Originally Published In
Online Journal of Nursing Informatics
Informatics competencies in nursing education have long been and continue to be a concern. This article reports on the development and psychometric testing of the Knowledge, Skills, and Attitudes towards Nursing Informatics (KSANI) Scale to measure these constructs among entry-level nursing students. A measurement instrument was developed based on the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) Institute informatics competencies for pre-licensure students (Cronenwett et al., 2007). Survey data were collected from a convenience sample of 300 undergraduate nursing students attending the 2014 Florida Student Nurses Association’s annual convention. The data were subjected to Cronbach’s test to estimate the level of reliability as internal consistency. At 0.90, the alpha for the overall scale exceeded the 0.70 benchmark for acceptability. The scale items were clustered into the intended three factors – knowledge, skills and attitudes – as well as into the added factor of opportunities. The instrument was found to be sound and appropriate for the target population.
Nursing informatics combine the disciplines of nursing science, information science, and computer science (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2015). Ever since the time of Florence Nightingale, one of the critical roles of the registered nurse (RN) has been to collect and interpret data to provide safe and effective patient care. Since the early 1980s, informatics competencies in nursing education have been discussed in nursing literature (Staggers, Gassert, & Curran, 2001). In 1992, the American Nurses Association (ANA, 2015) recognized the importance of technology to nursing practice, identifying nursing informatics as a specialty practice. The 1999 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report calling for a safer health care system identified the use information technology (IT) as a key factor toward meeting this goal. In 2010, the IOM published The Future of Nursing, which recommended making technology an essential component of nursing education. Both the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN, 2008) and the National League for Nursing (NLN, 2008) emphasized that knowledge and skills in information management and patient care technology are critical components in nursing education and accreditation.
Skiba, Connors, and Jeffries (2008) identified a lack of informatics competencies in nursing education prior to 2008. Since that time, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) have partnered to support the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) Initiative (AACN, 2016). One of the components of the QSEN Initiative was the development of competencies in various areas including informatics.
This research contributes to the development of a reliable and valid instrument based on the QSEN competencies to test the informatics knowledge, skills, and attitudes of current RN students in Florida.