National Nurses Week is the perfect time to pause, reflect and seek inspiration.
I imagine that many people have inspired you throughout your career. One of the first nurses to inspire me was a professor in my seminal nursing program. She reminded me that a key differentiator for nurses is critical thinking. We aren’t simply trained to perform treatments, administer medications or document care. We also learn how to apply our knowledge to positively impact patients through optimal care delivery, which in turn improves clinical outcomes.
Informatics nurses have unique opportunities to inspire others through our work to streamline documentation, optimize workflow, build the foundation for evidence and create a data-driven culture. Our scope of practice empowers us to apply expertise in multiple ways that will impact individuals and populations, and our leadership can be an inspiration to many.
Technology continues to evolve and disruptive innovation is now a recurring theme. As knowledge workers in healthcare, we have a responsibility to embrace innovation while at the same time safeguarding our patients and mitigating risk. The HIMSS18 exhibit floor was packed with innovative new products and programs. And these innovations are increasingly consumer-centric, bringing with them an opportunity to learn new skills and adapt our workflow to use these capabilities in new and emerging settings.
Informatics nurses are welcome partners in working with our colleagues to consider innovative, new ways of refining operations, or analyzing processes to gain insights that improve outcomes. Being entrepreneurial and creative is a necessary competency for any informatics nurse. And advancing innovation is an important mechanism for applying those skills.
Patient advocacy is a natural part of every nurse’s practice. It’s easy for nurses to speak up on behalf of patients to ensure their clinical needs are being addressed. But, the ability to influence nursing practice goes well beyond advocacy. Influencing others requires multiple characteristics including credibility and leadership, as well as being respected and able to articulate your voice. Although nurses are consistently voted the most trusted profession, we don’t always leverage our opportunities to influence others.
Informatics nurses use their influence to encourage vendors to design usable systems that enable nurses to improve their workflow and use decision support to inform their care. Organizations like the Alliance for Nursing Informatics (ANI) gain influence by submitting policy comments that articulate and consolidate a unified voice. Collaboration among nursing organizations such as ANI, along with the American Nurses Association and the American Academy of Nursing will strengthen our voice by developing joint policy statements and aligning key strategies.
National Nurses Week is an optimal time to stop and celebrate our opportunities to inspire, innovate and influence through informatics. I can’t wait to see what else the coming year brings!