- NURS-6051N Week 2: Assignment THE NURSE LEADER AS KNOWLEDGE WORKER
The Nurse Leader as Knowledge Worker
- Knowledge worker are highly-skilled and knowledgeable professions.
- Nurses as knowledge work agents.
- The nurse leader as knowledge worker.
- Recent years have witnessed a significant rise in nursing knowledge work.
- Nurse knowledge workers operate in complex healthcare systems.
Initially coined by Peter Drucker, the term ‘knowledge worker’ has been widely used in reference to highly-skilled individuals with specialized knowledge and skills to meet their distinct professional duties and roles (Drucker, 1959). Sherringham and Unhelkar (2020) insisted that nurse leaders must possess the right set of skills, experiences, competencies, and knowledge that differentiates them from other professionals, and that enables them to fulfill the role of knowledge worker. Considering the complexity witnessed in today’s healthcare systems, the role of nurses as knowledge workers is reinforced by the growing usage of information technologies, precision medicine, nursing informatics, and other advanced systems in the mainstream healthcare environments (Zareshahi et al., 2022). As a result, the eminent position of nurses as knowledge workers is cemented by their rise as frontline healthcare workers actively involved in nursing informatics, and other related medical fields.
- Nursing Informatics is a speciality concerned the application of IT in the nursing roles including nursing practice, education and management.
- Nursing informatics is a high-level technical role.
- Nurse Informaticist assumes and integral role in producing, defining, evaluating and sharing information, data and knowledge in nursing practice.
- NURS-6051N Week 2: Assignment THE NURSE LEADER AS KNOWLEDGE WORKER
According to a definition provided by the American Nurses Association, nursing informatics “is the specialty that integrates nursing science with multiple information and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage and communicate data, knowledge, information, and wisdom in nursing practice” (Anderson et al., 2018). This definition recognizes the vital role played by nursing informatics in promoting the quality and safety of health care, and in improving patient care outcomes through the implementation of relevant technology and associated systems. Zareshahi et al. (2022) insisted that nursing informatics is a rapidly growing field, and hence nurses are required to possess a range of specific skills (for example, data gathering, data usage, knowledge creation and knowledge application) in order to position themselves as competent knowledge workers. Anderson et al. (2018) added that nursing informatics is a key source of knowledge for nurses, and hence professionals in the nursing field must identify and explore ways through which the adoption of health care technologies and systems may assist in the transition toward evidence-based decision-making.
The Nurse leader/Manager as a Knowledge Worker
- Nursing as a specialised field that required advanced knowledge and skills obtained through formal education.
- Nurses utilise information technologies and nursing informatics as a source of knowledge.
- Nurses collaborate with other healthcare practitioners in inter-professional teams.
- Nurses use their clinical knowledge to conduct patient diagnosis and treatment.
- Nurses use their specialised skills and competencies to identify and respond to patient care needs and health-related needs.
Nurse knowledge workers have continued to assume managerial and leadership positions in different healthcare settings. Kumari (2019) clarified that nurse informaticists operate in interdisciplinary team contexts, and hence the demanding and complex work environment requires them to assume key leadership positions. As knowledge workers, the ability of nurses to work as leaders is informed by the greater need to identify working solutions to the increasingly complex demands and needs experienced in the various environments where they practice. Duffey (2017) argued that nurse leaders must use clinical knowledge and expertise to deliver on their assigned roles and responsibilities by creating systems, practices, structures, policies and environments focused on influencing employees’ motivation, ability and opportunity for knowledge work within the healthcare job setting.
- The role of a Nurse leader as knowledge worker
- Nurses as Knowledge Workers
vNursing informaticist integrates their clinical knowledge with IT skills, data and technologies.
v Nurse informaticist utilizes data to enhance patient safety and care.
vData Collection and Analysis
vPopulation Health Initiatives
As knowledge workers, nurse leaders must exhibit a set of traits. Duffey (2017) indicated that nurse leaders must demonstrate and apply solid empirical and conceptual knowledge and competencies acquired through formal nursing education. Similarly, nurse leaders must also demonstrate sufficient information management capability to identify, gather, analyze, apply and disseminate data, information, and knowledge from a vast pool of sources (Lunden et al., 2017). Thirdly, nurse leaders must also demonstrate a leveraged ability to utilize clinical judgment and analytical reasoning to turn complex data and information into evidence-based practices (Ward & Kozakowski, n.d.). Thirdly, the position of nurse leaders as knowledge workers is cemented by their role as communicators, problem-solvers, and decision-makers in today’s increasingly complex, uncertain healthcare environments (Sherman, 2022). These findings support the idea that the role of a nurse leader as a knowledge worker requires this group of healthcare workers to actively engage in EHR implementation, data collection and analysis, care cooperation, and population health initiatives, among others.
Nursing Informatics for the modern ICT:
- Informatics solutions can help control and prevent hospital-acquired infections (HAIs)
- HAIs are a serious healthcare problem that can be tackled using informatics solutions.
- Intensive care unit nurses must learn informatics skills and other related software and hardware applications.
- Involvement of nurses in documentation optimization
- Nurses must possess a range of skills and knowledge related to the use of nursing informatics systems, computer skills, web search methods, nursing databases, and other nursing informatics competencies (Zareshahi et al., 2022).
The hypothetical scenario offered meaningful insights into the role of nursing informaticists in developing and implementing electronic health records (EHR) and other related advanced informatics systems to address the high rates of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). The findings reported that nursing informatics competence is a fundamental requirement for intensive care unit (ICU) nurses (Zareshahi et al., 2022). Equally, implementing informatics systems in the ICU setting was associated with improved quality of ICU treatment and a significant reduction in the rates of HAIs (Anderson et al., 2018). The feedback from my colleagues’ responses did affirm the nurses’ role as knowledge workers. Equally, EHR implementation was identified as a crucial process that demands a good deal of commitment of energy, time, and knowledge and continuous dedication to maintaining and upgrading the EHR systems.
The term “knowledge worker” was first coined by management consultant and author Peter Drucker in his book, The Landmarks of Tomorrow (1959). Drucker defined knowledge workers as high-level workers who apply theoretical and analytical knowledge, acquired through formal training, to develop products and services. Does this sound familiar?
Nurses are very much knowledge workers. What has changed since Drucker’s time are the ways that knowledge can be acquired. The volume of data that can now be generated and the tools used to access this data have evolved significantly in recent years and helped healthcare professionals (among many others) to assume the role of knowledge worker in new and powerful ways NURS-6051N Week 2: Assignment THE NURSE LEADER AS KNOWLEDGE WORKER.
In this Assignment, you will consider the evolving role of the nurse leader and how this evolution has led nurse leaders to assume the role of knowledge worker. You will prepare a PowerPoint presentation with an infographic (graphic that visually represents information, data, or knowledge. Infographics are intended to present information quickly and clearly.) to educate others on the role of nurse as knowledge worker.
Reference: Drucker, P. (1959). The landmarks of tomorrow. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers.