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Nursing Informatics: Skills, Roles, Concepts

The concepts of wisdom and professional nursing judgment in nursing informatics

No sphere of human activity could exist without proper knowledge in the broad sense of this term. Nursing informatics (NI) is not an exception, and the task of paramount importance is to make use of different materials and sources. In this context, the DIKW (Data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom) model seems to be one of the most illustrative and advantageous because it provides opportunities to act in different settings in an effective way.

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The DIKW framework originated in computer and information sciences, particularly in knowledge management (Matney, Avant, & Staggers, 2016). As the abbreviation implies, it is composed of four elements which overlap but, nevertheless, cover various aspects of materials usage. Data refer to symbols that contain some hidden meaning, and it will be necessary to decipher them in order to handle them. Information is the structured data that provide answers to “who,” “what,” “where,” and “when” questions (Matney et al., 2016). Knowledge appears when relationships based on data and information are established; it addresses “how” questions. Finally, wisdom is the ability to utilize knowledge practically.

The mentioned components form a hierarchy the top of which, wisdom, is the most important constituent because actual decisions depend on it directly. Wisdom may be understood as the knowledge applied to practice to exercise sound professional judgment in real-life matters relevant to nursing. In other words, professional nursing judgment is one of the applications of wisdom.

Thus, DIKW is one of the effective approaches. In medical-surgical and telemetry units, it is successfully used by specialists, and my experience in this area proves that this framework helps solve multiple problems. Apparently, such patients need specific care, and the unit equipment is notable for its complexity since it helps monitor a patient’s heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, and other vital signs. The DIKW model is relevant: the symbols taken from the equipment should be interpreted; then, the collected information is used to obtain knowledge of patients’ health; this knowledge becomes the ground of wisdom. As I work in the unit and deal with patients, I enhance my knowledge and skills and use the DIKW elements in the right order to improve patients’ health. I work with data and information now, and I am mastering my knowledge. I hope it will help me acquire wisdom in future.

Benefits to augmenting course assignments through the use of a virtual learning environment (VLE)

As I see it, a virtual learning environment (VLE) gives several opportunities in relation to time and contents of course assignments. To begin with, an instructor can control students’ participation during the whole course: as learners download and upload materials, do tasks, submit them, post comments, and take part in various activities, one can not only check the time and date of submitting but also set deadlines and update the information. Then, time-saving benefits are significant: learners and teachers spend less time on organizational issues, such as oral instructions (especially if they pertain to long papers and large projects) and documents dissemination. Finally, time management is advantageous to both parties since each person can do tasks at their convenience. In my opinion, it is the core strength. Regardless of circumstances, students have equal chances to succeed, and they can work at their own pace within certain time limits.

The benefits associated with course contents are also numerous. Assignment information, for instance, samples of papers, templates, timetables, links to external sources, and so on, can be found in one place, and one authoritative source guarantees that the represented information is valid and credible.

According to Jain (2015), the main benefit of the VLE approach concerns the variety of scales and images from different perspectives. I suppose it is partially true. Indeed, such course assignments can cover a wide range of materials by means of additional books, articles, etc., but a teacher can also give their students a list of the recommended literature in person. However, the VLE format seems preferable because corresponding comments and details of a particular assignment take much time. Another benefit is that these services can inspire teamwork and communication between an instructor and a learner and, at the same time, between a learner and a learner (Jain, 2015). As a result, students do their assignments in a more effective way.

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Informatics skills levels and the TANIC self-assessment

The informatics skills that I am developing and enhancing now correspond with the set requirements. I am learning to use the change management processes in order to know how different users (patients and heath care professionals) can be transferred from one state to another. In this context, I need record these processes and use IT methods. One of them is to utilize templates which should be evident to users. The skills which I am acquiring are applicable to the existing standards of documenting requirements: I work with the ways to represent the current state of affairs and predict future changes. It is beneficial in terms of workflow: comparing the requirements and the gathered data, I will be able to identify gaps and processes that need to be improved. Although there are many ways of documenting workflow information, a flow diagram using Visio is probably one of the most effective instruments since it demonstrates the order of steps necessary to complete a task successfully. In other words, the documenting-centeredness is the main principle, and I try to master my knowledge and skills with its help.

As for the TANIC self-assessment, I find it useful. It has changed my impression of my informatics skill level to some extent because it provides a well-structured model and gives the opportunity to assess skills consistently. The TANIC tool includes three competency areas: basic computer, information literacy, and clinical information management (Hunter, McGonigle, Hebda, Sipes, Hill, & Lamblin, 2015). An IT specialist can easily address each area and ask themselves whether their skills are good. While basic computer skills are necessary for every professional, information literacy and clinical information management seem to be the issues of great importance. I regularly practice informatics skills and try to evaluate the way I perform. TANIC is helpful because the evaluation depends on the area of competency: as I know that my clinical information management skills need enhancement, I assess my performance in this field in a strict way.

Advance nurse practitioner roles and the application of project management concepts

Within the medical-surgical and telemetry unit, the multidimensional roles of advanced nurse practitioners (ANPs), as well as the project management concepts, are of paramount importance. The ability to undertake a comprehensive and sophisticated physical and/or mental health assessment of patients with complex multiple healthcare needs and/or in crisis is believed to be one of the ANPs’ responsibilities (McBride & Tietze, 2015). However, it is impossible without IT awareness and project management: the current situation demonstrates that innovations are necessary.

I can state that I notice the present-day patients have more complex and numerous diseases and disorders in comparison with the previous years, according to the hospital records. Thus, it is vital to take into account these difficulties. In this context, project management is a useful tool because it is an effective way to evaluate some innovation and its consequences. To put it briefly, project management concepts and IT knowledge and skills are important for ANPs working in medical-surgical and telemetry units because the specialists have to face many complex problems and seek for more efficient and time-optimal solutions.

Another role of ANPs refers to the fact that ANPs may be a vital link between medical and nursing teams: their familiarity with the hospital and networking skills implies the ability to be a valuable communication resource for staff (McBride & Tietze, 2015). As a result, it is necessary to consider not only the roles of ANPs themselves but also those of physicians and nurses and understand the connections among all health care specialists. This sphere is also subject to changes, and one should involve all resources in order to provide adequate patient care. In this respect, I think that project management becomes the instrument of interaction and cooperation among different specialists. I cannot imagine how I could collaborate with doctors and other nurses without collective initiation of changes, their planning, execution, and monitoring.

The HealthIT Hot Topic and its impact on the nursing practice

One of the most pressing problems within the medical-surgical and telemetry unit is medical errors because specialists should deal with different information and equipment and enter and use much data. On the one hand, there are some opportunities intended to ease this process and save time, for example, Cut, Copy, and Paste commands. However, it may turn out to be a disadvantage because some mistakes occur from time to time. As it has been mentioned above, the unit utilizes significant equipment, and any error might become fatal.

Thus, I have selected the topic of copy-and-paste errors in medical-surgical and telemetry units. There are three reasons for this choice: the lack of experience and attention among the staff members, the insufficient control over the data, and accidents. I believe that the specialists need additional training in terms of the newest equipment because it is not an easy task to adapt to the new principles in a short period of time. When they know the operation algorithm of a certain device, they will spend less time on entering data and pay more attention to examination and revision. Another issue of importance is the way of control: while one person is more likely to make a mistake and fail to detect it, several professionals who will look for errors intentionally will probably improve the situation. Although many specialists normally use the same data, they do not always concentrate on the contents; thus, additional editing is necessary. Finally, accidents also happen, and carelessness during the copy-and-paste process is known as the main cause of errors (Hall, 2016).

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Such errors make a substantial impact on the practice. The most dangerous outcome is connected with patients’ health deterioration. Then, specialists have to waste their time on identifying an error. In addition, it takes much time and human resources to correct the mistakes.

Safeguarding Health Information and Systems

The first security issue is connected with the unknown third-party access via mobile apps: it is reported that staff members often download and install mobile apps for their personal use and simultaneously allow unregulated third-party access to the corporate data (Phneah, 2013). Pre-infected applications may cause significant damage. To address this problem, I would suggest specific blacklists should be created and updated regularly.

The second problem is associated with external services which are used to store data: cloud services are the most frequent issues mentioned in this regard. Obviously, such information is not secure. Content security tools should become the way out: discovery and monitoring features will be helpful to prevent data loss and secure devices against any harm (Phneah, 2013).

The third security challenge pertains to data location and segregation which often become the issues of great concern: sometimes, it is difficult to address all legal aspects. Users who choose cloud services want the safety of their information to be proved by documentation, but not all companies provide them in a proper way. Therefore, one may arrive at the conclusion that clear policies should be formulated, and everyone should have access to this information.

Another risk connected with the BYOD system is the loss of devices. It is estimated that the majority of mobile and tablet devices are not usually locked with a PIN or password; as a result, corporative data may be stolen (Phneah, 2013). To avoid such problems, it is necessary to educate users: they should learn to use safe PINs and passwords.

Finally, disgruntled employees pose a threat, and the risks of compromised data should be taken into account. In addition, former employees still have some information. It is often recommended that organizations must monitor data-in-use and data-in-motion on employees’ devices and from cloud services (Phneah, 2013). Moreover, it is necessary to introduce strict policies in terms of the disclosure of information.


Hall, C. D. (2016). ECRI: Be vigilant to prevent copy-and-paste errors. Web.

Hunter, K., McGonigle, D., Hebda, T., Sipes, C., Hill, T., & Lamblin, J. (2015). TIGER-based assessment of nursing informatics competencies (TANIC). In A. Rocha, A. M. Correia, S. Costanzo, & L. P. Reis (Eds.), New Contributions in Information Systems and Technologies, (pp. 171-177). Springer: New York, NY.

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Jain, P. (2015). Virtual learning environment. International Journal in IT & Engineering, 3(5), 75-84.

Matney, S. A., Avant, K., & Staggers, N. (2016). Toward an understanding of wisdom in nursing. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 21(1). Web.

McBride, S., & Tietze, M. (2015). Nursing Informatics for the advanced practice nurse: Patient safety, quality, outcomes, and interprofessionalism. New York, NY: Springer.

Phneah, E. (2013). Five security risks of moving data in BYOD era. Web.

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