Factors Associated With Canadian Nurses' Informatics Competency

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Abstract

As digital innovations continue to transform health systems in Canada, it is important to examine registered nurses' preparedness in informatics, and factors associated with informatics competency. An exploratory, descriptive, cross-sectional survey was used to determine self-perceived informatics competencies, and factors associated with competency, among practicing nurses in Alberta. Results from 2844 completed surveys showed that nurses' self-perceived informatics competency was slightly above the mark of competent. Perceptions of competency were highest on foundational computer literacy skills and lowest on information and knowledge management competencies. However, overall informatics competency mean scores varied significantly in relation to age, educational qualification, years of experience, and work setting. The quality of informatics training and support offered by employers contributed the most to variance in mean scores of total and subdomains of informatics competency. Other factors, such as age, educational qualification, work setting, previous informatics education, access to the Internet, use of health technology, access to supporting resources, informatics training, an informatics role, and continuing education in informatics, also contributed to mean scores variance in differing degrees. Findings from this study provide a basis for actionable policies to address informatics educational needs and support requirements among nurses practicing now and in the future.

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