The International Online Short Course on Fundaments of Nursing Informatics Was held with the Presence of Distinguished Academics in the Field Aiming at Fostering International Professional Development
Given the importance and necessity of equiping 21st century nurses with informatics theories and tools applicable in healthcare settings with the ultimate goal of improving patients’ outcomes and improved care, TUMS School of Nursing and Midwifery has been examining the possibility of holding such a course for international audience for the first time in the country. TUMS vision is further development of nurses’ skills and specialty in computer science and information science and their readiness for the new demands of the complex healthcare environment, which particularly was impacted from emerging new ICT technologies during the recent decades.
The first session of this online short course entitled “Nursing Informatics (NI) Principle” was held on Saturday, February 20th, 2021 as one of the TUMS programs to improve international online educational collaboration during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event was started by a welcome note and introduction to the 4-week course by Dr. Asieh Darvish, a lecturer of School of Nursing and Midwifery, Medical Surgical Nursing Department, and the moderator of program. Dr. Darvish, as part of her speech, said that:
“The aim of this online short course is to introduce and define the field of NI and its principles, applications and its necessity for 21st century nurses, additionally, to get the audience familiar with NI core competencies, nursing standardized terminologies, NI trends, future perspectives and nursing informatics paradigm shift”.
Then, the importance of the holding such short courses in the field and TUMS interest of developing a curriculum in nursing informatics was stated by Dr. Khatereh Seylani, Vice-dean for International Affairs of School of Nursing and Midwifery, assistant professor and the director of the program. Following her speech, Prof. Dr. Toni Hebda as a nursing informatics pioneer and academic in the US, talked about on how she was interested by the field and her interest to discuss NI and follow up every aspect of NI.
Then, Dr. Tania Azadi, Health Informationist at TUMS opened up the first session of the course to discuss issues on principles of NI. She started by comparing different definitions of NI provided by different scholars and associations during the last decades and emphasized on how NI definition and nurses role rapidly changed and evolved over the years mainly from the technology-focused orientation (early 80s) to information-focused (1989) ending up to a combination of four sciences of technology, information, cognitive and nursing (1996). She also focused on how the knowledge hierarchy and the international multifaceted aspects has been integrated to the definition. Then, a brief history of NI was reviewed, starting almost in 1950s when healthcare began to use computers for finance and administration and continuing to grow until now with an exponential growth in the use and sophistication of computer hardware and software.
Discussing the underlying framework of NI and its components, i.e. the Knowledge Hierarchy, the talk was continued on the importance of developing NI skills and competencies for nurses. The relation of NI with other informatics in the biomedicine as the core science was mentioned and it was demonstrated how the multidisciplinary field of NI have some components of both clinical informatics and public health informatics. The presentation continued by indicating different applications of NI in nursing clinical practice, administration, education, and research. At the final part, roles of a Nurse Informatics Specialist (NIS) and some of challenges and barriers that nurses face when adopting healthcare information technology at the workplace was discussed.
It is worth noting that a total number of 193 participants from 14 different countries including the US, Iraq, Turkey, Palestine, Spain, Nigeria, Ghana, UK, Pakistan, Qatar, Brazil, Afghanistan, Lithuania and Iran attended the first session of this course. This short course is designed for target groups including nurses and other healthcare-related and professionals who are interested and graduated at least from bachelor degree, so undergraduate as well as post-graduate nurses, and also nurses currently practice in hospitals, and healthcare centers could attend this course. The duration of the short course is one month, on a one-session-per-week basis started from 20th February 2021 and will be continued till 15th March 2021. Each session would be approximately two hours including two subsequent lecture presentations followed by one or two time-intervals for question and answer and the break. This course will be held virtually on ZOOM.
It is worth mentioning that, currently there are no formal educational program in NI for nurses in Iran and TUMS School of Nursing and Midwifery faculty members are hopeful that holding such short courses will pave the way to establish a formal education in NI in near future. The agenda would be designing a Nursing Informatics Master's Degree in TUMS to address the issues of clinical and nursing practice influenced by the advent of new ICT technologies with the aim of better clinical decision making and improving patients’ care.
Link to more information on the course and free registration: http://en.tums.ac.ir/en/content/546/fundamentals-of-nursing-informatics