NR 351 Informatics in Professional Nursing

NR 351 Informatics in Professional Nursing

NR 351 Informatics in Professional Nursing

This week we will consider the use of informatics in nursing. This exciting competency touches our professional lives in many ways. This week in our discussion, you’ll consider your own use of informatics and the ethical issues that might arise from that use. Remember that we are not discussing technology related to skills but the way we transfer information.

According to AACN (2008), “Baccalaureate graduates ethically manage data, information, knowledge, and technology to communicate effectively; provide safe and effective patient care; and use research and clinical evidence to inform practice decisions” (p. 18).


American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2008). The essentials of baccalaureate education for professional nursing practice. – Essentials

Informatics, or the science of information impacts the management of information and technology with emphasis o security and confidentiality of patient and provider information (Rossel, 2003).

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) mandates confidentiality of client medical records and certain information shared with insurance companies, physicians, hospitals and other health care providers (Hood, 2018).

Being an RN, I take special measures to ensure patient privacy.  During my assessment and interview in the pro-operative area I am aware of how loud my voice is and I always pull the privacy curtain.  I am diligent in logging out of the computer after my charting as well.  If I make any notes for myself, I only use the patient initials as my identifier and make sure my notes are shredded after my care is complete.

During my time as a circulator, I have encountered high-school peers, friends, relatives colleagues and people who I know from my church.  If the situation allows, I approach them with the option of me excusing myself from participating in their care.  In some cases, I know the patient would not wish for me to be involved so I simply explain to my charge nurse and ask to be re-assigned. As a surgical technologist, there were times that I only realized that I knew the patient after they had entered the surgical suite.  As a surgical technologist, I could remain in the “shadows” and under my hat and mask remain anonymous.  I would not greet them and make my presence and identity known.

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Regarding the use on-line resources for finding credible information, I use the Chamberlain Library as directed and if not searching the library, I try to find web-sites that end in .gov or .edu.  There are standard sites that I return to time and again because I feel that they are legitimate sites based on the reference used in their sitings.

This class has expanded my knowledge of how to find credible sources and I find that when I see an article, I am now better informed on how to research further and investigate thoroughly so that my information is credible.


Rossel, C. L. Chart (CHART), 2003 Jan-Feb; 100(1): 11-11.(1p)

Hood, L. J. (2018).  NR351. Leddy and Pepper’s Professional Nursing (9th edition).  Philadelphia, PA Wolters Kluwer

You bring up a good point about confidentiality. This can be more of an issue when you work in a small town. That is

NR 351 Informatics in Professional Nursing
NR 351 Informatics in Professional Nursing

very responsible of you to remove yourself from a case. You are correct in looking for credible sites especially when there is so much unsubstantiated information out there. I have been amazed at the inaccurate information that has been published during this pandemic and by normally reliable news sources. Try to use outside resources that have been published in the last 5 years. Your resource is from 2003 and although may still contain accurate information, that is a little old. 🙂

I use informatics in my everyday practice by applying evidence-based practice along with my own personal experiences to better communicate with patients. According to the Massachusetts Nurse of the Future (2016), nurses need, “to analyze as well as synthesize information and collaborate in order to make critical decisions that optimize patient outcomes” (p. 26).  Similarly the Massachusetts Nurse of the Future (2016), also states under evidenced-based practice, that nurses need to, “evaluate, and use the best current evidence coupled with clinical expertise and consideration of patients’ preferences, experience and values to make practice decisions” (p. 47).  While informatics and evidence-based practice are their own core competencies for nursing, I see many areas where they overlap.

According to Hood (2018), informatics is, “the science of information” (p. 355). When I hear the word science, it makes me think of the scientific method and how emotion and different belief systems are left out of the equation. This is where there is room for ethical issues to arise from using nursing informatics in professional nursing.

One example of an ethical issue is whether to treat cancer or let nature take its course. While the medical field might have answers on how to treat cancer due to nursing informatics and evidence-based practice, a person might not want to do so. According to Roy (1989), people have realized that withholding life support is sometimes the right thing to do. “Allowing terminally ill patients to die with dignity…may involve withholding or discontinuing such interventions as respirator support, chemotherapy, surgery and even assisted nutrition and hydration” (p. 343).



Hood, L. J. (2018). Leddy & Pepper’s professional nursing (9th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

Massachusetts Nurse of the Future Nursing Core Competencies: Registered Nurse. (Revised March 2016). Retrieved from to an external site.

Roy, D. J. (1989). Ethical issues in the treatment of cancer patients. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 67(4), 341-346. Retrieved from to an external site.

An interesting take on informatics. Of course, that treatment would only be held if the Patient decided that treatment should be withheld. Sometimes these patients have a lack of understanding of the treatment results. We always must be sure that our patients have the latest information on treatments. We must also assess what their information level is and why.  Many times I would have patients state that they did not want chemo because their neighbor had chemo and they died anyway. Our patients are also reading the internet and taking half-truths away from their reading. Good post.

I definitely believe that could be a very big issue. For example we have two oncologist, one will treat everyone, giving patients some may say “false hope” on stage 4 terminal cancer. Very quick with his explination, “Oh this chemo and radiation regimen can prolong your survival for 6 months.” In and out in 5-10 minutes. The other, very upfront with there diagnosis, explained chemotherapy and radiation, including all the side effects and everything involved if they choose treatment to patient and family. Giving patients better informatics on there diagnosis and everything that comes with it. Patient has all the information needed to chose which option they would prefer to go with, comfort measures or treatment.

Some times the information given actually taking the time to sit down with the patient and family face to face, answering all there questions can make a world of difference on there end.