Professional nurses must attain and maintain a level of competency in nursing informatics (NI) that strengthening their ability to make appropriate clinical decisions, enhances patient experiences, and improves outcomes (Schleyer, Burch &amp Schoessler, 2011).

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Professional nurses must attain and maintain a level of competency in nursing informatics (NI) that strengthening their ability to make appropriate clinical decisions, enhances patient experiences, and improves outcomes (Schleyer, Burch & Schoessler, 2011). In her review of nursing informatics competencies, June Kaminski (2012) identifies three categories of competencies: technical, utility, and leadership. She also identifies that within each category of competency, there are three levels of users: beginner or user level, intermediate or modifier level, and advanced or innovator level (Kaminski, 2012). Technical competencies deal with the physical use of computers and other technology devices. NI competencies in the technical category address the nurses ability to use certain applications in a comfortable and knowledgeable manner (Kaminski, 2012). According to Kaminski (2012), utility competencies deal with the actual process of dealing with the use of technology, such as computers, in nursing practice, education, research, and administration. NI competencies in this category address critical thinking skills, the application of evidence based practice and accountability for use of identified applications. Leadership competencies address ethical and management issues related to the use of technology in nursing practice (Kaminski, 2012). Competencies in this category focus on accountability, confidentiality, and quality of documentation.
Upon retaking the P.A.T.C.H. assessment, I scored an 86, which is about three points higher than my last attempt. This score, according to Kaminski (2012), indicates that I am confident of my ability to use computer programs, see computers as way to benefit societal development, and have an “enthusiastic” view of how computers can be used in healthcare. This information is helpful in developing a plan for achieving NI competencies. This time I really evaluated my personal user level in each competency category. I determined that I am at the modifier level in all categories. Some interventions I intend to put in place to move towards the innovator level include: becoming more proficient in a wider variety of computer programs (technical), actively seek out opportunities to learn about advances in technology (utility), and become more involved in using information systems to help develop quality assurance programs.

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