Due to the rapid development of digital health, the role of informatics nursing specialist has become increasingly crucial. Taiwan would like to share our experiences in this field. According to a survey on the development of nursing informatics on 2010 in Taiwan, most clinical nurses expressed the need for the cultivation of professional knowledge in nursing informatics. They expected this to be facilitated by nursing professional associations. Therefore, Taiwan Nursing Informatics Association (TNIA) began planning the curriculum and qualifications for training Informatics Nursing Specialist (INS) in 2014.
Individuals with a RN license, a bachelor's degree or higher, at least 2 years of clinical work experiences, and completion of a 30-hour basic training course provided by TNIA, along with passing an exam, are certified as an informatics nursing Specialist (INS). To obtain advanced informatics nursing Specialist (AINS) certification, individuals must have at least one year of relevant work experience after obtaining the IN certification. They are also required to undergo at least 10 hours of information-related courses annually in the past two years. Upon successful review, the AIN certification is granted with a validity period of five years.
Since the inception of the INS program in 2015, a total of 393 individuals have obtained INS certificates, and 24 have obtained AINS certificates. To understand the status and role functions of informatics nurses in healthcare institutions, TNIA conducted a survey in 2023, collecting 60 responses from 42 different healthcare institutions. Among them, 42.9% had dedicated INs assisting in system development, with varying numbers of INS ranging from 1 to 4. In addition to dedicated INS positions, 59.5% of healthcare institutions also had part-time INS role, such as head nurse, supervisor or assistant associate nursing director to assist information systems associated tasks.
When asked to rate the importance of having dedicated INS in healthcare institutions on a scale of 1-10, the average score was 9.27. Furthermore, 100% of respondents expressed a desire to include this professional role as an accreditation requirement for an evaluation on organizations. This reflects the high demand and recognition of the importance of developing nursing technology-related operations.
Among the dedicated INs, 77.8% (14/18) have obtained the INS certification from TNIA, and 64.3% (9/14) have obtained the AINS certification. Their job descriptions include participating in and assisting with information system planning and development, interdisciplinary communications and consultations, and research and development of technology related fields. We postulated that some nurses working in institutions such as school of nursing or information technology vendors/companies who did not respond could also have similar work roles, which revealing continuously contribution to the professional progress of nursing informatics.
The survey results indicate that an emergent needs for systematic training on nursing informatics to enrich nurses’ competency in information technology, and there is a growing emphasis on recognizing, applying, and realizing the value of nursing informatics certification programs for professional development. In the current global trend of severe shortages in healthcare manpower, there is an expectation for more nurses to engage in nursing informatics specialties, which could enhance nursing efficiency and increase the quality of care.
Taiwan Nursing Informatics Association (TNIA)