NURS 8210 Nursing Informatics Pioneers

NURS 8210 Nursing Informatics Pioneers

NURS 8210 Nursing Informatics Pioneers

In the United States (US), the early adopters, developers, and innovators of technology in nursing practice are referred to as Pioneers of Nursing Informatics. These individuals are the innovators, spear headers, and groundbreakers in the specialty of nursing informatics. This paper seeks to compare two nursing informatics pioneers, Patricia Abbott and Virginia Saba, focusing on their professional accomplishments and how their contributions have influenced nursing practice.

Professional Accomplishments of Each Individual

Dr. Patricia Abbott undertook her nursing degree at the University of Maryland and later developed an interest in informatics. Dr. Abbott was among the first nurses to employ data-mining techniques in nursing (Shortliffe, 2004). She explored the existing databases in long-term care to understand factors that contribute to patient outcomes. In addition, she expanded her preliminary work into the patient safety aspect (Shortliffe, 2004). She ensured strong informatics content in programs funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration and AHRQ (American Medical Informatics Association [AMIA], (2021). She took leadership roles in preparing scholars and practitioners in nursing informatics. Besides, she led the establishment of the ANA Standards of Practice for Nursing Informatics and has been the country’s representative to the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) Nursing Special Interest Group.

Dr. Virginia Saba is a nationally and globally recognized pioneer of information technology in nursing. She has led the nursing informatics movement for over 40 years. Dr. Saba started academic technology programs and has supported the expansion of healthcare information technology systems such as the Clinical Care Classification (CCC) System (AMIA, 2021).  During her nursing career, Dr. Saba provided national leadership and fostered technology in nursing practice. When serving in academia, she incorporated nursing technology in nursing programs, facilities (AMIA, 2021). She also undertook federally funded research developing CCC System, National Nursing Standard. She is currently the President/CEO of Sabacare Inc & CCC System, where she integrates the CCC system into electronic healthcare documentation systems.

How Their Contributions Have Influenced Nursing Practice

            Dr. Abbott’s contributions have influenced nursing practice by helping nurses to provide better patient care resulting in improved health outcomes. She explored existing databases in long-term care, which enabled nurses to understand better factors that contribute to patient outcomes (Shortliffe, 2004). As a result, nurses factor in these factors when planning patient care and implement interventions to improve outcomes. Dr. Abbott’s contributions have also influenced nurses to provide safe patient care (Shortliffe, 2004). Dr. Saba’s contributions have improved patient care efficiency through information technology systems such as the CCC system (AMIA, 2021).  The system provides nurses with a unique coding structure for assessing, documenting, and classifying patient care by nurses. Her contribution has also eased and improved nursing documentation, promoting easy access to patients’ health data.

How Their Contributions Have Shaped the Field Of Nursing Informatics

            Dr. Abbott’s contributions have shaped nursing informatics by informing nurse informaticians how they can mine data from databases. As a result, informaticians obtain large data sets and use them to improve healthcare delivery (AMIA, 2021). Her contribution in leadership in preparing scholars and practitioners in nursing informatics has helped to increase the number of nurse informaticians, which promotes the growth of the informatics field. Dr. Saba shaped nursing informatics by introducing academic technology programs, which gave nurses the chance to gain informatics knowledge and thus apply technology in nursing practice (AMIA, 2021). She also supported the development of the CCC system, which helps in the electronic documentation of nursing plans of care. Besides, the CCC System is acknowledged as the terminology of choice for documenting patient care in the electronic health record system.

Lessons I Can Take Away From Their Experiences

            Dr. Abbott’s experiences teach me to pursue my passion and interests in nursing. For instance, she developed a growing interest in informatics, which led her to pursue a master’s degree in nursing informatics and a Ph.D. in information systems. I have also learned that I should use my leadership skills to influence other nurses and foster the growth of the nursing profession. Lessons learned from Dr. Saba include using my knowledge and skills to develop innovative ways to improve patient care delivery. Besides, I should use my leadership position to promote the growth of the nursing profession.  I should also use my leadership power to advocate and lead movements that promote the greater good in the nursing profession.

Skills or Ideas Demonstrated That I Might Apply To My Professional Practice

            Dr. Abbott’s used her leadership to prepare scholars and practitioners in nursing informatics. I would apply this idea of using my leadership position to draw more scholars and nurses to my nursing specialty or towards a certain course that will improve nursing practice. Dr. Saba used her informatics knowledge, skills, and expertise to initiate academic technology programs (AMIA, 2021). I can use my nursing knowledge and skills to establish programs that equip nurses with specific specialty skills.


            Dr. Abbott and Dr. Saba are nursing informatics pioneers who have contributed immensely to influencing nursing practice and shaping nursing informatics. Dr. Abbott employed data mining techniques to help understand factors affecting patient outcomes. She has used her leadership role to equip other nurses with informatics skills and represent other nurse informaticians.  Dr. Saba established academic technology programs and developed the CCC System used in coding and documentation. Her efforts have helped improve patient care delivery for nurses.


American Medical Informatics Association. (2021). Nursing informatics innovators: Patricia Abbott. AMIA – American Medical Informatics Association.

American Medical Informatics Association. (2021). Nursing informatics innovators: Virginia K. Saba. AMIA – American Medical Informatics Association.

Shortliffe, E. H. (2004). American College of Medical Informatics Fellows and International Associates, 2003. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association: JAMIA11(3), 225–233.

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Naturally, people meet and interact at various levels all through life. Through the interaction, it is common for a human being to learn new ideas from other people that could either impact them positively or adversely. Likewise, as an oncology nurse with a practicing experience of more than twenty years, it was a pleasure to mentor a great author, Dr. Mark Braunstein and see him rise as a high-ranking personality in the nursing informatics career. Dr. Braunstein is the pioneer of Patient Care Technologies. Besides, he is credited with initiating plans to create structured electronic health records (EHRs). Dr. Braunstein is an alumnus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology alongside other prominent personalities such as Neil Pappalardo who is the originator of Meditech. Neil Pappalardo is also the pioneer of the Massachusetts General Hospital Utility Multi-Programming System (MUMPS). Today, the health care system is increasingly becoming dynamic, making it imperative to put an equally dynamic process in place to help in coping with this evolving nature of health care. Consequently, nursing informatics has grown in prominence for nursing professionals due to the ability to assist in tracking and trending patient data. This discussion, therefore, seeks to delve into an analysis of Dr. Kathleen A. McCormick and Dr. Susan K. Newbold by considering their achievements and influence on nursing informatics, what can be learned from them, and how to use such lessons in nursing practice.

NURS 8210 Nursing Informatics Pioneers
NURS 8210 Nursing Informatics Pioneers

Overview of Achievements of Dr. Kathleen A. McCormick and Dr. Susan K. Newbold

Dr. Kathleen A. McCormick

            Dr. Kathleen A. McCormick is undoubtedly one of the prominent people in the development of the nursing informatics field. Dr. McCormick, a graduate of computer science (minor) has served the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) for more than 30 years. Dr. McCormick traces her achievement in nursing informatics to her period at the National Institute of Health (NIH) when she applied Teknekon system technology to conduct her nursing researches. Dr. McCormick also mentored prominent people such as Virginia Saba. They would later team up to teach the initial course on nursing informatics at NIH. Besides, Dr. McCormick and Virginia Saba authored numerous works of literature on informatics. Furthermore, Dr. McCormick has also served at different public institutions, including the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), where she created clinical guidelines and tools to support nurses in decision making. She also served in private institutions such as SRA International, Inc., where she contributed immensely in bioinformatics and genomics. She also took advantage of her presence in various committees and boards to advance nursing informatics.

Dr. Susan K. Newbold

            On her side, Dr. Newbold has gained popularity in the field of nursing informatics as a pacesetter and entrepreneur. Her interest in information technology is traced back to her days as an undergraduate student, where she submitted a class project about the application of computers in nursing. This unrelenting enthusiasm would later see her put in charge of overseeing the implementation of the computer system at the institution.  During her practice, Dr. Newbold joined other founders of nursing informatics in the Symposium for Computer Applications in Medical Care (SCAMC). It is from this symposium that these nursing informatics pioneers created the Capital Area Roundtable and Informatics in Nursing (CARING). CARING was instrumental in drumming up support for nursing informatics mainly through newsletters. Dr. Newbold later founded her company and organized Nursing Informatics Boot Camp. She is also a prominent writer of many several nursing informatics books.

 Contributions to Nursing Practice/Informatics

            The influence of DR. McCormick in nursing informatics and practice is the utilization of databases for sourcing data and transform care. Through her groundbreaking application of Teknekon system to conduct research. As a result, nurses are currently utilizing the framework of data, information, knowledge, and wisdom to address issues relating to their practices. Notably, DR. McCormick also created evidence-based clinical guidelines and decision tools. The clinical guidelines and decision tools have enabled nurses to make informed decisions while delivering care to patients. Through creating partnerships with other founders of nursing informatics, DR. McCormick immensely impacted the development of nursing informatics. Finally, DR. McCormick’s remarkable work on genomics and databases has provided a crucial basis to record correct data on genomic information; thus, influencing insightful lessons on treatment based on genomes. 

            On the other hand, the influence of Dr. Newbold on the area of nursing informatics is attributed to the formulation of the CARING initiative. Through this initiative, nurses specializing in informatics can learn the importance of the development of teamwork to achieve the common goal of providing quality care.  Essentially, CARING initiative enabled nursing informatics pioneers to learn from one another’s experience. The essence of working together through CARING initiative was evident when the American Nurses Credentialing Center approved that nursing informatics should be a field in the nursing profession. Although there was no available literature on nursing informatics, DR. Newbold and her colleagues struggled to learn and pass the test. In turn, she initiated the Nursing Informatics Boot Camp that trained and prepared nurses for the nursing informatics certification assessment. To date, Dr. Newbold still commands a great influence in the nursing informatics field by authoring books and lecturing nurses at the university.

Lessons Learned and Application to Nursing Practice

            Essentially, Dr. McCormick and DR. Newbold’s achievement in nursing informatics have inspired many nurses to pursue a career in this nursing field. Besides, nurses can learn a lot from these two protagonists. Foremost, the single most important lesson common among these nurses is flexibility to improvement. In both cases, it is evident that Dr. McCormick and DR. Newbold possessed unrelenting enthusiasm and inquisitiveness towards to computer systems that eventually enabled them to create significant changes in the health care industry through the application of information systems. Therefore, nurses are challenged to emulate these two protagonists by striving to remain relevant and keen on the emerging trends in health care to be able to turn them into opportunity.  For instance, a CARING initiative, that DR. Newbold co-founded with her colleagues turned to be an effective networking opportunity for nurses to share about the application of computer in nursing. Besides, Dr. McCormick’s Nursing Informatics Boot Camp played a significant role in creating nursing informatics awareness among trainee nurses to prepare them for clinical practice. Notably, also, nurses can learn that they are responsible for sharing the knowledge they have acquired in nursing informatics with the future nursing generations. Finally, nurses should learn that the art of applying informatics to conduct research and enhance patient care outcome is crucial to their practice as illustrated by DR. McCormick. 


            The health care system today is multifaceted, and the utilization of the information systems to improve clinical outcomes has proven effective and therefore, used extensively. These information systems competencies are believed to have originated from Technology Informatics Guiding Educational Reform (TIGER) that the founders of nursing informatics created to guide nurses using technology. Among the requirements of TIGER is the inclusion of nursing informatics at every nursing education level. Ultimately, the influence of the nursing informatics founders is still being felt in the current health care field, mostly through the pioneer’s writings, work, and education. Subsequently, as a nurse practitioner, it is imperative to apply the lessons from these pioneers into the clinical practice to ensure positive patient outcomes.