Radical transformation in profession of nursing and nursing education.

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Message: The profession of nursing and nursing education is “totally transforming” to meet the newly evolving expectations from the nursing workforce. Informatics and electronic health records should be used to train nursing graduates for professional practice.  Federal mandates and professional organizations are encouraging the implementation of electronic medical records in clinical practices.  Academic electronic medical records are fully functional systems through which nursing students can overcome the challenge of EHR adoption, navigate technology & document and plan patient care in a virtual format. 

PROBLEM | Nursing faculty has been identified as the major barrier to the integration of the academic electronic medical record into the nursing curriculum. 

SOLUTION | The National League for Nursing (NLN, 2008) recommends that nursing faculty should participate in programs for advanced faculty development in informatics, also incorporate informatics into all levels of the curriculum. The American Association of Colleges of Nurses (AACN, 2008) identifies information management and the application of technology in patient care as an essential element of baccalaureate education. Curriculum content that accomplishes this expectation includes the use of EHR, decision support tools, and databases. They meet the complex needs of patients in the modern healthcare system.  The Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN, 2011) has identified informatics as an area of competency necessary for the provision of safe and quality care to the patients.  Documentation and planning of patient care through an EHR is a pertinent skill necessary in achieving this competency.

Nursing faculty has been identified as one of the major barriers to implementation of technology and nursing informatics into the nursing curriculum.  Therefore, the need exists to improve faculty skills and knowledge with respect to understanding informatics competencies essential for novice nurses.  Nursing faculty should participate in faculty development programs and form partnerships with local vendors and health care delivery systems to improvise amalgamation of clinical information systems into nursing education.

In order to facilitate successful implementation of an academic EHR, extensive faculty training should be given prior to student use of the program.

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