NURS 6051 The Role of the Nurse Informaticist in Systems Development and Implementation 

NURS 6051 The Role of the Nurse Informaticist in Systems Development and Implementation 

NURS 6051 The Role of the Nurse Informaticist in Systems Development and Implementation 

Adopting healthcare technology requires the input of all involved stakeholders. Essential members of the team are nurses. Nurses have intimate knowledge of the shortcomings of paper records and numerous time spent on clinical documentation. The providers are involved in patient intake, information management efforts, and understand that well-designed IT systems make workflows efficient (Akhu‐Zaheya et al., 2019). The current organization intends to adopt a new nursing documentation system. To make the system usable and acceptable to nurses, a nurse leader has to be part of the implementation team. The purpose of this paper is to articulate the role of the nurse leader in line with the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) stages.

System Development Life Cycle Stages

The system development life cycle is a model that outlines the various stages followed to bring a project from inception to completion. When adopting a nursing documentation system, it is crucial to follow the stages to optimize its effectiveness. The stages followed are planning and requirement definition, analysis, designing of the new system, implementation, and post-implementation support. The results from each stage guide the implementation of the next stage since requirements are converted into design while the design helps in coming up with the code (Lalband & Kavitha, 2019). The final stage then authenticates the results from the implementation stage. Akhu‐Zaheya et al. (2019) assert that it is essential to involve nurses to produce a clinical documentation system that enhances inter-professional communication, improves clinical outcomes, and supports patient care. The involvement requires a clear definition of nurse roles at each stage of the SDLC.

Planning and Requirement Definition Stage

At the planning and requirement definition stage, the software requirements are established. A stakeholders’ meeting is held to define the software use, end-users, how to use it, as well as input required and output expected. A nurse leader is needed at this juncture to explain and coherently put the nursing documentation requirements. The explanation reduces redundancy (Verma & Gupta, 2017). The nurse also offers essential information that makes the system different and more relevant clinically. The leader also helps in determining the resources, time, costs, benefits, and other items needed to adopt the new documenting system.


Once the problems have been identified, the analysis stage sets in. The analysis aids in determining if the requirements can be integrated into the emerging software. A ‘requirement specification’ document is developed to guide the next stage. The nurse leader’s role at this juncture is to analyze the end-user needs to ascertain that the system will meet their expectations (Verma & Gupta, 2017). The leader also defines the system processes and workflow by explaining the components from the previous system that were viable and those that require adjustments or elimination. 

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With the requirement specification document at hand, the cycle moves to the design stage. The design requires the development of the code to translate the requirement specification document into a programming language. The nurse leader is needed at this point to guide on various terminologies used in the nursing documentation system (Akhu‐Zaheya et al., 2019). The leader ensures that a standardized nursing language is used to allow accurate communication of patient care information to nurses and other healthcare providers (Verma & Gupta, 2017). The nurse works with the IT team to come up with clear language instructions. The nurse informaticist can learn to code and take up the role of a coder. The role can enhance collaboration and ensure effective integration of the documentation system into practice. In addition to coding, the testing of the system takes place at this juncture. Testing influences the acceptability of the system by the users. The nurse leader helps in establishing innovation strategies to make the system successful. He or she becomes the tester to check the credibility of the system. 

NURS 6051 The Role of the Nurse Informaticist in Systems Development and Implementation 
NURS 6051 The Role of the Nurse Informaticist in Systems Development and Implementation 


Once the coding and testing are done, the implementation of the system begins. The actual installation of the newly-developed system starts. The step involves moving data and components from the old system to the new system (Lalband & Kavitha, 2019). The nurse at this point helps in the accurate transfer of patient data. The system goes live and it is adopted by many users.  The nurse should train end-users on the new system and set meetings with users to get feedback and establish potential facilitators and barriers (Verma & Gupta, 2017). Additionally, they are supposed to track and monitor compliance with the system and use positive reinforcement to encourage users to adhere to the program requirements.

Post-Implementation Support

After implementation, the last stage is post-implementation support. The stage allows end-users to fine-tune the system to boost performance, meet additional user requirements, or add new capabilities. The role of the nurse informaticist is to ensure that the system output aligns with the identified requirements (Verma & Gupta, 2017). The system should capture and store patient information as planned. The nurse is also expected to suggest practical and clinically relevant alternatives for any end-user issues observed.


Nurses should be incorporated in the adoption of health technology. The incorporation will leverage their skills, esteem, and frontline involvement with patients. As indicated above, when adopting a nursing documentation system, a nurse leader is key. The leader roles in each SDLC stage are well articulated and prove that nurse’s involvement enhances system acceptability and optimization.


Akhu‐Zaheya, L., Al‐Maaitah, R., & Bany Hani, S. (2018). Quality of nursing documentation: Paper‐based health records versus electronic‐based health records. Journal of clinical nursing, 27(3-4), e578-e589.

Lalband, N., & Kavitha, D. (2019). Software engineering for smart healthcare applications. International Journal of Innovative Technology and Exploring Engineering, 8, 325-331. 10.35940/ijitee.F1066.0486S419

Verma, M. P., & Gupta, S. (2017). Software development for nursing: Role of nursing informatics. International Journal of Nursing Education and Research, 5(2), 203-207.