NATIONAL NURSES WEEK 2012 is a cause for celebration of all the major contributions nurses have made to advance the profession. It is also a cause of celebration of all that is still yet to be as we experience a sharper focus on professional practice to ensure that health information technology is designed to serve the “professionalism” of nursing and all clinical disciplines.
Why Professional Practice?
The hope of technology is to elevate clinicians to their fullest practice potential as well as creating an integrated health care experience as an interdisciplinary team including the patient and family. Without technology this would be impossible to achieve in its highest form – one that brings a professional practice platform that is as equally significant as a healthcare technology platform. Why Professional Practice? Because without clarity on the professional practice of nurses we are at risk as a profession to ensure technology captures the professional value-added contributions we make as the largest healthcare provider in the U.S. If we are not clear on “professional practice” we are at risk to perpetuate “institutional practice” – where technology can reduce nursing professional services to tasks and routines.
My nursing mentor and colleague, Bonnie Wesorick said this well: “Technology has the potential to humanize or dehumanize care, enhance or interfere with professional scope of practice, interdisciplinary partnership and clinical integration. It can ensure evidence-based practice or lead to institutional, task-driven practice. It has the potential to transform education of nursing students and bridge the gap between the desired practice reality and the inadequate present-day institutional realities loved at the point of care. It has the ability to assure that health care, not just medical care will be available for this society”. (2011) – Bonnie Wesorick, MSN, RN, FAAN founder; CPM Resource Center, Grand Rapids, MI USA
The Emerging Role of Nursing Informatics
The past year has also been a year where we have seen great momentum behind the role of the nurse in informatics. I recently had the opportunity to summarize the momentum and significant events in the field in an article, Informatics & the Future of Nursing Practice: How technology will be integrated into every area of healthcare http://nursing.advanceweb.com/Features/Articles/Informatics-the-Future-of-Nursing-Practice.aspx. Nurses that choose careers in informatics need to be strong advocates for professional practice as well as interdisciplinary integration of the professional processes of care. May 12th has been designated Nursing Informatics Day by the American Nurses Association and the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Community. To recognize the significant role of nursing informatics, HIMSS will also be hosting daily stories this week on the HIMSS Blog.
So, in celebration of the over 3,000,000 nurses in the USA and even more world-wide, I wish you a wonderful nurses week! May you find time to reflect on why you chose nursing as a career and on some of the patients and families that gave you your biggest lessons. If you are not a nurse, I hope you celebrate with a special nurse in your life as well as the joy of “partnership” when it comes to healing the body, mind and spirit.
CPM Consortium Summit 2012
I look forward to continuing the celebration with many of you at the CPM Consortium Summit 2012 next week in Arizona http://www.cpmrc.com/cpm-consortium-summit/. We will be sharing our collective progress on Dreams to Reality: Culture and Practice Transformation.
Wesorick, B. (2011) – Beyond Technology: Making Machines the Servants of Health Care in The Power of Ten: Nurse Leaders Address the Profession’s TEN MOST PRESSING ISSUES (pgs 18 & 25).Sigma Theta Tau International, Indianapolis, IN.