My Prediction for Nursing's Technological Future

By: Angela Lewis BSN, RN, BC

Editor in Charge of Clinical Information Systems


Lewis, A. (February 2004). My Prediction for Nursing's Technological Future. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI). Vol. 8, No. 1. [Online]. Available at

It would seem that the science fiction worlds of Orwell (1949) and Roddenberry (1966) have come to fruition. Through in vitro fertilization a child can be conceived outside a woman's body. The use of 'laser' technology is now common and robotics has (in many industries) replaced the human assembly line. Kirk's "communicator" could be likened to today's PDAs although it's not possible (yet) to "beam" him up. Over fifty years have passed since Orwell wrote about "A brave new world." and Star Trek originally aired a mere thirty-seven years ago. Technology in many different mediums has advanced ‘light years'. On-line technology, better known as the 'Internet' is "part of everyone's life, and as common as air and water" (Schwartz, 2002). Technological innovations can be found in almost every facet of the US industry and in many cases have become ubiquitous parts of our culture with healthcare (in general) and nursing (in particular) remaining the exception.

Goodman (1998) wrote, "The future of the health professions is computational"(p. 1). The future of nursing lies in the ability of its practitioners to effectively utilize technology to transform data into information into knowledge for clinical practice, research and education.

Evidence-Based research has proven that the effective use of information systems technologies can decrease medication errors; improve patient outcomes and the practice of nursing.

To insure Nursing's future:

The social phenomenon of clinicians' resistance to the use of information technology can no longer be tolerated in any practice setting.

2004 and beyond will see the continued adoption of technology within healthcare and nursing MUST keep pace to insure its future!


Goodman, K. W. (1998). Ethics, computing and medicine: Informatics and the transformation of health care . Cambridge , United Kingdom : Cambridge University .

Graves , J. R., & Corcoran, S. (1989). The study of nursing informatics. Image: The Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 21(4), 227-231.

Orwell, G. (1949). 1984. New York, NY : Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.

Roddenberry, G. (Creator and Producer). 1966. Star Trek [TV Series 1966-1969]. New York:National Broadcasting Company

Schwartz, J. (2002, December 29). Who owns the internet? you and I do. New York Times, December, 2002, Retrieved January 1, 2003,