare system at large. This is because the productivity of nurses is greatly optimized and thus miscellaneous costs associated with minor errors that nurses make are alleviated. 

Of course, it might take time for nurses in developing countries to get on this trend, but with time, nurses in these locations will get a glimpse of these technologies to bootstrap their workflow. 


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