Data science for better health outcomes: A nursing perspective

Maxim Topaz, Ph.D., RN Elizabeth Standish Gill Associate Professor of Nursing at CUMC

Kathleen Mullen, DNP, RN, CNE, Assistant Professor of Nursing at CUMC

Nurses constitute the largest sector of healthcare professionals worldwide. In the U.S., despite more than 4 million nurses, the demand for nurses keeps rising due to aging of the population and improved longevity of patients with chronic conditions. Like many other professions today, nursing is on the cusp of technological change. Omnipresent health information technology (such as electronic health records) requires nurses to think differently about data and to collect increasingly complex data about their patients in order to make informed patient-centered clinical decisions. A new cadre of nurses with robust understanding of emerging data science technologies is urgently needed. The proposed pioneering course will expose nursing students at the Columbia University School of Nursing to the fascinating world of data science. Tailored to nursing, course topics will employ interactive flipped classroom learning of fundamental data science technologies (e.g., machine learning and text mining), discussion of ethical aspects of data science, and a hands-on data science project in collaboration with Columbia University Data Science Institute students.