Why Digital Upskilling is Your Key to a Resilient Healthcare Career

Any healthcare profession requires a significant amount of in-depth knowledge. This is why continuous education (CE) is required to maintain licensing for many professionals. Nurses, physicians, and pharmacists are among those who must attend board-approved courses. This ensures they keep up with the latest medical research, innovations, and regulatory changes that apply to their positions.

There are also courses that may not necessarily be required to hold a medical license but can nonetheless boost professionals’ career resilience. One such area of study is digital skills. The healthcare landscape is evolving and knowing how to navigate emerging tools is essential for staying in step with it. Let’s explore how you, as a health professional, can approach digital upskilling in an effective and career-enhancing way.

Understanding the Imperatives

Upskilling will always take time and energy. As a healthcare professional, you know how precious these resources are. So, it’s worth looking a little closer at why you should commit to digital upskilling in particular.

Maintain relevance

Digital technology is disrupting the healthcare industry and careers within it in a variety of ways at the moment. Tools like artificial intelligence (AI) driven virtual nursing assistants are already able to handle basic and repetitive tasks, allowing medical staff to focus attention on patients. Monitoring devices in the Internet of Things (IoT) and telemedical conference platforms have become integral parts of remote patient care. Having a good understanding of how to interact with digital healthcare technology helps keep your skill set relevant in a rapidly changing landscape.

Boost your value

One of the challenges of the changing medical tech landscape is that, unfortunately, the healthcare industry is facing a digital skills gap. All the new technology available to professionals isn’t of much use if there isn’t staff with the skills to use it. As a result, gaining digital skills may give you an advantage when applying for roles and negotiating for pay raises and promotions.

Support positive patient outcomes

Medicine, at its core, is an industry populated by caring professionals. Though there are career imperatives, it’s also worth noting that digital upskilling can improve patient outcomes. Understanding how to use AI diagnosis software may help identify and address conditions faster. As a result, patients can benefit from early intervention that could boost their treatment outcomes. Telemedical tools can also improve access for those with mobility challenges or who live in underserved communities. This empowers them to get regular checkups and timely medical attention that supports their ongoing wellness.

Knowing why to digitally upskill is just the start, though. It’s also important to make mindful decisions about what areas of digital knowledge to invest your valuable time in.

Identifying Learning Opportunities

Let’s face it: you have limited time at your disposal. It’s worth taking a strategic approach to get the most relevant learning from your digital CE. This begins with researching the digital skills that are most likely to be in demand in the industry both now and in the near future.

There are a handful of digital skills that are generally regarded as important across the healthcare sector. These include:

  • Cybersecurity awareness: Hospitals are targets of cybercriminals either to cause disruption or to steal valuable patient data. Having up-to-date education about the methods cybercriminals use and how to behave responsibly in healthcare spaces is key to both a more resilient healthcare career and a more robust industry.
  • Telehealth: Remote patient interactions are likely to become more prominent everywhere from psychological therapy to general practice. As a result, healthcare professionals need to gain proficiency in not just utilizing the tech tools, but also how to adapt characteristics such as body language and bedside manner to a virtual environment.

Alongside these general skills, you can also focus on the specialized digital knowledge related to your part of the industry. For instance, those working in medical coding are likely to see AI being used more often to enhance efficiency. Taking courses in the basics of natural language processing (NLP) and even writing generative AI prompts may help you more effectively collaborate with this software.

Getting Employer Support

Embarking on digital upskilling can be challenging. It’s important to remember you’re not alone in this endeavor. Your employer has a role to play, too. Just as you benefit from your education, there are also multiple ways that companies gain from supporting continuous worker learning. Employees with up-to-date tech skills can spur innovations and keep up with industry trends, maintaining a competitive edge. Companies also have a particular interest in ensuring workers have the knowledge to fill industry skills gaps.

Therefore, take the time to talk to your supervisors or human resources (HR) representatives about your plans to upskill. Some of the resources for digital learning you could seek might include:

  • Subsidized certifications: While there are some free online courses, many still come with fees. Ask the facility you work for about their willingness to subsidize the costs involved. Many employers have a budget for this as part of development programs or worker benefits.
  • Study time: It takes a dedication of time to both attend lectures and complete coursework projects. Many healthcare workers have tight schedules and the last thing you want is to risk burnout by squeezing a course in. You could seek an allowance of paid time off (PTO) for professional studying purposes to ease your burden.

Seeking support alone can be daunting. It may be better to collaborate with colleagues. You could highlight to administrators why learning support should be a part of the company culture, paying particular attention to how it benefits workers, businesses, and patients.


Digital upskilling can help you stay relevant, valuable, and effective in your healthcare career. It’s vital to take some time to identify what specific skill areas are most in demand and work with your employer to get support for your efforts. This isn’t just a way to stay up-to-date in your current role, though. By exploring the new range of digital tools in your sector, you may also find fascinating professional niches that you can explore further, contributing to a more enriching career experience.


 Katie Brenneman is a passionate writer specializing in lifestyle, mental health, activism-related content. When she isn’t writing, you can find her with her nose buried in a book or hiking with her dog, Charlie. To connect with Katie, you can follow her on Twitter. 

Disclaimer: The viewpoint expressed in this article is the opinion of the author and is not necessarily the viewpoint of the owners or employees at Healthcare Staffing Innovations, LLC.

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