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Skill needs for nurses in their role as health informatics professionals : a survey in the context of global health informatics education
In the process of developing global health informatics education, a common understanding of educational outcomes is required. Therefore, an educational framework for health informatics professionals is desirable to support student mobility, trans-national and borderless education. Nurses form a significant part of the health workforce and need to be properly educated for their roles in health informatics. To ascertain their perceptions of needs and priorities, we developed a web-based questionnaire and surveyed Australian nurses on the preferred knowledge/skills set for health informatics professionals. Among others, the questionnaire is based on the International Medical Informatics Association’s (IMIA) set of recommendations on education and IMIA’s scientific map. Benner’s five levels of competencies were applied to measure the degree of competency required for each skill/ knowledge. Altogether, 82 Australian nurses completed the questionnaire. The nurses’ perceived degree of competency required for a total of 74 specific skills and knowledge in five skill categories is presented in this paper as well as the overall results for each of the five categories. Further, significant differences between the nurses’ primary roles and primary interest in health informatics are discussed. The development of a comprehensive health informatics education framework needs to take into account nurses as well as other health professionals. Repeating the survey in other countries and for various professions is essential to develop an international educational framework.