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nurse informatics
Dr. Susan K. Newbold, director of the nursing informatics boot camp

Nurse Informatics Training

In December 2016, MUSC Health hosted a nursing informatics boot camp, an intensive two-day course focused on informatics trends and issues. The course outlined potential careers for those interested in further studying to become board-certified informatics nurses. The boot camp also offered guidance for those just curious about this specialty. Attendees learned key concepts in informatics, information technology and management, and data security.

Medical institutions have a growing need for board-certified nurse informatics specialists. In this multidisciplinary field, nurses investigate how biomedical data and knowledge can be better used to solve problems and improve decision making in health care. For instance, nurse informatics specialists work with information systems that capture patient care data to devise more user-friendly, efficient electronic tools for use by clinicians.

“Applying the nursing informatics process gives us the ability to improve workflow for our health care team members, implement technology at the point of care, and design a way to make sense of all the information in front of us,” said Lisa Ihnken, MEd, BSN, RN-BC, director of informatics and system education. “The goal is to make it easier for us to improve the outcomes of our patients.”

The workshop was led by Susan K. Newbold Ph.D., RN-BC, FAAN, FHIMSS, a health care informatics consultant. Newbold helped establish nursing informatics as a separate professional discipline within the broader field of health informatics. “We were privileged to have her partner with us to provide this great educational workshop, which is part of our continuous learning and striving for clinical excellence in the nursing practice that we provide,” said Ihnken.

“The boot camp speaks to how we support nurses to gain certification; nursing certification is a standard of Magnet,” said Andrea Coyle, MSN, MHA, RN, NE-BC, who manages MUSC Health’s Magnet Program. In 2015, MUSC Health achieved Magnet® recognition from the American Nursing Credential Center. “Our hope is that we begin creating an environment where our frontline nurses are competent in nursing informatics. In health care today, it’s very important to understand all of the elements of clinical informatics and how they are integrated in our health delivery system.”