Innovations in Nursing Informatics: Increasing the Nursing Informatics Workforce
This is an installment of a series of posts on Innovations in Nursing Informatics. Be sure to read the previous posts, "Wired in Rural Washington
" and "Change Management
Although California is famous for its agriculture (oranges, grapes, roses), in the city of Irvine, at the University of California, they soon may be famous for growing informatics nurses.
In November 2011, UC Irvine Healthcare introduced an innovative program to recruit nurses into the field of nursing informatics. Through the combined sponsorship of the chief nursing officer, Karen Grimley, and the chief information officer, Jim Murry, 13 new nurse informaticists have successfully completed the first program, reports Charles Boicey, MS, RN-BC, CPHIMS, information solutions architect, information services, UC Irvine Health.
It's not uncommon for those who make the transition from clinical nursing to nursing informatics to struggle with the "brave new world" of information technology. Many who have made such a transition report that the industry and this specialty are "a different world" with a language and set of protocols vastly different from what they had previously experienced in clinical nursing practice.
The program at UC Irvine Healthcare provided 60 days of formal classroom education, industry specific on-the-job training and several months of mentoring to experienced nurses, who prior to this had no previous information technology experience. The first candidates accepted into the program included RNs with clinical practice backgrounds in ICU, pediatrics, medical-surgical, oncology, orthopedics, transplant, NICU, obstetrics, quality, case management and research. Content for the program's classroom training was modified from the Health IT Workforce Curriculum Components and covered such topics as: role transition, HIPAA, meaningful use, order sets, training on the vendor system, system configuration, Visio for workflow, ergonomics and clinical documentation.
Prior to this program's inception there were few established blueprints for successfully orientating and training newly hired informatics nurses which has resulted in many clinicians' inability to successfully make the transition.
A collaboration between nursing and IT utilizing a modified version of Health IT Workforce Curriculum to create a successful nursing informatics training program to "grow" the nursing informatics workforce and make the transition less painful is an example of an "innovation in nursing informatics."