Informatics Competencies: Transition from Classroom to Bedside

Sunday, 8 November 2015: 4:40 PM

Katherine A. Kelly, BSN, MSN, DNP, RN, FNP-C
School of Nursing, California State University, Sacramento, Sacramento, CA, USA
Kathleen M. Guiney, MN, MS, RN
Center for Professional Practice of Nursing, University of California Davis Health Systems, Sacramento, CA, USA

Informatics Competencies: Transitioning from classroom to bedside

Gaps in the integration of informatics into nursing curriculum and development of informatics competencies continue to exist (Hunter, 2013). Current and future nurse leaders are responsible for integrating extensive and variable patient information and making clinical decisions using multiple sources of data.  Many of these nurse leaders have had little or no training in the area of informatics, yet are required to function in the digital age with expertise. While there is credible work by the National League of Nursing, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (QSEN) and Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform (TIGER) Initiative; there remains a critical need to identify specific gaps in informatics competencies necessary for graduate nurses entering the workforce.

Clinical and academic partners joined forces to form an informatics leadership collaborative. The purpose of this collaborative is to explore the perception on the part of fourth semester nursing students and their preceptors regarding informatics competencies as described above. The Informatics Leadership Collaborative of Health Communities Forum for the Sacramento Region has set as a goal to advance bedside nursing to a level of practice in which the knowledge, skills and attitudes identified in QSEN Essentials of Baccalaureate Nursing Education, TIGER Initiative and the NLN are integrated into a standardized and coordinated program for all bedside nurse clinicians practicing in the region.  The collaborative effort includes academic and service partners in a complex and well-developed healthcare community.

The Informatics Leadership Collaborative designed a descriptive study with the purpose of providing an analysis of the gaps in informatics knowledge, skills and attitudes of baccalaureate graduate nurses. The study participants consist of a purposive convenience sample of subjects recruited from five schools of nursing and four hospital agencies. Criteria for inclusion in the study is students in the final semester of nursing school and their preceptors. The participants completed a survey of 37 questions focused on the participant's perception of informatics skills, knowledge and attitudes. 

Three semesters of data collection and analysis has provided data to guide the development of a standardized curriculum for health informatics technology. Healthcare redisign is dependent on the appropriate and effective integration of healthcare technology and informatics.  A partnership between academia and the clinical agencies is essential to this goal.  The QSEN competencies are all dependent on the comprehensive knowledge of informatics by the nursing student, bedside nurse and nurse mentor or preceptor.  Studies (Bakken et al., 2004; Conors et al., 2002; Fetter, 2009a; Lucas, 2010) have concluded that it is necessary for schools and clinical agencies to collaborate on an effective integration of healthcare informatics competencies into the nursing curriculum. Through ongoing communication and partnership between academia and clinical agencies, it is possible that a solid foundation of informatics principles and competencies can bridge the gap for new nurses as they enter the clinical settings.


Bakken, S., Cook, S.S., Curtis, L., Desjardins, K. Hyun, S., Jenkins, M., Soupios, M., 2004. Promoting patient safety through informatics-based nursing education. International Journal of Medical Informatics 71, 581 - 589

Connors, H.R., Weaver, C., Warren, J., Miller, K.L., 2002. An academic-business partnership for advancing clinical informatics. Nursing Education Perspectives 23 (5) 248-256

Fetter, M.S., 2009a. Baccalaureate nursing student's information technology competence: Agency perspectives. Journal of Professional Nursing 25 (1) 42-49

Hunter, K., McGonigle, D., Hebda, T., 2013. The integration of informatics content in baccalaureate and graduate nursing education: A status report. Nurse Educator 38 (3) 110-113.

Lucas, L. 2010. Partnering to enhance the nursing curriculum: Electronic medical record accessibility. Clinical Simulation in Nursing 6 e92-3102