Abstract

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

Informatics competency adoption is a recognized issue across nursing roles in digital health practice settings. Further, it has been suggested that the health system's inability to reap the promised benefits of electronic health/patient records is, in part, a manifestation of inadequate development of informatics competency by chief nurse executives (CNEs) and other clinicians (Amendola 2008; Simpson 2013). This paper will focus on CNE informatics competency and nursing knowledge development as it pertains to the Big Data revolution. With the paper's aim of showing how CNEs armed with informatics competency can harness the full potential of Big Data offering new opportunities for nursing knowledge development in their clinical transformation roles as eHealth project sponsors. It is proposed that informatics-savvy CNEs are the new transformational leaders of the digital age who will have the advantage to successfully advocate for nurses in leading 21st-century health systems. Also, transformational CNEs armed with informatics competency will position nurses and the nursing profession to achieve its future vision, where nurses are perceived by patients and professionals alike as knowledge workers, providing the leadership essential for safe, quality care and demonstrating nursing's unique contributions to fiscal health through clinically relevant, evidence-based practices (McBride 2005b).