Nursing Education and Social Change: Addressing Future Career Planning

Posted: November 8th, 2023

Nursing Education and Social Change: Addressing Future Career Planning

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Nursing Education and Social Change: Addressing Future Career Planning

Medicine and nursing involves an array of health situations that require comprehensive knowledge and interest from the practitioners to cope. Pursuing a higher education in nursing is considered one way to reinforce one’s growth, interest and knowledge in the field. Accomplishing nursing education equips the nurse with a sense of confidence, purpose and self-belief. However, this course has highlighted the merits of pursuing a higher education extend beyond personal satisfaction. Nursing education revolves around causing, establishing and maintaining suitable social change. Patients from all walks of life require care that mirrors their distinct needs. A transformative healthcare system is necessary to achieve this function, which underpins the scholarly focus on improving nursing education. While I do intend to pursue a career in nursing, I equally intend to use the opportunity to apply social contract elements that transform the healthcare system to become more patient-centered, accessible and value driven.

I have for long perceived nursing as a professional field highly susceptible to the implications of social and political change. Nursing has to consistently respond to social changes at the individual and institutional levels through evidence-based practices (Jackson et al. 2014). Nursing education equips the learner with tools and knowledge how to track and monitor social changes to develop and integrate new practices. For instance, it is only through nursing education and training that the nurse becomes able to infuse information communication technology, such as social media, in primary care without impeding the patient’s right to privacy and confidentiality. The ability to keep up-to-date with social changes is also likely to open doors for future career planning (Salmond & Echevarria, 2017). Current factors driving changes in the healthcare system include access problems, disparities and unsustainable costs, underpinning the need to focus on social factors in nursing education.

The future of nursing career planning will be dependent on networking and collaboration for improved information sharing. Quality, costs and transforming disease demographics are creating the urgency for systemic change (Salmond & Echevarria, 2017). Over the years, the government has introduced programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, to improve cost and quality control. As a nation, the healthcare system has taken incremental steps to ensure improved outcomes and reduced spending (Salmond & Echevarria, 2017). Nurses are well-positioned to contribute to these transformative changes, hence my intent to focus on being part of inter-professional teams for enhanced care coordination, information sharing and data analytics. Focusing on social change highlights the interconnectedness and complexity of human systems, necessitating professional collaboration for seamless and continuous care. Working with others is the best way to ensure personal professional growth and delivery of high quality care to patients along the career path.

With the growth and expansion of information communication technology in nursing practice, nurses must ensure the trade-off between information and health does not come at the expense of the patient’s privacy and confidentiality. The integration of social media and other communication avenues is inevitable in nursing with the emphasis on evidence-driven practice (Jackson et al. 2014). With privacy and confidentiality acting as foundational principles, the various information technologies will be leveraged to enhance patient engagement, health seeking behaviours and overall health outcomes. The objective is to employ the technologies to promote patient autonomy and prevent systemic discrimination through improved information and medical access (Hartigan et al. 2018). My focus on patient privacy and confidentiality will act as a basis of my increased use of telehealth and electronic health records (EHRs) to cause substantial communal and population wide changes.

I intent to make a difference by using EHRs and telehealth technology to influence population health. It is my opinion that nursing practice is most visible in its purpose and importance during situations that impact public health. Regardless of the position or institution that I find myself in, I will advocate for the implementation of innovative and creative technologies that encourage patients to offer more information, such as virtual reality (VR). VR and other forms of artificial intelligence can create simulations that enable patients understand their predicaments, resulting in more accurate diagnosis. EHRs and telehealth technologies are equally critical in fostering multidisciplinary collaboration. Improving the quality of information collected and analysed in hospital information systems is bound to have visible implications on population health. There is no way to undervalue or underplay the significance data will play in the future of nursing practice.

Nursing education and practice has come a long way in recent decades. However, the professional field still faces its unique challenges due its constant state of change. Nurses must respond to these challenges by developing the ability to reinvent themselves. Key factors that will underpin successful transitions include digital literacy, superior communication skills, inter-professional collaboration and the willingness to make changes based on factual data. Transforming the healthcare system and maintaining a positive career path will require new forms of practice and thinking. Shifting nursing focus to social change is essential. Engaging with colleagues, patients, families and community members to comprehend their social contexts will prove key to becoming adaptable, especially if the nurse is able to fuse this knowledge with information generated from data analytics.


Hartigan, L., Cussen, L., Meaney, S., & O’Donoghue, K. (2018). Patients’ perception of privacy and confidentiality in the emergency department of a busy obstetric unit. BMC Health Services Research, 18(1).

Jackson, J., Fraser, R., Ash, P., (2014). Social media and nurses: Insights for promoting health for individual and professional us. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 19(3).

Salmond, S. W., & Echevarria, M. (2017). Healthcare transformation and changing roles for nursing. Orthopedic Nursing, 36(1), 12–25.

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