Abstract

[This article was originally published in Nursing Leadership, 28(4)]

Nursing informatics (NI), as a specialty of nursing, can trace its origins back as far as the 1960s. While difficult to find empirical evidence to pinpoint exactly when NI moved from the fringes of nursing to more mainstream recognition, the late 1990s to early 2000s was a period of significant growth in the desire to leverage information technology as a means of collecting more robust and reliable healthcare information. This, in turn, has led to a significant increase in the number of nurses working as NI specialists.

Those who have remained in NI roles since this time are now reaching the "mid-career" point. This paper will examine the current NI landscape and the experience of a number of early and mid-career nurses who chose to focus on NI by exploring how and why they chose this career path, the opportunities and challenges they have faced to date and their predictions for the future of NI.