It is fundamental for nursing to recognize that practices have changed and that now everything is different from what was developed over the 20th century. Technology has made it possible to change the character and content of the work, forever changing health practices. Much of the nursing practices of the 20th century was directed towards “disease care services”, which are increasingly intense and within the walls of hospitals. The history of nursing is full of challenges that ended up defining its predominant work in hospitals for much of the 20th century.
In the health system of the 21st century, technology has been changing the relationship between nurses and users and the health system. These changes require a new and improved set of new knowledge, skills and attitudes towards the well-being and care of the population, with a renewed focus on patient-centered care, coordination of care, data analysis and quality improvement. Nurses are positioned to contribute and lead the transformative changes that are occurring in the health area, being a collaborating member of the interprofessional team.
Nursing now has an obligation to change its practices to meet the needs of the population and the health system.
Many professionals suggest that these changes and challenges are far from happening and that there will be time to consider their impact on nursing practice. However, the innovations we are experiencing today are the science fiction that we were reading 10, 20 years ago. Most nurses never predicted that they would experience the chip-based technological innovations that are now commonplace in today’s healthcare environment.
The challenge today for the nursing profession is to accommodate the losses of what was understood as “nursing practices” at a time when most of these activities will disappear.