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A Delphi Study to Determine Baseline Informatics Competencies for Nurse Managers


CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: November-December 2010 - Volume 28 - Issue 6 - p 364-370
doi: 10.1097/NCN.0b013e3181f69d89

The objective of this research study was to produce a job-specific list of informatics competencies for generic nurse manager positions. In 2002, Staggers et al (Nurs Res. 2002;51(6):383-390) identified a list of core nursing informatics competencies at four levels of nursing practice but concluded that job-specific competencies still needed to be developed. An expert panel utilized the Master List of Nursing Informatics Competencies produced in the 2002 study by Staggers et al to define the job-specific informatics competencies appropriate for generic nurse manager positions. A three-round Delphi study was utilized to establish the core competencies appropriate for this job-specific position. Participants were expert informatics nurses in the US Veterans' Healthcare System. Based on the Four Levels of Practice defined in the 2002 study by Staggers et al, the panel identified the level 2 experienced nurse as most appropriate for generic nurse manager positions. For the purposes of review, each practice level was considered to include the competencies of the levels below it. Therefore, having selected level 2 experienced nurse, this necessitated the review of levels 1 and 2, which totaled 69 competencies. From the available 69 competencies, the panel selected a total of 49 core competencies appropriate for generic nurse manager positions. This Delphi research study chose to focus on a single job-specific position to take one small step toward the recommendation of Staggers et al to identify job-specific competencies. The generic nurse manager position was selected as it is a vital position in providing leadership and support within all institutions. While the study raises several questions about how the panel elected some competencies over others, it also begins to define which levels of competencies and categories are most appropriate. With this information at hand, the next logical step would be to establish associated tools for competency development and evaluation, which could then be used to properly prepare and review individuals for the associated nurse manager responsibilities.

Author Affiliation: Central Arkansas Veteran's Healthcare System, Little Rock.

Corresponding author: Michael D. Hart, MS (Informatics), BSN, RN-BC, 800 Marshall St, Little Rock, AR 72202-3591 (

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.