Defining My Role as a Nurse Informatician

A Nursing Vignette, presented as a part of National Nurses Week. 

by Sylvia Rowe, MSN, RN-BC, CPHIMS, CHPC, CHSGa, VP of Clinical Informatics

I have had many opporutunities to celebrate throughout my nursing career. I began my journey almost thirty years ago, which today seems very difficult to imagine. At that time I had no idea the doors nursing would open for me.

I did not take a traditional path for my nursing journey, I have spent my career serving the frail elderly in the post-acute setting. I celebrate to have had the opportunity to walk this path. Throughout my tenure I have been able to celebrate having excellent nurse and technology mentors along my journey, who always seemed to show up at just the right point in my career to help me along way. I would have never made the transition to Nursing Informatics without the support of one such nurse mentor and CIO, these two people encouraged me, pushed me, provided feedack and paved the way to build our clinical informatics program.

Even with the support of leaders in the organizaiton, as I began my journey towards nursing informatics I really wasn’t sure I had what it would take to build and informatics department. I recall conducting a phone interview for an assignment late one evening with our CIO and one interview questions helped clarify for me that I was going down the right path. The question I had to ask him was “Can you define your understanding of what a nurse informatician is?” his short response clarified for me that I was on the right path for me. This was a turning point for me and a reason to celebrate being a nurse. Had I not made the decision to continue on this path at this point I would have lost the oppurtunity to do the things I enjoy today.

I get to advocate for the clinicians and patients every day to help ensure as we integrate more and more technology into our daily workstream we keep patients and clinicians in mind. These are my reasons to celebrate with nursing. Your path may be different but not mater the path nurses get to touch lives everyday both patient lives and as mentors for other nurses.

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Join us in celebrating #Nurses4HIT and the value they bring to health IT during #NursesWeek May 6 - 12.