Advancing Informatics Competencies Amongst Canadian Nurses Case Study

The Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) is the national voice for nursing education, research, and scholarship and represents baccalaureate and graduate nursing programs in Canada. The objective of CASN is to lead nursing education and nursing scholarship in the interest of healthier Canadians.

Similar to most developed countries, Canada’s health sector has been focused on the adoption and use of electronic health records in all settings. Although nursing students and graduates are being exposed to the use of information and communication technologies in practice settings, nursing schools have only recently begun to integrate informatics/eHealth content into undergraduate nursing curricula. While some nursing schools have incorporated informatics content into their basic curricula, others offer elective courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels, still others provide little to no content in any of their nursing programs. Additionally, there is a limited number of nurse educators who have the requisite knowledge, skills and confidence to address students’ learning needs associated with informatics. At this time, there are approximately 9,000 full and part-time nursing faculty in Canada with less than 10% having nursing informatics experience and/or expertise.

The following case study assesses nurses’ informatics competencies and the steps taken to improve both their competencies and training.