Assessing Level 3 and Level 4 NI Competencies: Tool Development and Pilot Results

Tuesday, 19 November 2013: 10:20 AM

Taryn Lynne Hill, PhD, MSN, RN1
Dee McGonigle, PhD, MSN, BSN, RN, CNE, FAAN, ANEF2
Kathleen M. Hunter, PhD, RN-BC, CNE2
Toni Hebda, PhD, RN, CNE3
(1)School of Nursing, Chamberlain College of Nursing, Columbus, OH
(2)Chamberlain College of Nursing, Downer's Grove, IL
(3)School of Nursing, Chamberlain College, Hickory, PA

Learning Objective 1: Explore the development of a Level 3 and Level 4 nursing informatics competencies on-line self-assessment tool

Learning Objective 2: Assess the impact of using a Level 3 and Level 4 nursing informatics competencies on-line self-assessment tool on nursing education and nursing informatics practice

Nursing informatics (NI), as a nursing specialty, is still not thoroughly addressed in basic nursing education. Therefore, nurses are entering practice unprepared to adequately use health information technology (HIT) to support maximum patient care outcomes.  As the demand for informatics competencies in nursing increases, we must be able to prepare nurses who can function as both a novice HIT user and also as an informatics nurse specialist (INS) who will help to innovate and lead the evolution of NI. 

Nursing informatics professionals are in demand in healthcare settings; education must prepare them to be able to demonstrate NI competencies that are commensurate with their level of experience and education.  There is a gap in scholarly literature that supports valid and reliable instruments that can assess the nurses’ individual informatics competencies.  It is imperative that assessment tools be created to adequately judge both the nurses’ current and progressing NI competencies.  Existing resources for NI competencies do not thoroughly address the unique body of knowledge and skills that are required in the INS role. 

The purpose of this study was to develop an online tool to assess Level 3 and Level 4 NI competencies.  The literature and leading NI organizations were reviewed and evaluated for competency taxonomies developed through the collaborative work of experts. We will present our work on developing and testing an online instrument for self-assessment of perceived Level 3 and Level 4 NI competencies. This tool was developed through a synthesis of both seminal work (Staggers, Gassert, & Curran, 2001) and current literature, using a Delphi approach to identify the Level 3 and Level 4 NI competencies related to computer skills, informatics knowledge, and informatics skills.  The researchers will discuss the research problem, the concept of competency, foundational work on NI competencies, the instrument-development process, and pilot test results.