1. Nicoll, Leslie H. PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN

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It is with great pleasure that I introduce the new editor for CIN Plus and ANI Connection, Dr Mollie Cummins. Mollie succeeds Linda Thede, who served as editor for CIN Plus for a decade. The position of editor for ANI Connection has been vacant for several years and was last held by Deborah Lewis. Mollie was selected for the position after an international, competitive search. She assumed her new position on April 1, 2015.

Figure. Mollie R. Cu... - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure. Mollie R. Cummins, PhD, RN, FAAN, editor of CIN Plus and ANI Connection.

Looking forward, Mollie's vision for CIN Plus is to develop the department with a focus on innovations, emerging technologies, and professional perspectives related to technology in nursing practice, education, and research. Mollie is a current steering committee member and former governing director of the Alliance for Nursing Informatics. She is invested in the organization and its goals through her long-term involvement and will ensure high-quality dissemination through the ANI Connection section of the journal.


Mollie is very enthusiastic about her new position, as she told me in an e-mail conversation. In her words:


Nursing informatics is at a turning point. Electronic health records are now becoming widely adopted, even in the outpatient sector. Federal incentive programs have narrowed the field of vendors. Digital natives or near-natives are increasingly prevalent in our patient population and nursing workforce. Now is the time for nursing to consider optimization. How do we best leverage data and information to the benefit of patients? How do we leverage technology to improve efficiency and maximize the effectiveness of nursing care? Too often, nurses contribute to the collection of data and information but fail to realize immediate gains in time savings or improved patient outcomes. The technology is powerful, but its potential has not been fully realized. As CIN Plus/ANI Connection editor, I will work to facilitate information about innovations, emerging technologies, and important professional perspectives related to realizing the transformative power of technology in nursing practice, education, and research.


Although Mollie is fully immersed in informatics as her career path and focus of research, this has not always been the case. I was surprised to learn that in an early stage of her career Mollie practiced as an emergency nurse and was a board-certified family nurse practitioner. Again, in her words:


My career in informatics was borne out of a pivotal experience during my MSN program. As a thesis study, I compared primary care management of depression to established clinical practice guidelines using paper charts, an impossible task given the ambiguities of both the charting and the guidelines. I realized, in a very clear and vivid way, that handwritten documentation could not be used to advance patient care. I thought of all the time and care I'd put into documenting and describing patient information and care delivery. I thought of all the time invested by America's 2.8 million nurses, diligently documenting similar information. I realized that beyond its most basic function as a human-readable record of care, we could not use that handwritten, paper-based documentation to improve care for patients. This powerful realization led me to learn more about electronic health records and ultimately to study with nurse informaticist Dr Anna McDaniel at Indiana University in 2000. I wanted to learn informatics approaches for leveraging patient data to improve care, and I began studying methods of knowledge discovery and data mining (KDDM). Today, we refer to these methods as "big data science." At the time, the methods were novel in the domain of nursing.


In 2005, Mollie completed her PhD in nursing science and information science from Indiana University and transitioned to a tenure track faculty appointment at University of Utah, recruited by Drs Carole Gassert and Beth Cole. At University of Utah, she found herself embedded in one of the nation's foremost biomedical informatics programs. In an interprofessional model established by Dr Reed Gardner and grown by his successor Dr Joyce Mitchell, faculty from the College of Nursing and School of Medicine informatics programs share office space and collaborate extensively in both research and education. This embedded faculty role was critical to Mollie's development as an informatics scientist, because she has been able to immerse, interact, and learn from thought leaders in the field. Historically, the University of Utah is famous for applied clinical informatics. Early on, Mollie learned to ask and answer the "So what?" question for each and every study. As a result, her research tends to be very applied in nature. Her goal is to save lives and improve healthcare through system-level informatics interventions by better leveraging data and information for improved decision making.


At the University of Utah, Mollie is a tenured associate professor. She is recognized by her peers, both at the university and in the larger informatics community, as an exceptionally productive scientist and educator. She recently received an R01 grant from The US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the only R01 award granted to a College of Nursing faculty member since 2011. Mollie was the first nurse ever accepted to the highly competitive Complex Systems Summer School of the Santa Fe Institute, a think tank for complex systems science that attracts leading early career scientists. Her style of science is characteristically interdisciplinary and collaborative. She leads and innovates in her program of research, but also contributes to the work of her colleagues as a coinvestigator and collaborator. Mollie was inducted as a fellow into the American Academy of Nursing in 2014.


As editor-in-chief, I am delighted to have Mollie on board as part of the CIN editorial team!