Virtualized Nursing Care: Lady w the Lamp, Data, and Disruptive Ideas 


by Deb Storlie, MS, BSN, RN & Linda Rittermeyer, RN, BSN, MBA, MHA, AVP/ACHO 

Florence Nightingale 

Florence Nightingale was the original innovator, theorist and disruptor in nursing. Her unrelenting advocacy turned the work of nurses into a profession. She saved countless lives by driving change through trailblazing the use of data and the visualization of statistics. She openly resisted her parents’ wishes, who forbade her from becoming a nurse, to follow her calling to care for the sick while devoting her life to challenging the status quo. She pioneered the central tenets of high-quality patient-centered nursing care: educated nursing, scientific nursing, patient rounding, and patient self-care. Virtualized nursing care honors and supports these tenets. 

If Florence Nightingale saw the healthcare system today she would applaud and critique the nursing profession. She would delight in our use of computers to record patient data and yet demand that the nursing profession pioneer innovative ways to apply technology to better observe and serve our patients because, as she said, “For the sick it is important to have the best.” What is “the best?” Imagine nursing care that never leaves the room — an entire care team providing enhanced care with the ability to spend quality time with patients, and less time on administrative tasks, which can be delegated to others. 

Ms. Nightingale’s instructions were clear: “Let whoever is in charge keep this simple question in her head — not, how can I always do this right thing myself, but — how can I provide for this right thing to be always done?”

With the pressures of value-based purchasing, the nursing shortage, and a growing spotlight on patient experience and quality outcomes, nurse leaders across the country need a solution to address the current and future healthcare landscape. This solution must challenge the status quo and reimagine how care is delivered.

Disruptive Innovation: Here Just in Time — The Virtual Nurse

Nurses, the largest group of healthcare professionals, are central for transforming the way care is delivered. Hospital nurse leaders are shifting to a new way of thinking, driven by innovative technology for the improvement of outcomes across the continuum of care. Digital Technology now allows virtual providers to communicate face-to-face with the patient and the care team through a two-way smart television screen. BANYAN works with clients to implement digital technology and allows the virtual provider to be a collaborative member of the care team, assisting in documentation, quality monitoring, multidisciplinary rounding, and ensuring that the patient’s needs are met.

The technology allows a strong sense of presence by the virtual provider who supports active listening, observation of verbal and non-verbal cues, and supports the development of a therapeutic alliance with the patient and patient family reflecting their attitudes, values and beliefs. The virtual nurse team member uses many resources to support decision-making including assessment, data gathering, interpretation, prioritization, clinical reasoning and clinical judgment. 

The virtual provider model affords more time with patients in an economical manner. The technology can reduce administrative burdens, allow live chart review to support timely evidence-based interventions, and spare monotonous and repetitive tasks. 

Beyond Common Practice — The Future of Nursing Care is Now

To quote futurist Jim Carroll “Today is the slowest day of technology change for the rest of your life.” Healthcare delivery is being refined everyday by the capacity of technology reaching the patient. Virtual care is the most important innovation nurse leaders and hospitals can embrace today. Florence Nightingale would support and advocate for widespread adoption of the care model because it aligns with all tenets of safe, effective, outcome-driven care. 

Join the Movement

In the last 150 years, forward-thinking leaders have expanded the boundaries of the status quo to refine the role of the nurse and the efficacy of nursing care. Each innovator created a cultural paradigm shift toward higher levels of professionalism and improved outcomes for the patient. The tenets of our visionary nurse leaders transcend nursing practice and provide guidance on balancing nursing theory with physical science, social science and technology. Today’s innovators believe in healthcare transformed through virtually integrated nursing care where a simple click can bring comfort and peace of mind, where patients and family members have access to any information at any time.

Are you ready to join the thought leaders of today? Getting started is easy. Contact BANYAN today. 


  1. Cohen B. Florence Nightingale. Scientific American. 250(3): March. pp. 128–137.
  2. Karimi, H.,Alavi, N. Florence Nightingale: The Mother of Nursing.Nurs Midwifery Stud. 2015 Jun; 4(2): e29475. 
  3. Ying Liu a, Kay Coalson Avant b,YupinAungsuroch c, Xin-Yu Zhang a, Ping Jiang. Patient outcomes in the field of nursing: A concept analysis. Science Direct. Accessed December 11, 2017. 
  4. Nagel DA, Penner JL. Conceptualizing telehealth in nursing practice: advancing a conceptual model to fill a virtual gap. J HolistNurs 2016 Mar;34(1):91–104. [doi: 10.1177/0898010115580236] [Medline: 25858897] 
  5. Florence Nightingale: Pioneering Nurse. Accessed December 13, 2017. 
  6. Cipriano, P. A New egalitarianism. September 2012. Vol 7. _9.
  7. Jim Carroll Futurist, trends & innovation expert. Achieving Agility: Aligning Ourselves for An Era of Accelerating Change. Accessed December 11, 2017.
  8. AHRQ The Six Dimensions of Health Care Quality.