Nursing Informatics

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Describe how you would use nursing informatics to develop a standardized nursing language for nursing practice worldwide thus improving patient care?


The use of standardized nursing language for documentation as well as communication in nursing care is crucial in the nursing profession and also to direct care nurse. A common language affects all stakeholders in healthcare ranging from medical professionals, clients, administrators, researchers, and policy makers. Standardized nursing languages have various benefits to nursing care. The benefits include better communication among nurses and other medical providers hence resulting in quality care and enhanced staff and patient satisfaction, increased the visibility of nursing interventions, improved data collection to assess nursing care outcomes and facilitated evaluation of nursing competency. The ability to use language is closely related to the ability to think meaningfully. For a nurse to become a critical thinker, they should be able to use language clearly and precisely. The lack of a common nursing language has been a handicap in nurses’ communications and professionalism concerning nursing care to the public and relations with colleagues (Kearney-Nunnery, 2015). The lack of a consistent, standardized language in nursing practice has also reduced the integration of nursing language and clinical reasoning approaches to academic curricula across programs. The result in a significant number of new graduates who have limited knowledge of nursing language; therefore leading to an inconsistent documentation of nursing challenges. Inadequate communication in nursing practice limits the reimbursement and nursing’s ability to provide policy makers with the required data to transform and inform health policies. Therefore, nursing informatics can be applied to develop specific nursing theories and conceptual models that constitute formal nursing knowledge hence providing a distinctive nursing language.

Nursing informatics

Nursing informatics gets defined as the product of the scientific synthesis of information in nursing since it makes use of concepts from computer science, information science, cognitive science and nursing science. Nursing informatics has continued to evolve as many professionals access, use and then develop the information, computer and cognitive sciences required to advance nursing science for the dual betterment of our patients and our profession. Nursing informatics supports all sectors of nursing that include education, practice, administration, research and also facilitates and guides the management of data. The American Nurses Association (ANA) describes nursing informatics as the specialty in which nurses utilize data, information, knowledge and wisdom to support nurses, patients and other medical staff in making a decision concerning their duties and settings (American Nurses Association (ANA) (2015)). A significant aspect of nursing informatics is communication and transmitting information. The use of nursing informatics as a guide, nurses has become increasingly more involved in management, use, design and assessment of information systems in the healthcare facilities and institutions. Nursing informatics has enabled nurses to identify and develop new ways of using computers and information science as tools to support their practice in undertaking their responsibilities. Nursing informatics facilitates the use of data, information and knowledge to assist patients, nurses and other medical practitioners in decision-making in all roles and settings. The nursing informatics specialists use computer science, nursing science and information science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge and wisdom in nursing practice. The knowledge hierarchy defines four levels of abstraction that is data, information, knowledge, and wisdom.

Choosing databases for the question

The various steps of finding relevant articles in the Walden University Library get described in the section below:

1)    Search the “Walden University Library” on the web, and on the Library home page, select the “Articles by Topic” link.

2)    Under “Select a subject” choose the subject that closely relates to the topic of research. The question in this research is in the category of nursing, hence select the “Nursing” link.

3)    On the subject research page, there is a list of recommended databases and other resources. Explore the list and select the most appropriate database that meets the needs of the research depending on whether the focus is on peer-reviewed research items, or media or new stories.

For example, for the question in this paper nursing and health databases is the most suitable list. Select the databases that are relevant that include CINAHL Plus with Full Text, ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source, MEDLINE with Full Text, ProQuest Health & Medical Complete, CINAHL & MEDLINE Simultaneous Search, MEDLINE (EBSCOhost) (VALE), PubMed, etc.

4)    On the database page, use appropriate search words to locate peer-reviewed and non-peer-reviewed journal articles, books, dissertations, etc. for use in the research. Relevant articles are those that are peer-reviewed, with up to date information and published within the last five years.

Search words for the research question:

Nursing informatics, nursing theory, standardized nursing language, communication, Nursing models, patient care, nursing models

Databases identified for the question

The basis of a relevant article in the database is whether it answers the question in the research. One of the articles identified for the question in this paper that was found in the ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source database is “why nurses need to understand nursing informatics” The article is relevant since it is peer-reviewed and published within the last five years. In the article, the author describes nursing informatics as a nursing specialty that affects learning environment, patient care settings, patient satisfaction, strategic planning, meaningful use and interprofessional collaboration. The nursing principles and nursing of nursing informatics enable a nurse to understand the process used in the conversion of raw data into wisdom required to care for patients. Nursing informatics has tools and capabilities necessary to enrich the data, information, knowledge and wisdom continuum and hence nurses have the information and knowledge necessary to their practice at their fingertips. Therefore, nursing informatics supports nursing practice since it allows quick access to information; hence facilitating delivery of quality care, support administrative decisions and enhancing nursing education (McGonigle, Hunter, Sipes & Hebda, 2014).

Another article identified from the (EBSCOhost) databases is the “Development of a Nursing Informatics Competency Assessment Tool (NICAT).” The project develops a new nursing informatics competency assessment tool for newly hired nurses. The project assesses nurses’ competency in informatics literacy, computer literacy, and informatics management skills. The project promoted positive social change by developing a tool to evaluate informatics competencies in healthcare professionals hence supporting their work (Rahman, 2015).

The online search for relevant articles for the question in CINAHL & MEDLINE Simultaneous Search database also identified the article “The impact of informatics on nursing education: a review of the literature” by Ainsley & Brown (2009). Evidence-based nursing care requires that nurses possess the cognitive skills needed in determining patient needs, researching them, and providing solutions for them by applying new knowledge. The use of technological and online instructional strategies can get applied in nursing education to prepare nurses adequately as well as promote evidence-based nursing, communication, and collaboration (Ainsley & Brown, 2009).

Data, Information, Knowledge and Wisdom Continuum

The data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom continuum gets applied in solving the clinical question in this research.

Data refers to raw facts that exist without meaning or interpretation. The raw facts are the basic elements (atomic structure) or uninterpreted building blocks for the composition to knowledge. Data are discrete entities set objectively without interpretation. It represents symbols that are the lowest level of abstraction in the knowledge hierarchy. They are typically produced by measurements of physical entities converted into numbers, graphs, characters, images and tables. The data for the clinical question is the search words used to search for peer-reviewed articles in the various databases and also the quantitative data from each article.

Information refers to a collection of data that as got processed to produce a certain meaning. There are various techniques used in processing data to information such as sorting, classifying, sorting, organizing, graphing, summarizing, and calculating. These processes prepare data for interpretation. Information is a central concept and healthcare’s most valuable resource. Information gets regarded as valuable when it is accessible, accurate, timely cost effective, complete, flexible, reliable, relevant, verifiable, simple, and secure. We acquire information through actively looking for it or having it conveyed to us by our environment. We employ all the five human senses that are; vision, smell, touch, hearing and taste to gather input from the world around us as well as technologies mature, we will have more and more input through more of our senses. Information in the clinical question are the articles sorted using the various approaches or a defined criteria of identifying relevant articles for the research such as the use of articles published within five years.

Knowledge is a collection of interrelated pieces of information and data. It represents the application of data and information at a higher level of abstraction that is a combination of relationships, ideas, experiences, and rules. Today, we obtain knowledge from our computers (output), through our vision, hearing, or touch (input), and we respond (output) to the computer (input), and this is how we interface with technology. Most individuals connect to the Internet on a daily basis seeking information or imparting information. We are continuously becoming informed, discovering or learning, getting reinforced, rediscovering or relearning, and purging what we have acquired. The information that we acquire gets added to our knowledge base. Knowledge is information that has got synthesized so that relationships get determined and formalized. Data that has got processed to create information and then knowledge may get acquired from individuals, families, societies and populations and the environment in which they exist. The analysis of data from relational databases in computational terms that include the creation of summaries and analysis leads to different forms of knowledge. Knowledge can get stored and shared using different media that range from textbooks, oral communication, and online databases. The knowledge for the research question gets obtained by combining ideas from the various articles selected using defined criteria.

Wisdom in nursing practice refers to the appropriate use of knowledge in managing or finding solutions for various human needs. Wisdom entails knowing when and how to apply knowledge to handle complex situations or specific human problems. Wisdom implies a form of ethics or understanding why specific procedures should or should not get executed in healthcare practice. Wisdom at the highest abstraction level represents the description of systems and frameworks that combine mechanisms, relationships, conceptual models, and rules. It entails the use of data and knowledge to design new entities that include products, systems, and methods. The development of wisdom needs not only empirical knowledge but also personal, ethical and aesthetic knowledge. An applied wisdom that demonstrates the integration in nursing informatics is the proper use of information management and technological tools to support the effective nursing practice. Wisdom for the research question gets obtained by applying the knowledge gained to develop solutions, models, and theories that fit and solve the particular human need. Example the wisdom develop from the article “why nurses need to understand nursing informatics” is that nursing informatics develops a common language that supports nursing practice. In the article, “The Impact of Informatics on Nursing Education” the wisdom developed is the application of nursing informatics in nursing education in which all nurses undergo through thus creating an everyday nursing practice


Ainsley, B., & Brown, A. (2009): The impact of informatics on nursing education: a review of the literature. The Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 40(5), 228-232.

American Nurses Association (ANA) (2015): Nursing Informatics: Scope & Standards of Practice: Silver Springs

Kearney-Nunnery, R. (2015): Advancing Your Career Concepts in Professional Nursing. FA Davis.

McGonigle, D., Hunter, K., Sipes, C., & Hebda, T. (2014): Why Nurses Need to Understand Nursing Informatics. AORN Journal, 100(3), 324-327.

Rahman, A. A. (2015): Development of a Nursing Informatics Competency Assessment Tool (NICAT).

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