NLN Board of Governors Urges Better Preparation of Nursing Workforce to Practice in 21st-Century, Technology-Rich Health Care Environment
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY – May 29, 2008 – The federal government plans for most Americans to have an Electronic Health Care Record by 2014. In facilitating interaction and information-sharing among different health care institutions and providers, Electronic Health Records will vastly improve health care by making information more accessible and significantly enhance the quality and efficiency of health care.
But, will the next generation of nurses be prepared to work in such a technology-rich informatics environment? According to survey data collected by the National League for Nursing, the leading professional organization of nurse educators for all types of nursing programs, the answer is ‘no’, despite calls for curricular reform in the area of informatics that date back at least 30 years.
In response, anounced NLN president Dr. Elaine Tagliareni, EdD, RN, at its meeting in May the NLN Board of Governors issued a position statement, “Preparing the Next Generation of Nurses to Practice in a Technology-rich Environment: An Informatics Agenda,” calling on faculty, deans, administrators, and the NLN itself to advocate that all students graduate with up-to-date knowledge and skills in each of three critical areas: computer literacy, information literacy, and informatics.
The genesis of the NLN position statement was a recent survey of faculty and nursing education administrators conducted by the NLN’s Informatics Competencies Task Group of the Educational Technology and Information Management Advisory Council. Results revealed that approximately 60 percent of programs had a computer literacy requirement and 40 percent had an information literacy requirement. Only 50 - 60 percent of respondents said that informatics was integrated into the curriculum and that clinical experience with information systems was provided during clinical experiences. Informatics was more likely to be included in baccalaureate and higher degree nursing programs. The critical conclusion is that while most schools of nursing focused on computer and information literacy, there was considerable confusion as to what nursing informatics entails and what constitutes the necessary knowledge to practice in an informatics-rich environment.
“This position statement’s intent is to support the reform of nursing education to promote quality education that prepares a technology-savvy workforce capable of practicing in a health care environment where technology continues to increase in volume and sophistication,” said NLN CEO Dr. Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN. “As the leader in promoting excellence in nursing education to build a strong and diverse nursing workforce, the NLN views its role as critical. The informatics revolution will impact all of nursing practice, so nurse educators across the academic spectrum must be equipped.”
To read the complete text of “Preparing the Next Generation of Nurses to Practice in a Technology-rich Environment: An Informatics Agenda,” www.nln.org/aboutnln/PositionStatements/index.htm.
Editors and reporters: For interview opportunities, please contact NLN chief communications officer, Karen R. Klestzick, at 212-812-0376 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers faculty development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 27,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members who represent all types of nursing education programs.