Dr. Helga Sif Friðjónsdóttir

What does the future behold for the nursing profession?

The Fourth Industrial Revolution, characterized by the fusion of digital, physical, and biological technologies, is reshaping numerous industries and societies around the world. In the healthcare sector, this revolution is poised to have profound implications for the nursing profession.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution brings with it a range of innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and Internet of Things (IoT). These technologies have the potential to automate certain tasks, augment the abilities of nurses and enhance patient care. AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of medical data, leading to improve diagnosis, treatment, and patient monitoring. Robotics can assist with routine tasks, enabling nurses to focus on complex patient care.

This revolution is likely to transform the nursing profession requiring nurses to adapt to new technologies and take on new roles in the healthcare ecosystem. For example, nurses will have to acquire new skills such as data analysis and interpretation, develop proficiency in using telehealth and other future digital tools to communicate with patients, monitor their health and deliver care remotely. Embracing and effectively integrating advanced technologies will be essential for nurses in the future to optimize patient outcomes and deliver quality care.  However, careful attention must be paid to ethical and legal implications, data privacy and security and the potential for technology-induced disparities in healthcare access must be addressed.

As the nursing role evolves there will be an increased demand for nursing education programs that focus on teaching and training nurses in emerging changes relevant to the revolution. Adapting to changing roles and acquiring new skills will be crucial for nurses to thrive in the future healthcare landscape.


Dr. Helga Sif Friðjónsdóttir, APMHN, RN
Deputy Director General at Ministry of Health in Iceland,
Adjunct and Clinical Assistant Professor at University of Iceland.

Helga Sif has throughout her professional life been passionate about quality of communication, human dignity, equality, change, motivation, quality in health care and the development of nursing profession into the future. In a heart-to-heart discussion at a café one of her friends exclaimed: “Ahh, your purpose in life is to be a disrupter, disrupter of systems and facilitator of change”. Helga Sif feels that this sentence sums up her professional carrier, from nursing school to her current employment at the Ministry of Health in Iceland.

Helga Sif is an advanced practice mental health nurse and completed her PhD in Nursing from University of Washington, US in 2007. Since then, she has focused on developing and redesigning mental health and addiction services as well as teaching and training nurses of the future in Iceland. Because of her pioneer work in harm reduction in Iceland she was invested with the Order of the Falcon on January 1st  2021 by the President of Iceland.

Helga presented her considerations about the topic What does the future behold for the nursing profession? (presentation i pdf.)
Helga got the participants engaged during the presentation by getting them to answer questions about the 4th industrial revolusions innovative technologies in their everyday life.