Nursing informatics education and use: challenges and prospects in Nigeria
In order to function in the increasingly complex healthcare environment, every nurse is required to have basic computer competencies, be able to access, use and evaluate relevant nursing information and possess information management skills. Nurse Faculty, Nurse/Midwife educators are vested with the responsibility of producing the crop of nurses who have the capabilities to fit into the current trend of nursing practice. Literature has shown that comprehensive informatics content is lacking in the nursing curricular at all levels of nursing education in Nigeria. There is preponderance of evidence showing that training in NI is critical in the delivery of safe and quality patient care. This paper examines the current state of nursing informatics education and use in Nigeria and proffer solutions for its future expansion. It is recommended as follows: Nursing programme accrediting bodies in Nigeria (National University Commission [NUC] and Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria [NMCN] should modify their requirements to reflect the value of NI. NI should be incorporated into the nursing curricular at all levels. Nursing administrators such as Deans, Heads of Department, Director of Nursing Services and Principals as well as Nursing associations like National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives [NANNM] and Nigerian Association of University Nursing Programme [NAUNP], should create opportunities for faculty members, Nurse/Midwife educators to develop knowledge & skills required to teach nursing informatics. Faculty members & Nurse/Midwife educators should acquire informatics training and advocate for curricular changes that incorporate informatics and collaborate with colleagues in the clinical settings to provide opportunities for nursing students to utilize informatics tools.
KEY WORDS: Nursing informatics, Nursing informatics education, Competencies, Health informatics.