Nursing informaticists are fortunate to be at the forefront of an evolving specialty – one recognized for being integral to every aspect of patient care delivery.
Through the innovative usage of technology, we are able to impact patient outcomes across the spectrum of clinical practice settings. Along with other multidisciplinary team members, we focus our activities on mitigating risks and improving outcomes related to quality, safety, patient experience and cost savings. To be successful, we need to develop leaders in the field of nursing informatics who can bring us to the next level.
In the same way that good clinicians are often promoted to managerial positions within nursing; clinicians with an aptitude for navigating various electronic platforms are often transitioned into nursing informatics positions.
Informatics nurses typically report through information technology services or the nursing department. A strong argument can be made for both; however it’s important that the informatics nurse be in a position to advocate on behalf of patients and clinicians as their primary responsibility. Reporting through nursing administration allows the informatics nurse to collaborate closely with clinical leadership, keeping up to date on leadership goals, regulatory requirements and new clinical initiatives. At the same time, the informatics nurse can provide insight regarding meaningful use requirements, introduce new technology and assist with problem solving. This collaboration will allow the informatics nurse to have a seat at the table – however, what gets you to the point of being a good informatics nurse will not get you to the next level of being a successful nursing informatics leader.
Besides having leadership skills and proving your value in the clinical arena, representation and education are the keys for advancement to a nursing informatics leadership role. Partner with physicians and other nursing leaders in your organization. Be the expert. Always bring something to the table. Have a presence. Be prepared. Be proactive. Propose solutions.
It’s often said that the world is run by those who show up. Show up.
Be as involved as you can be. Volunteer to be involved in special projects. Propose a research project at your organization. Keep current on the issues facing nursing. Show your value.
You can show your commitment to your professional growth by continuing your education and obtaining an advanced degree in nursing informatics. Certifications are another way to show your expertise. Become certified in nursing informatics, consider a nursing leadership certification and show your acumen for informatics by acing the CPHIMS exam.
Expand your knowledge through ongoing continuing education offered by HIMSS. A webinar is a great way to get new information and obtain continuing education units. It’s important to be active in your specialty outside of your organization too. Become involved with your local HIMSS chapter. If possible, attend the national HIMSS conference. Bring information back and discuss what you’ve learned with other leaders.
It’s amazing how much a nursing informatics leader can offer an organization by being the person who brings ideas and offers solutions. Show your value and prove that you deserve to be at the table. Act the part of the professional leader you want to be.
The views and opinions expressed in this blog or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.