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Nurse Informatics Competencies

Nurse Informatics Competencies

Nurse informatics is a specialty that integrates nursing science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice (American Nurses Association, 2015). Nurse informaticists use technology to support evidence-based practice, improve patient outcomes, enhance patient safety, and reduce healthcare costs. To perform these functions effectively, nurse informaticists need to have certain competencies in three domains: basic computer skills, informatics knowledge, and informatics skills.

Basic computer skills are the foundation for using technology in nursing practice. They include the ability to operate common hardware and software applications, such as word processors, spreadsheets, databases, email, internet browsers, and electronic health records (EHRs). Basic computer skills also involve the understanding of basic concepts and terminology related to computer systems, networks, security, and data management.

Informatics knowledge is the understanding of the principles and theories of informatics and how they apply to nursing practice. It includes the knowledge of information systems design, development, implementation, evaluation, and maintenance. Informatics knowledge also encompasses the knowledge of information standards, policies, ethics, and legal issues that affect nursing practice and patient care.

Informatics skills are the abilities to use informatics tools and methods to support nursing practice. They include the skills to collect, store, retrieve, analyze, synthesize, and disseminate information for decision making, education, research, and quality improvement. Informatics skills also involve the skills to use technology for communication, collaboration, coordination, and documentation of care.

Nurse informatics competencies are essential for providing quality care in the current healthcare environment. Nurses need to develop and maintain these competencies throughout their education and career. According to a study by Forman et al. (2020), nursing educational programs do not adhere to standardized criteria for teaching nursing informatics competencies. Another study by Farzandipour et al. (2019) found that 60.6% of nurses have few capabilities regarding informatics competencies. Therefore, there is a need for more research and educational interventions to enhance nurse informatics competencies in hospitals.

References

American Nurses Association. (2015). Nursing informatics: Scope & standards of practice (2nd ed.). Silver Spring, MD: Author.

Farzandipour M., Mohamadian H., Akbari H., Safari S., & Sadeqi Jabali M. (2019). Self-assessment of nursing informatics competencies in hospitals. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics 23(1). Retrieved from https://www.himss.org/resources/self-assessment-nursing-informatics-competencies-hospitals

Forman T.M., Armor D.A., & Miller A.S. (2020). A review of clinical informatics competencies in nursing to inform best practices in education and nurse faculty development. Nursing Education Perspectives 41(1), 57-62. doi:10.1097/01.NEP.0000000000000498

Massachusetts Department of Higher Education Nursing Initiative. (2016). Nurse of the future: Nursing core competencies©. Boston: Author.

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