1. Apter, Janet RN, MSN

Article Content


CNSs interested in the effects of technology on nursing practice and patient care have a unique opportunity to improve practice and the work environment through the creative use of technology. The informatics CNS is essential to ensure nurses embrace information technologies in support of practice.



An informatics CNS with clinical experience and informatics expertise can be strategically positioned in the organization as the best insurance for successful use of health information technologies. This role can support nurses and assist in the management of information systems.



As healthcare organizations transition to an electronic health record, a CNS with competencies in informatics can be instrumental to nurses and other disciplines requiring technologies to support their daily practice. This unique role can enable nurses to use information to enhance health delivery and effectiveness.



Nursing at a major medical center is involved in the transition to an electronic record. An informatics clinical nurse specialist was identified by leadership to assist with the integration and development of this system by bridging the gap between the information technology teams and clinical practice. The informatics CNS promotes the individual talents of all members of the teams. The CNS role encompasses the components of practice, consultation, research, education, and management. For the informatics CNS, these specifically relate to the design, development, and implementation of information technology.



The informatics CNS role continues to be valued in the organization. Nursing informatics, an established specialty in nursing and health informatics, continues to develop and focuses on the representation of nursing information and its management and processing within the organization through a specific role.



Ongoing developments in nursing informatics will continue to influence nursing practice. New roles in organizations like the informatics CNS will continue to develop in many areas of healthcare. These roles will be instrumental for clinical information systems that support the clinicians.


Implications for Practice:

This presentation will result in an understanding of the role of an informatics clinical nurse specialist and how this role can be instrumental to healthcare professionals in the use of clinical information systems.


Section Description

The 2010 National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists (NACNS) Annual National Conference is planned for Portland, Oregon, on March 3 to 6. More than 375 clinical nurse specialists (CNSs), graduate faculty, nurse administrators, nurse researchers, and graduate students are expected to attend. This year's theme, "CNS as Internal Consultant: Influencing Local to Global Systems," demonstrates the breadth and depth of CNS practice and leadership at multiple levels in organizations and on healthcare.


A total of 142 abstracts were submitted for review, and 58 (not including student posters) were selected for either podium or poster presentations. Again, this year, there is a CNS student poster session; student abstracts will appear in a later issue of the journal. The abstracts addressed CNS practice in all 3 practice domains as described in the Spheres of Influence Framework for CNS Practice. Abstracts emphasized patient safety and quality care outcomes, leadership, CNS education, evidence-based practice, and new ways to shape CNS practice. Topics include CNS work activities incorporated into the 3 Spheres of Influence, the role of the CNS in developing clinical inquiry skills among staff nurses, use of simulation technology, strategies to maintain clinical excellence, the role of the CNS in National Database for Nursing Quality Indicators (NDNQI) activities, and many new and thoughtful ideas to support CNS education, practice, and research. Collectively, the abstracts represent the breadth, depth, and richness of the CNS's contribution to the well-being of individuals, families, and communities, as well as contributing to the advancement of the nursing profession.


The conference abstracts are published to share new knowledge with those unable to attend the conference. As you read each abstract, appreciate the intellectual talent and clinical scholarship of your CNS colleagues who are advancing the practice of nursing and contributing to the health of society through improved outcomes for patients and healthcare organizations. We encourage you to contact individual presenters to network, collaborate, consult, or share your thoughts and ideas on the conference topics.


Watch for next year's call for abstracts and consider submitting for presentation at the next NACNS annual conference scheduled for March 9-12, 2011, in Baltimore, Maryland.