1. Section Editor(s): Lewis, Deborah EdD, RN, MPH

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The 2000 National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses1 estimated that 8,406 of the 2.7 million registered nurses in the U.S. identify nursing informatics as their nursing specialty. In order to achieve the national vision access to electronic health records (EHRs) for the majority of Americans, we need many more nurse informaticists.


The recently formed Alliance for Nursing Informatics (ANI) provides a unified voice for nursing informatics that enables consistent representation and participation in the development of public healthcare policy and information technology standards. Through ANI over 3,000 nurse informaticists from 20 distinct regional and national nursing informatics groups will be better able to share information, promote best practice models and collaborate to advance the field.


Several recent events have occurred that bring attention to the importance of nursing informatics and further the development of ANI. ANI leaders were recognized at a Nurses Week celebration and elections were completed for the newly formed ANI Steering committee. These events call attention to the value of a unified voice and the recognition of nursing informatics in shaping the future of healthcare.



ANI leaders were honored during Nurses Week 2005 at an event sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Nurse and healthcare leaders came together-on Florence Nightingale's birthday - to celebrate the importance of nurse leadership. This "Celebrate Nurses" dinner was held at the American Red Cross Building in Washington, DC. The reception featured historical nursing memorabilia from the wonderful museum exhibit at the American Red Cross. Speakers included: The Honorable Lois Capps (CA-23), Co-Chair, House Nursing Caucus and Don Berwick, President and CEO, Institute for Healthcare Improvement.


In her address to the group, Rep. Capps encouraged nurses to share their concerns with congressional leaders. Drawing on her 20 year tenure as a nurse and a cofounder of the House Nursing Caucus, she noted that nurses do not take advantage of the many opportunities they have to advocate for issues of importance such as quality and safety of patient care and adequate nurse staffing. Currently there are seven healthcare IT related bills being reviewed by the 109th Congress. A cross walk describing this proposed legislation can be found at: Rep. Capps encouraged nurse leaders to engage in a dialogue with Congressional members regarding these issues and remind them of the impact that nurses have on patient care delivery. Creating a unified voice is one of the founding principles of ANI. As we learn more about what issues are important to our nursing informatics specialty, we can better use ANI as a vehicle for communicating our message to Congress and the broader healthcare community.



Three Members-at-Large were recently elected to the ANI Steering Committee. Congratulations are in order for: Rosemary Kennedy, Delaware Valley Nursing Computer Network; Kathryn Hoyman, Minnesota Nursing Informatics Group; and Ellie Hunt, North Carolina State Nurses Association Council on Nursing Informatics. These new members join current co-chairs, Connie Delaney and Joyce Sensmeier and ex-officio member Deb Lewis. The ANI Steering Committee is responsible for the management of the property and business of ANI and also serves as the day to day contact for implementation of goals and objectives set forth by the ANI Governing Directors.


ANI Leaders will connect via regular conference calls and will meet face-to-face twice a year. With input from ANI Member organizations the leadership group will work to guide ANI goals and objectives and dialogue about current activities and opportunities to work together. During the first Steering Committee meeting participating ANI leaders formalized their operating procedures and launched new activities including a logo, Web site ( and member benefits. The group also met during the recent AMIA Symposium in Washington DC, the next meeting will be during the HIMSS annual meeting in San Diego CA, February 12, 2006.




1. Spratley E, Johnson A, Sochalski J, Fritz M, Spencer W. The Registered Nurse Sample: Findings from the National Sample Survey of Registered Nurses. US Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Service Administration Bureau of Health Professions, Division of Nursing; 2000. Available at: Accessed December 1, 2005. [Context Link]