The Innovation Advantage: Virtual Nursing in 2024
Virtual Nursing in 2024
Virtual care and telehealth have been around for nearly 30 years. Even virtual nursing has been around for over a decade now. What is new is that we are using virtual nursing for inpatient acute care and that 66% of chief nursing officers around the country are interested in pursuing a virtual nursing strategy within their organizations. Yet, these models take time to understand and apply to an organization’s desired goals and outcomes.
Launching a virtual nursing model requires a great deal of thought. Not every nurse is the “right” fit for virtual nursing. Based on our experience, a minimum of 2 or so years of nursing experience is required for nurses to develop problem-solving and assessment skills before putting them in front of a camera or computer to deliver care virtually (remotely). Ideally, this is a recruitment opportunity; not all nurses should be rotated through this experience. Due to its unique nature, virtual nursing requires training to provide patients with a great experience and for nurses to succeed.
Over the decades, virtual nursing has continued to evolve as a specialty, and in 2023, the American Medical Surgical Nurses Association (AMSN) created a certification for virtual nurses. Now, its Innovation Advantage’s turn to positively impact the ever-growing world of virtual nursing by creating the Virtual Nursing Academy™, which will welcome its first cohorts in January. This program teaches organizations how to create their own virtual nursing model so that this revolutionary care model can more rapidly become mainstream.
The Way Forward
Virtual nursing is here to stay to help with our workforce issues, improve patient outcomes and the patient experience, and enhance efficiency. Virtual nursing will become the standard of care delivered through various technology tools and platforms in a few years. Additionally, virtual nursing won’t be known as “virtual” nursing for long. In a few years, hybrid care models with some nurses delivering care at the bedside and other nurses providing support will simply be how we practice nursing.
Digital literacy is a concern for us in nursing. Technology adoption is often based on generational cohorts, and while that’s a bit of an overgeneralization, it is still often true. We must think about how to help nursing staff adopt various technologies and be more comfortable and confident with them. This is especially true since our care models will require us to leverage more technology than ever as we provide technology-enabled care.
Looking Forward to 2024
Our healthcare challenges are not going away anytime soon, and the nursing profession will continue to be challenged. To create care transformation, we must find ways to continue aligning technology and patient stories; we think this is the true opportunity for nursing. To that end, 2024 is the year of creating your virtual nursing strategy, improving the digital literacy of your nursing staff, and telling more stories by leveraging technology to improve outcomes.