NHS Digital has endorsed a national campaign to encourage digital training for nurses at the launch of its inaugural e-nursing week.
The Royal College of Nursing’s (RCN) “Every nurse an e-nurse” wants every UK nurse to be an e-nurse by 2020.
NHS Digital’s e-nursing week, which begins on Monday, 21 August, will be focusing on various aspects of e-nursing, including technology at patient’s bedsides, data-sharing, digital security and the role of apps and wearables.
“The RCN is absolutely right to be placing such a priority on ensuring nurses across the NHS have the tools, skills and resources they need to make the best use of technology and act as effective e-nurses”, said Anne Cooper, chief nurse at NHS Digital.
“We are pleased to endorse that campaign, and commit to working alongside them and other partners to play our role in delivering their ambition of making every nurse an e-nurse by 2020.”
The role of nurses and AHPs in leadership and informatics has been reflected in the rise of the Chief Nursing Information Officer (CNIO) network, which held its first Summer School at Manchester University in July.
Janet Davies, chief executive and general secretary at the RCN, said the college is “pleased to be working with NHS Digital for the benefit of the whole nursing workforce, and their patients”.
“Technology and data are transforming healthcare, presenting huge opportunities to improve treatment, patient safety and wellbeing. It’s vital that nurses have the skills they need to make the most of these opportunities, and that’s what this project is all about.”
The RCN’s campaign, launched 2016, follows previous calls from the RCN to increase nursing input into IT and provide more IT training.
In July 2013, a RCN survey of a 1,000 of its members found the majority of nurses had no influence on the way technology was used in their workplace.
NHS Digital’s commitment is aligned with the Leading Change, Adding Value framework for nursing, midwifery and care staff launched by Jane Cumming, chief nursing officer for England in May 2016.
One of its 10 pledges was “we will champion the use of technology and informatics to improve practice, address unwarranted variations and enhance outcomes”, with the intention to meet this by developing IT skills.
Cummings said that she was “delighted” that organisations across the country are endorsing the campaign.
“Digital technology has a key role in improving delivery of care, health outcomes and efficiency and there is a real opportunity for all nursing, midwifery and care staff to take a lead on its development and use wherever they work.”