Unit 1: What Is Nursing Informatics?


Unit 1: What Is Nursing Informatics?

From Instructor:

The definition of nursing informatics varies with the source you go with. ‘Nursing informatics is defined as the combination of nursing science, information science, and computer science’ (McGonigle & Mastria, 2015, p. 5) is the definition our course text uses. The American Nurses Association (ANA), defines nursing informatics as ‘the specialty that integrates nursing science with multiple information and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage and communicate data, information, knowledge and wisdom in nursing practice’ (ANA, 2016). The complexity of nursing informatics resulted in the ANA defining Nursing Informatics’ scope and standards currently in its second edition (ANA, 2014). What initially started with automating processes to achieve efficiency and streamline, such as converting paper documentation into an electronic format, has evolved into a specialty and for many a business. One such business, with a vested interest, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), a North American organization whose mission is to have the best use of information and technology, defines nursing informatics (NI) as ‘the specialty that integrates nursing science with multiple information management and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage, and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice. NI supports nurses, consumers, patients, the interprofessional healthcare team, and other stakeholders in their decision-making in all roles and settings to achieve desired outcomes. This support is accomplished through the use of information structures, information processes, and information technology’. 

     In my acute care setting, nursing informatics is everywhere to include: electronic health record, use of digital equipment to monitor patients such as cardiac monitoring or even a thermometer whose reading can be transferred immediately to the medical record, to patients access to their own medical record upon discharge. These examples do not do justice to the depth and breadth informatics plays in nursing, which we will continue to learn in this course. Even though digitalizing the medical record was a requirement initially set out in the acute care setting, other areas such as home care, dialysis centers and even skilled nursing facilities are following suits. Does your own provider offer your medical record electronically? Have you been hospitalized and accessed your records? I look forward to hearing how you have seen, or used, nursing informatics in place in your clinicals, job or as a visitor to a healthcare setting.


American Nurses Association. (2014). Nursing informatics: Scope and standards of practice (2nd ed.). Silver Spring, MD: Nursesbooks.org

Healthcare Information Management Systems Society. (2018). What is nursing informatics?  Retrieved February 10, 2018 from: http://www.himss.org/what-nursing-informatics

McGonigle, D. & Mastrian, K. (2015). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett.


Please use the following reference as the main resource during the discussion:

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2018). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett.

Assigned Readings:

· Chapter 1: Nursing Science and the Foundation of Knowledge

· Chapter 2: Introduction to Information, Information Science, and Information Systems

· Chapter 5: Ethical Applications of Informatics

· Chapter 11 The Human-Technology Interface

· Chapter 16: Patient Engagement and Connected Health

· Chapter 21: Nursing Research: Data Collection, Processing, and Analysis

· Chapter 22: Data Mining as a Research Tool


*Discuss ways that nursing informatics could be applied to all areas of professional nursing practice, including clinical practice, administration, education, and research. Provide examples of each. What do you see as the biggest significance of nursing informatics, and why?