1. Roberts, Darryl W. MS, RN
  2. Ward, Christine L. MS

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The University of Maryland School of Nursing's 17th Annual Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics (SINI), held July 18-21, 2007, shone a spotlight on the shadows of change, challenges, and choices facing all healthcare providers. The keynote address by Gail Wolf, DNS, RN, FAAN, Professor and Program Director, Nursing Administration, University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, set the tone for this motivating 4-day event.


Nearly 500 participants including nurse informaticians, executives, educators, and other providers attended SINI either in person or via Web cast. Those who took advantage of the Web cast had access to all plenary sessions as well as several distinguished concurrent sessions. Organized into six tracks, the concurrent sessions addressed Standards and Interoperability, Informatics in Organizational Leadership, What Nurses Need to Know About IT, Evidence-Based Practice, Evaluation in the IT Life Cycle, and Redesigning Work Processes.


Plenary speakers Stephanie Reel, MBA, BS; Hyeoun-Ae Park, PhD, RN; Angela McBride, PhD, RN, FAAN; Jim Jirjis, MD, MBA; and Robert Kolodner, MD offered diverse perspectives on the transformative changes informatics is bringing to nursing and healthcare. Their talks started each day on a positive and anticipatory note, whereas Dr Kolodner's thoughtful address on Making Health IT Personal ended SINI with a call to action.


Those who attended SINI in person were led by historian Wayne Schaumburg on a walking tour to Baltimore's Historic West Side, including visits to the nation's oldest continually used medical school, Edgar Allan Poe's gravesite, and the Hippodrome Theater. The Maryland Historical Society provided a backdrop for the opening evening's social and networking event, which included a Western theme, dancing, and dinner. The Exhibitor Evening combined the talents of 33 corporate vendors with event participants, presenters, and local healthcare organizations to exchange information about current and forthcoming informatics products and services over the delights of the Taste of Baltimore dinner. Some attendees ventured off on their own to enjoy the city's other offerings, such as Baltimore's Inner Harbor, Fell's Point, the National Aquarium, and Oriole Park at Camden Yards.


Many participants took the opportunity to attend the Nursing Informatics Graduate Programs' Information Sessions to learn more about the School of Nursing's Master of Science, Post-Master's, Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and PhD programs. The DNP program, the newest academic program offered at the School, prepares nurses to develop and integrate evidence to achieve the highest level of nursing practice. Clearly, this is an arena for applied nursing informatics!


The chairperson of the SINI Program Committee was Judy Ozbolt, PhD, RN, FAAN, FACMI, FAIMBE, professor and program director for Nursing Informatics at the University of Maryland School of Nursing.


"I'd like to express my appreciation to all who made this exciting program possible," said Ozbolt. "The presenters, the exhibitors, the staff, the Program Committee, and the participants brought amazing energy to SINI. Together, we are expanding the limits of our knowledge and abilities in nursing informatics. Special thanks go to the sponsors, who enable us to assemble an extraordinary program, at a reasonable price, for our participants. We would particularly like to recognize our Platinum Sponsor, Siemens Healthcare, and our Gold and Silver Sponsors, GE Healthcare, McKesson, and Eclipsys. We are also grateful to our many Bronze Sponsors. Thanks to the generosity of all these sponsors, we were able provide amenities to all participants and award more than $20,000 in SINI scholarships and cash prizes to presenters whose abstracts received top scores in the peer review.


"We are already planning the 2008 program, Building Connections for Patient-Centered Records," continued Ozbolt. "Ms Stanlie Daniels, of the Veterans Health Administration will give the keynote address. We encourage future presenters to watch our Web site ( for details and due dates for abstract submission. We hope that everyone who reads this article will save the date for the 18th Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics, July 16-19, 2008. We look forward to seeing you here next summer."