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Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Nursing

Healthcare has been subject to revolutionary changes as a result of technological breakthroughs in academia and their practical implementation in hospitals. Such advancements have influenced the structure and organization of wellness care since humanoid robots were introduced to the healthcare industry. McKinsey Global Institute reports that “800 million workers worldwide could be replaced by robots by the year 2030” (Pepito & Locsin, 2018, p. 106). Robotics is powered by the vast amounts of data analyzed by computers in order to learn and improve at certain tasks, which is known as machine learning (part of augmented intelligence). Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to “the techniques used to teach computers to learn, reason, perceive, infer, communicate, and make decisions similar to or better than humans” (Robert, 2019, p. 32). Nurses face a challenge of remaining relevant amid the implementation of automated machines that have the ability to deliver predictable outcomes.

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The role of nurses shifts from administration to human care delivery and supervision. Because of automated technologies and AI-software, a nursing professional will become “the information integrator, health coach, and deliverer of human caring, supported by AI technologies, not replaced by them” (Robert, 2019, p. 38). In order to remain useful and relevant, senior medical staff should give nurses an opportunity to be involved in the decisions regarding the aspects of their practice that will be delegated by technology (Pepito & Locsin, 2018). Nursing practitioners have to oversee the introduction of automated services and AI.

The benefits of AI technologies include time and cost efficiency, as well as a high level of care consistency and comprehensiveness. In fact, various medical institutions and hospitals have integrated AI-based software that can generate crucial data used by doctors and nursing practitioners. Therefore, nurses need to have representation on both executive (within hospitals) and legal levels in order to safeguard the universal aspects of care, including compassion and other human aspects. Nursing education should factor in the critical need for research-based academic preparation of nurses that want to work with technology, and not for it.

References

Pepito, J. A., & Locsin, R. (2018). Can nurses remain relevant in a technologically advanced future? International Journal of Nursing Sciences, 6(1), 106-110.

Robert, N. (2019). How artificial intelligence is changing nursing. Nursing Management (Springhouse), 50(9), 30-39.

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