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Big Data in Nursing: A Commentary

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Abstract

Today, one of the major challenges facing nursing and other health professions is the concept of “big data.” The purpose of this commentary is to briefly define big data, discuss the need to incorporate big data in nursing curriculum to improve outcomes in health care organizations, and propose the development of a Masterfile to more accurately examine and predict the needs of the nursing workforce. The evolution of big data will benefit nursing and the advancement of nursing science by inspiring new ways of thinking about data and improving patient outcomes. In order to meet big data demands of health care organizations, schools of nursing must be encouraged to incorporate Big Data into their curriculum at all levels. The development of a Nursing Masterfile has the potential to support national and state level initiatives, and increase the accuracy with which the supply of the future nursing workforce can be projected. A comprehensive u nderstanding of the use of big data in nursing will enhance the development of nursing science.