by Bob Kirchner MSN, MBA/HCN, RN; Chair, HIMSS Nursing Informatics Awareness Workgroup
Have you ever had a conversation with someone you just met, and when asked about your work, you tell him (or her) you work in nursing informatics. Then, you get that look, the “I know what a nurse is, but what is informatics?” look. It’s that deer-in-headlights stare. He wants to say something, but he is not sure what to say.
It is at this point I usually say something like, “I help bring technology to nursing to help improve patient care.”
All of a sudden you can see the look of relief as he can picture in his mind what he thinks we do. I have also had this sequence of events happen with nurses. Even though nursing informatics is not a new field, very few people are aware of what we do.
My New Role: My name is Bob Kirchner, and I am the chairperson for the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Awareness Workgroup. I took this excellent opportunity to share information on what our workgroup is doing.
The Nursing Informatics Awareness Workgroup is one of six workgroups that support the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Committee. The workgroup was formed to discuss opportunities and formulate a strategy to create awareness around nursing informatics as a specialty.
A New Activity: The Workgroup
- helps HIMSS garner participation in national events, such as National Nurses Week in May, and specifically, Nursing Informatics Day;
- creates and updates resources around this topic (of nursing informatics); and
- identifies new opportunities to discuss Nursing Informatics within the larger nursing population, as well as within the student nursing population.
Our Potential Projects:
- Using various social media formats. There are a number of workgroup members who would like to create a YouTube video around the HIMSS Nursing Informatics 101 PowerPoint Presentation;
- Documenting vignettes of nurse informaticists discussing what they do and how they got involved in their current role, a topic of interest to another subset of our group;
- Investigating ways of improving communications with individual nursing schools to increase awareness of the Nursing Informatics 101 Presentation; and
- Building more affiliations with other nursing organizations. Already, we have established a more formal relationship with the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing (AAACN) because of contacts within the Workgroup.
Chairing this workgroup has been a great experience for me. The members come from all areas of nursing and make up an energetic group that has many great ideas for “marketing” nursing informatics. I believe taking advantage of the current interest in social networking will significantly increase the visibility of nursing informatics. In addition, I feel visiting nursing schools will raise awareness of nursing informatics. The new graduates will bring their knowledge to hospitals to share it with their co-workers.
My goal as chairperson of the Nursing Informatics Awareness Workgroup is to eliminate the “deer-in headlights” stare that appears when I tell someone what I do, and I think we are off to a good start.
Got an Idea? : If you have an idea for our Workgroup, we want to hear it! Please feel free to contact Jennifer Roniger, HIMSS Program Manager, Informatics.
Bob Kirchner MSN, MBA/HCN, RN