Reflection on National Nurses Week—May 6-12

National Nurses Week is celebrated each year to honor those women and men who have chosen the nursing profession as a career and to highlight the many and diverse ways that nurses contribute to the betterment of patient care. The 2010 theme is Nurses: Caring Today for a Healthier Tomorrow. You may additionally know that nursing is the largest of the healthcare professions and there are more than 3.1 million registered nurses practicing in the United States.

Nurses share their talents in diverse settings and many choose to specialize their practice and expertise in highly defined areas or types of patient care. One of the newest, and rapidly growing of these nursing is Nursing Informatics. As defined by the American Nurses Association’s Nursing Informatics: Scope and Standards of Practice “a specialty that integrates nursing science, computer science and information science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge and wisdom in nursing practice. NI supports patients, nurses and other providers in their decision-making in all roles and settings. This support is accomplished through the use of information technology and information structures, which organize data, information and knowledge for processing by computers.”

May 12 has been designated Nursing Informatics Day by the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Community. It is no coincidence that May 12 was chosen for this day as it is the day of Florence Nightingale's birthday. Florence is probably the first noted nurse to gather, analyze and interpret data for meaningful improvements on care environments and how care was delivered to patients.

Please view the NI Awareness Day flyer and share with any nursing groups, members or interested parties that have a desire to understand and learn more about this exciting profession. Also visit the ANA website to find an online media kit that will get you started with an array of great ideas for publicity and recognition of your indispensable nurses.

On May 12, 2010 at 11 a.m. (CT), the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Community will be presenting “Nursing Informatics 101” by Melissa F. Barthold, MSN, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FHIMSS; Patty Guinn, RN, BS, CPHIMS; and Ruth MacCallum, BS, RN-BC. Register for this complimentary event.

Have a great National Nurses Week!

Christel Anderson on behalf of the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Community.

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