• change;
  • complexity;
  • concept analysis;
  • instability;
  • nursing care;
  • nursing technology;
  • patient care;
  • technology;
  • uncertainty;
  • variability

Using a management perspective to define and measure changes in nursing technology

Aims. The aims of this paper are to discuss the uses of the concept of technology from the medical science and the management perspectives; to propose a clear definition of nursing technology; and to present a study applying the use of the concept of nursing technology on nursing units.

Background. Nurse managers must use management terms correctly and the term technology may be misleading for some. A review of the nursing literature shows varied uses of the concept of technology. Thus a discussion of the dimensions, attributes, consequences, and definitions of nursing technology from the management perspective are given.

Design. A longitudinal study to measure the dimensions of nursing technology on nursing units 10 years apart.

Results. The findings suggest that the dimensions of nursing technology change over time and support the need for nurse managers to periodically assess nursing technology before making management changes at the level of the nursing unit.

Conclusions. This study helps health care providers understand the unique role of nurses as healthcare professionals by identifying and measuring nursing technology on the nursing unit.