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Core Competencies and Scope of Practice in Nursing Informatics

The continued integration of information technology within the nursing profession is resulting in the development of nursing informatics as a distinct specialty. As with other specialty areas, nursing informatics has unique foundational documents, concepts, competencies, and functions. How might information technology competencies pertain to your professional practice?

This week focuses on the core competencies and scope and standards of practice in nursing informatics. If you are not specializing in nursing informatics, some functional areas will be more relevant to your professional role than others. Therefore, this week you will analyze the key functional areas of nursing informatics and consider competencies that would be useful in your professional role. In addition, you assess how information technology skills can improve nursing practice.

Discussion: Nursing Informatics Competencies

Today’s fast-paced health care environment demands nurses to be skilled not only in their clinical practice or specialty area but in the use of technology tools that improve practice and lead to better patient care. Basic and advanced technology competencies are required and expected as technology increasingly touches and changes the job of every nurse. Numerous organizations, including the American Nurses Association (ANA), the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), and Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), have developed nurse-specific technology competencies. The challenge for nurses is to identify both needs and training opportunities.

In this Discussion, you identify the role informatics plays in your professional responsibilities. You pinpoint personal gaps in skills and knowledge and then develop a plan for self-improvement.

To prepare:

  • Review Nursing Informatics: Scope and Standards of Practice in this week’s Learning Resources, focusing on the different functional areas it describes. Consider which areas relate to your current nursing responsibilities or to a position you held in the past. For this Discussion, identify one or two of the most relevant functional areas.

  • Review the list of competencies recommended by the TIGER Initiative. Identify at least one skill in each of the main areas (basic computer competencies, information literacy competencies, and information management competencies) that is pertinent to your functional area(s) and in which you need to strengthen your abilities. Consider how you could improve your skills in these areas and the resources within your organization that might provide training and support.

Questions to be answered

1.Post the key functional area(s) of nursing informatics relevant to your current position or to a position you recently held, and briefly describe why this area(s) is relevant.

2. Identify the TIGER competencies you selected as essential to your functional area(s) in which you need improvement.

3.Describe why these competencies are necessary and outline a plan for developing these competencies.

 4.Include any resources that are available to you within your organization and the ways you might access those resources.

5.Assess how developing nursing informatics competencies would increase your effectiveness as a nurse.

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Key Functional Area(S) Of Nursing Informatics

In the wake of civilization, technology plays a huge role in nursing education and work. As such, it is important to look into the role of nurses before identifying the appropriate information technology education. One determinant of nursing informatics is the ever-increasing pace of digital technology. Therefore, a critical assessment of emerging technologies provides us with the key elements of nursing informatics that can be put into consideration (Carter-Templeton, & Curran, 2014). Because of The fast development of technology, there is need to have an educational arrangement that will provide both long and short term courses to empower nurses. These courses can target all groups: professions, students, graduates, and graduate doctoral.

As stated earlier, there are areas in technology that are important in boosting health care provision by nurses (Carter-Templeton, & Curran, 2014). The key functional areas of nursing informatics such as, computer skills. Some computer skills comprise of searches that are useful in retrieving patient information. Computers can also work as tools for documentation and provide information about nursing care through internet use. Nursing informatics is also key in providing health care promotion. A technology-rich environment plays a major role in giving out information about health care thus, improving patients’ safety (Carter-Templeton, & Curran, 2014). All these functional areas are relevant when one is working as emergency nurse. One needs to be at par with up-to date information to minimize further health issues.

Tiger Competencies

According to Green et. al (2015), TIGER refers to Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform Initiative. The technology was designed to identify the skills that nurses need in the 21st century. As such, this initiative’s main purpose is to have nurses obtain basic computer skills. For instance, basic computer skills provide a background for nursing informatics. When a nurse is able to identify nursing problems using computer skills, it becomes possible to overcome significant caregiving barriers (Green et. al, 2015). Basic computer competencies helps during communication of information at the work place. However, as an emergency nurse it is important to familiarize with data communication practice to help in understanding national nursing data infrastructure.

Importance of TIGER Basic Computer Skills

The adoption of basic computer skills is important in information presentation as well as supporting patient centered care (Yang et.al, 2014). Through basic computer skills, a nurse is in a position to keep track of the patients’ records and offer safe health care. The plan for TIGER basic computer skills is:

  • Knowing how to collect and name data/information

  • Learning how to organize and interpret data/information

  • Understanding and applying the information

Resources Available Within the Organization

Nowadays, almost all organizations have access to computers and have internet connection. In my organization, there are a number of computer labs that one can use to do their research. Secondly, almost every room has an access to a desktop computer. Together with the internet connection, one can exploit these resources to gather information and communicate to other staff members.

Importance of Developing Nursing Informatics

As a profession, one is able to keep in touch with patients’ health records. Nursing informatics helps to promote positive management outcome when working (Carter-Templeton, & Curran, 2014). Internet-based systems are helpful in providing better access to evidence thus, affecting patient-care quality. Software tools help in promoting research regarding various areas of nursing. As a professional, nursing informatics helps to positively affect my skills and healthcare outcomes.

Conclusion

Presently, digital technology is important in creating a positive attitude among nursing professionals. It is essential that nurses are familiar with informatics as a way of boosting their skills and improving health care. Basic computer skills can be a background for nursing informatics. Gradually, nurses can learn how to use complex informatics for the sake of research.

 

References

Carter-Templeton, H., & Curran, C. (2014). Evaluation of an Undergraduate Nursing Informatics

Course.

Green, M., Hardie, T., Dohan, M., & Tan, J. (2015). Measuring the Impact of Nursing

Informatics Competencies on Decision Satisfaction: Theoretical Model and Direction for New Research.

Yang, L., Cui, D., Zhu, X., Zhao, Q., Xiao, N., & Shen, X. (2014). Perspectives from nurse

managers on informatics competencies. The Scientific World Journal, 2014.

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