How colleges are incorporating health IT into nursing education

Health IT is taking over healthcare education--including for aspiring nurses.

At Mount Aloysius College in Cresson, Pennsylvania, high-tech mannequins are helping nursing students get as close to real-life scenarios as possible.

For the class, Nursing Care of the Family, IT specialists manipulate the mannequin's vital signs--they can mimic breathing and have blood pressure--as the students work to save their "patient," according to an article at the Military Times.

In addition, Rebecca Zukowski, the college's associate academic dean and nursing division chair, says as nursing changes and nurses are required to work together in teams more often, the technology helps them learn to better communicate.

From chief nursing informatics officers to chief information officers, nurses increasingly are taking on new leadership roles in health IT and having a major impact on healthcare innovation and delivery.

Informatics is an important area for nurses to find growth, Janet Grady, University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown's vice president for academic affairs and chairwoman of nursing and health, tells the Times.

"Nurses work with a lot more information," she says. "That's an opportunity that didn't exist even 10 years ago."

Colleges and universities across the country now offer a wide variety of courses and certificates in healthcare information technology and healthcare information security, FierceHealthIT previously reported.

In addition, organizations including the American Medical Association also are creating initiatives to further curriculum. The AMA developed an initiative called Accelerating Change in Medical Education to give $1 million to 11 schools to help fund novel programs.

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