The digital transformation in nursing education and practice

Digital health refers to “the cost-effective and secure use of information and communications technologies in support of health and health-related fields, including healthcare services, health surveillance, health literature, and health education, knowledge and research.” The adoption of digital health solutions has been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, proving they are key for the delivery of care at all levels of the public health system: the patient, the community, the care team, the healthcare institution, and the political and economic environment. Digital health is an integral part of health priorities and can be beneficial when used in an ethical, equitable, and sustainable way. The comprehensive benefits of digital health include facilitating the assessment, diagnosis, and management of health problems in a safe and effective manner, thereby fostering greater equity in access to timely medical care; addressing unmet health needs; and strengthening the capacity of the whole sector to access the information needed to understand complex scenarios and make decisions, among others. This publication presents the possibilities of incorporating and using technologies in the education and practices of nurses in their various contexts of activity and proposes a digital transformation of nursing as part of the increased technological advance in health care. It also contemplates regulatory and normative aspects in digital health. This digital transformation depends on a range of aspects, such as investment, infrastructure, professional recognition, cultural change, educational update, new skills, and competencies. It positions the nurse as a health agent capable of transforming nursing processes for a future setting where patients will be more digitally empowered and more knowledgeable on their own health status.