How generative AI can help address the critical nursing shortage

How generative AI can help address the critical nursing shortage

The healthcare workforce should prepare for a "once-in-a-century revolution," a labor law expert says, with artificial intelligence poised to directly impact the way nurses and other healthcare professionals do their jobs.

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 The ongoing nursing shortage poses significant challenges for hospitals and health systems, exacerbated by factors like the COVID-19 pandemic and an aging population. As nurses face higher patient loads and longer hours, patient safety and access to care are compromised. To mitigate these shortages, healthcare organizations are turning to generative AI and other technological advances.

Generative AI can assist with nurse education, onboarding, and clinical documentation, reducing administrative burdens and allowing nurses to focus more on patient care. By pushing out patient medication reminders, assisting with scheduling, and facilitating communication among staff, AI technology helps streamline workflows and reduce burnout.

Looking ahead to 2024, it's unlikely that the nursing shortage will subside, as enrollment rates in nursing schools decline and younger nurses opt for travel opportunities and agency work. However, innovations such as virtual nursing teams and partnerships with academic institutions offer potential solutions. Embracing technology and fostering innovation can help reduce nurse burnout, improve career satisfaction, and attract and retain talent in the healthcare industry.

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