Don't shortchange nursing informatics

InformationWeek, August 4, 2011

When Bonnie Westra, MD, learned that the Department of Health and Human Services was issuing grants totaling $71.3 million to expand nursing education, she had mixed feelings. On the one hand, Westra was delighted that federal dollars will support entry-level preparation, advanced practice nurses, and faculty to teach the nation's future nursing workforce. On the other hand, she was disappointed that HHS' press release said nothing regarding specific funds directed toward nurse informatics training. "This is a missed opportunity," said Westra, who sits on the board of directors at American Medical Informatics Association and is also co-chair of the Alliance of Nursing Informatics. She also said that as the healthcare sector shifts toward building a health information infrastructure that will support last year's health reform law, HHS should increasingly direct its dollars toward educating nurses in health IT skills.

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