Are Nurses Able to Lead in the Digital Health Evolution? Developing an Informatics Competent and Capable Nursing Workforce

The United States healthcare system is slowly evolving from one built on mostly episodic and ambulatory in-person encounters to one that is digitally based, technology rich and informed by data. Simultaneously, the nursing profession is facing crises on a number of fronts, especially the education pipeline, workforce availability and professional development. Formal education tracks and the postgraduate novice-to-expert continuum have historically contained an insufficient focus on technology and informatics as a core component of nursing practice. For nurses to practice—and lead—in a modern healthcare environment, we must consider solutions that elevate our education pathways.

Learning Objectives

  • Recognize the internal and external drivers shaping nurses’ roles in the digital evolution of healthcare.
  • Appraise the gaps in the current workforce and among new graduates.
  • Examine the current state of informatics in the novice-to-expert trajectory of the nursing workforce.
  • Assess the adequacy of the preparation pipeline from entry to practice, thereby advancing practice. 


  • Marisa L. Wilson DNSc, MHSc, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FIAHSI, FAMIA, FAAN, Associate Professor, Director, Nursing Health Systems Leadership Pathway, Specialty Track Coordinator, MSN Nursing Informatics, UAB School of Nursing
  • Rebecca Freeman, PhD, RN, FAAN, FNAP, Vice President for Health Informatics, The University of Vermont Health Network

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