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Nursing Informatics Reflection

As COVID-19 impacted all of our lives so has this amazing course impacted my perspective of nursing and the exciting future ahead of us through and in emerging trends in informatics. In this spirit, the global pandemic has highlighted for me a major shortfall – succession planning. Many of us have seen a recent poll which found that 7 out of 10 Ontarians believe that there will be a ‘serious mental health crisis’ as a result of the pandemic (CAMH, 2020). How does this impact nurses and our ability to keep going in such difficult circumstances and how can informatics address this?  How will this impact our recruitment in nursing? 

Informatics can help to recruit nurses, train nurses, retain nurses, and help to make a nurse’s job easier. That in itself is a succession plan. Gone are the days that job postings were typed up and pinned on a bulletin board. Job posting are easily accessible on the internet and even advertised in some places. I think eventually we are going to see more advertisements for nursing jobs. I feel like everyone I talk to says their unit is short staffed. Being short staffed takes such a toll on nurses as we are asked to take on more and more. As informatics advances, the hope is that the technology makes our job slightly easier as it eliminates some time consuming steps. Doctors will be able to input patient orders instantly and we won’t have to transcribe messy handwriting, fax the order to pharmacy, write the new medications on their MAR and have it double checked by a colleague.

The Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario (RNAO) conducted a survey between January 29 and February 22 of 2021 which alarmingly found that at least 13% of RNs surveyed reported that they were very likely to leave the profession after the pandemic (RNAO, 2021). One of the recommendations made by the RNAO is to implement succession planning (RNAO, 2021).

The nature of succession planning is, broadly cited, a concept applied across multiple disciplines to recruit, select, retain, and develop motivated individuals who eventually assume leadership roles in an organization (Beasley, 2021).  Although succession planning is widely accepted and is acknowledged in the literature as a prevalent organizational practice, succession planning has not been implemented by some institutions of higher education for the nursing in some organizations (Beasley, 2021). I am personally fearful that if succession planning is not addressed in nursing through the help of informatics, we might find ourselves in a place where the pool of eligible and willing candidates of nursing dries up. 

References

Beasley, S. F., & Ard, N. (2021, January 12). The future of nursing: Succession planning. Teaching and Learning in Nursing, 16(2), 105–109. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.teln.2020.12.003

Canadian Medical Association. (2020, July). Mental health in Canada: Covid-19 and beyond. https://www.camh.ca/-/media/files/pdfs—public-policy-submissions/covid-and-mh-policy-paper-pdf.pdf

Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario. (2021, April 1). Results of nursing survey point to an alarming exodus from the profession following the pandemic. https://rnao.ca/fr/news/results-nursing-survey-point-alarming-exodus-profession-following-pandemic

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