Canadian Journal of Nursing Informatics

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This article was written on 23 Sep 2013, and is filled under Volume 8 No 3 & 4.

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Informatics in Canadian Nursing Education – it’s time!

by June Kaminski, RN MSN PhD(c)
Editor in Chief

June KaminskiThe CJNI was initiated by June Kaminski in 2006. June was President of CNIA in 2008-9, and Director of Communication from 2003 to 2012. She is currently President Elect of the Canadian Nurses for Health and the Environment; President and Research Chair for Sigma Theta Tau International, Xi Eta Chapter; and Chief Senior Editor of the Online Journal of Nursing Informatics In 2012, June was honored to receive the CASN and Canada Health Infoway’s inaugural Nursing Faculty E-Health Award 2012 in Ottawa Canada. She offers the Nursing Informatics Learning Centre for nurses.

EDITORIAL

CASNAs an educator who has advocated for the inclusion of nursing informatics in education since the 1990s, I am particularly delighted to see advances in Canadian nursing education. In 2012, the Canadian Association of Schools of Nursing (CASN) and Canada Health Infoway partnered to create a catalyst for this advancement. I was privileged to receive their first Nursing Faculty E-Health Award in 2012 which spurred a deep reflection on how informatics has finally taken its rightful place in the design and direction given to nursing curriculum in Canadian post-secondary institutions.  This fall, a second nurse educator will be honoured with this same award – a fact that reinforces how important informatics is in 21st century nursing education.

This partnership also supported the development of nursing informatics entry-to-practice competencies for registered nurses by an appointed expert working group. “The Competency Development Working Group engaged in a multi-step, iterative process, involving relevant stakeholders from across Canada in developing these entry-to-practice nursing informatics competencies for registered nurses.” (CASN website).  This document is freely available for download and is a ‘must have’ for any practicing nurse in Canada, including nurse educators and their students.  A corresponding inventory document entitled, CASN Nursing Informatics Inventory: A Report of Existing Teaching and Learning Resources  also provides a plethora of resources that can help educators, students, and practicing nurses learn more about nursing informatics.

Now, in 2013, CASN and Canada Health Infoway are launching useful overview sessions, entitled A Lunch Time Information Exchange Webinar Series on Nursing Informatics/eHealth in Baccalaureate Nursing Education. These sessions will debut on November 4 and 6th, 2013 and will be held in the Western-Northern, Quebec, Atlantic, and Ontario regions.

As well, CASN and Canada Health Infoway are reaching Canadian nursing students. In 2013, two students won the first Student e-Health award for their inventive mental health app. “Amanda Li and Scott Wight from Trent University were recognized for the creation of the Trent Mental Health Initiative, a mobile application offering private self-screening, information about mental health issues, and local resources and support services for students. The application was built in response to the increased risk of depressive disorders amongst post-secondary students and the stigma associated with mental health disorders within the larger community.” (Canada Health Infoway announcement).

All of these developments are very heartening, and create a momentum where educators and students can jump in, feet first, and test the waters of nursing informatics in a well-directed and confident way. I look forward to more initiatives across our nation – initiatives that foster the inclusion of informatics in Canadian curriculum. The CJNI fully supports this endeavor and welcomes informatics-related submissions from nursing educators and their students in both undergraduate and graduate programs.

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