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Nursing Informatics Competency Assessment for the Nurse Leader: The Delphi Study

Collins, Sarah PhD, RN; Yen, Po-Yin PhD, RN; Phillips, Andrew PhD, RN; Kennedy, Mary K. MS, RN-BC

Journal of Nursing Administration: April 2017 - Volume 47 - Issue 4 - p 212–218
doi: 10.1097/NNA.0000000000000467

OBJECTIVE The aim of this study was to identify nursing informatics competencies perceived as relevant and required by nurse leaders.

BACKGROUND To participate as a full partner in healthcare leadership among rapidly advancing health information technologies (HITs), nurse leaders must attain knowledge of informatics competencies related to their clinical leadership roles and responsibilities. Despite this increased need to engage in HIT-related decision making, a gap remains in validated informatics competencies specific to the needs of nurse leaders.

METHODS An environmental scan and 3-round survey using Delphi methods used with nurse leaders for competency identification were used.

RESULTS Between 26 and 41 participants responded to each Delphi round. Most nurse leaders acquired HIT knowledge through on-the-job training. We identified 74 competencies from an initial list of 108 competencies.

CONCLUSION This work can advance nursing practice to move beyond “on-the-job informatics training” to a more competency-based model of nursing informatics education and practice.

Author Affiliations: Senior Clinical and Nurse Informaticist and Instructor in Medicine (Dr Collins), Partners Healthcare Systems, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts; Clinical Assistant Professor (Dr Yen), Department of Biomedical Informatics, The Ohio State University, Columbus; Assistant Professor (Dr Phillips), MGH Institute of Health Professions, School of Nursing, Massachusetts General Hospital, Partners Health System, Boston; and Informatics Specialist and Consultant (Ms Kennedy), AEGIS Informatics LLC, Barrington, Rhode Island.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Correspondence: Dr Collins, Partners Healthcare System, 93 Worcester St, Floor 2, Wellesley, MA 02481 (

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