Nursing informatics has become a key component of the healthcare system and this has been attributed to the emergence of new technological advances which have assured of a more stable healthcare systems linked from education, to research to practice through simple connectivity (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2012). Nurses today are required to understand the role of informatics and more importantly engage directly with nursing informatics with a view to improving the care outcomes across all clinical settings. One of the major facilitations that have occurred in relation to nursing informatics is the ability to provide the nursing student or practicing with as much content as possible through which they can expand their knowledge base and ultimately translate that to research. The process of utilizing the available information is a guided process that is easily described through several phases or levels of consciousness. These include the processes of Data, Information, Knowledge, and Wisdom all which are distinct but interrelated (American Nurses Association, 2015). Data is essentially is the raw content that is available within the various sources and whose meaning or significance does not exist in or of itself. When this data is however structured to address a certain problem, it becomes information and when this information is utilized to solve a practical problem through analysis, it becomes knowledge. This knowledge is then translated into practical settings which it helps improve the judgment of those involved in resolving an apparent problem.
The apparent nurse shortage rates have over time affected the clinical outcomes in healthcare institutions nationwide. While so much research has been rendered to the impact of these shortages and the apparent causes of these shortages, these rates have still remained biting which begs the question as to whether the data acquired through research is usually reliable and effective (Matney, Brewster, Sward, Cloyes & Staggers, 2011). This paper seeks to determine the application of evidence-based approaches in resolving apparent challenges ion healthcare. This will be guided by the following research question; is the nursing faculty sector fully empowered to resolve the current nurse shortage levels witnessed over the years? While this question forms the basis of the exploration, the focus s on determining the process of utilizing available resources of data and the process of translating raw data into useful knowledge that can help increase wisdom to resolve these shortages since already so much information on nursing shortage exists.
As Lang (1993) argues “If we cannot name it, we cannot control it, finance it, teach it, research it or put it into public policy” (Matney, Brewster, Sward, Cloyes & Staggers, 2011). This is more practical in the current healthcare system where cost-effectiveness is the key aspect of evaluation. With the nurse workforce comprising a significant percentage of the entire healthcare workforce, it should not be norm that nurse shortage still remains a biting problem. Essentially, in Lang’s ideology, we should not invest so much, either materially, financially or psychologically in the nursing workforce if there are no return benefits that resolve the apparent challenges being encountered (American Nurses Association, 2015).
Data: In this paper, the following databases will be utilized to gain an in-depth insight of the problem in question and why it has remained so over the years; CINAHL, Cochrane Library database, Dynamed Databases, Medline databases, and the AHRQ (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality) database. The choice of these five databases is informed by the need to narrow to specific resources which have similar structure and whose level of duplication is minimal so as to have a wide range of data to choose. These databases are easily accessible over the web and have been proven as credible sources of information mostly carrying peer reviewed articles and reports.
Information: With this choice, the next step is to seek the specific resources which address the history and trends in nursing shortage and any other resources from within these databases that expound on the issues of nurse workforce. Once this is achieved, the next move is to critically analyze each of the articles and finally come up with those that cover the specific question. In this case, to reach a stage where one can simply transit from the information and knowledge to wisdom, it will be important to consider the indications and contraindications brought about by each of the chosen articles (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2012). For instance, nursing shortage is sometimes attributed to the issue of low enrollment rates in nursing colleges; some other studies link the same to poor working conditions for nurses that essentially do not attract willing persons from joining the workforce as well as pushing away the experienced workforce due to strain, burnout and fatigue.
Knowledge: This would essentially involve analyzing the recommendations of each study and determining where they converge. This convergence zone definitely indicates the solutions that are most viable within the current practice setting. Essentially, only studies within a certain period should be considered and that implies only the most recent so that the ultimate decision reflects the contemporary healthcare setting (Matney, Brewster, Sward, Cloyes & Staggers, 2011). When we understand the scope of nurse education, enrollment rates, working conditions and the rates of retentions and recruitment, then we find a more reliable platform upon which to argue out whether the workforce is fully empowered (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2012). As a key aspect of the exploration process, the key words to be used in the research process include nurse shortage, nurse satisfaction, nursing curriculum and education as well as nurse retention rates.
Wisdom: Within this context, now that the analysis has provided a set of alternatives to answer the research question, the process is to foresee the logical implementation of these alternatives in clinical settings to address the issue at practical level. In this case, it will involve the process of determining the workplace and professional policies of nursing and how the recommended solutions can be applied now that we have the idea that the workforce is not fully empowered to resolve the current challenge of nurse shortage (American Nurses Association., 2015). This will take into consideration the aspects of sustainability of the recommendations and the timelines for the implementation of these recommendations (Matney, Brewster, Sward, Cloyes & Staggers, 2011). Since the focus is on the nurse preparatory states all the way to their integration into practice, this process of translating the knowledge into wisdom will involve the brining together of key stakeholders to ultimately provide a basic overview of the available boundaries and limits through which the recommendations may not surpass (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2012).
American Nurses Association. (2015). Nursing informatics: Scope & standards of practice (2nd ed.). Silver Springs, MD: Author.
Matney, S., Brewster, P. J., Sward, K. A., Cloyes, K. G., & Staggers, N. (2011). Philosophical approaches to the nursing informatics data-information-knowledge-wisdom framework. Advances in Nursing Science, 34(1), 6–18. Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.
McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2012). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.