The Role of the Nurse Informaticist in Systems Development and Implementation

The purpose of this paper is to describe the role description for a graduate-level nurse to guide participants on the implementation team throughout the process. The role description is based on the SDLC stages and tasks. It will clearly define how this individual will participate in and impact each of the following steps: planning and requirements definition, analysis, design of the new system, implementation, and post-implementation support.

The nursing professions’ impact on communication and information technology utilization possibilities are boundless. The systems development life cycle (SDLC) is a continual development process through planning and implementing advancement (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018). The systems development life cycle (SDLC) is the model specifically useful in project management for the improvement of health information technology (HIT) systems (2018).

Role Description

The nurse leader, usually the nurse manager in this role, needs to scrutinize the problems and what profits become connected with engaging the nurse leader in the health information system’s implementation process. The nurse leaders’ involvement safeguards that the system will be applicable and adequate for the nurses’ using the system. The nurse leaders’ inclusion on the SDLC team is conducive to informatics in health care. The role of informatics in health care integrates information providing evidence of how technology strengthens care quality (McKay & Vanaskie, 2018).

Planning and requirements definition

The planning stage is of utmost importance for the SDLC project as it prepares for the steps to follow and fundamentally will determine the results of subsequent actions (Rehani, n.d.). The planning phase is where the nurse leader participates with the interdisciplinary team representatives to identify the breadth of the obstacles, examine potential solutions, gather needed resources, and plan a schedule for the project and itinerary to commence the project (n.d.). The nurse leaders’ clinical insight into the system and practice with the concurrence of critical thinking skills grants nurses’ superior ability to determine goals for the project. And establish expectations that can be realistically reached (n.d.). The evolution of the health care technology project will be successful with the nurse leader fully participating in the SDLC planning phase.


        The analysis phase involves the nurse leader role to assist in setting up the project’s requirements, developing and examining feasible back-up plan recommendations (Weckman & Janzen, 2009). The lack of back-up plans may delay the project with errors, loss of data, and disintegration in communication between team members. Analysis of the process entails evaluating tools used for decision making, communication, and function processes (Rojas & Seckman, 2014). The analysis also includes examining the technical, hardware, software, staffing, and determining if additional space is needed (Rehani, n.d.). The nurse leaders’ input in this phase includes assessing the organization’s policies to determine if changes are necessary to have the new health care technology system (Darvish et al., 2014).


The design phase requires the nurse leaders’ full engagement to inform the SDLC team to establish that the software’s configuration clearly and correctly is described and to regulate the operation of the system (Rehani, n.d.) Included in the system’s operation requiring regulation are hardware, software, user interface, archiving and use, retrieval of data, networking, and processes (n.d.). The nurses’ role in design includes emphasizing the system’s vital goal is to improve patient safety (n.d.). The nurse leader will collaborate to design the system to support clinical decisions to integrate various specialties (n.d.).


During the implementation phase, the nurse works jointly with the team to facilitate specialization, evaluate by testing, and install the system (Rehani, n.d.). The nurse leader role continues to be vital now with the need to educate and train staff, maintain the system, and communicate results to the information technology (IT) department (n.d.). The nurse leaders’ role remains essential for establishing communication between themselves and the staff to promote evaluation for use in the system’s redesign to improve results (n.d.). The staff evaluation is necessary for modification of the system for tailoring to enhance healthcare technology capability ultimately. Furthermore, the nurse leader will need to make rounds to ensure safety and to assess for problems in the workflow, and identify

system glitches for significant problem solving (n.d.)


        The nurse leader maintains involvement in the maintenance phase by providing ongoing support and sufficient training (Rehani, n.d.). The nurse leader needs to recognize how the system works and the importance of promoting cooperation and submission (n.d.).  The nurse leaders’ engagement in this process will also improve approval and encourage evidence-based practice (n.d.). The nurse informaticist involvement in the SDLC maintenance phase is crucial to minimize technical issues (n.d.). During the maintenance phase, the nurses’ role informs IT of glitches requiring problem-solving to improve the system (n.d.).


The nurse leader, including nurse informaticist importance in full engagement in the SDLC, cannot be understated. The nurse is the backbone of health care organizations. Without the nurses’ participation in the SDLC team phases, improvement in patient safety would be missing. The nurses and other staff using the health care systems would be frustrated and disgruntled due to the lack of logical and smooth functioning of the system meant to improve such and safety. The nurse leaders’ role is crucial to the system being useful to the health care organizations improved safety results.


Darvish, A., Bahramnezhad, F., Keyhanian, S., & Navidhamidi, M. (2014). The role of nursing

informatics in promoting the quality of health care and the need for appropriate education. Global Journal of Health Science, 6(6), 11-18. DOI:10.5539/gjhs.v6n6p11

McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2018). Nursing informatics and the foundation of (4th ed.).

Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.

McKay, C. & Vanaskie, K. (2018). Partnering for success: The role of the nurse leader in

Health information technology implementation for coordination of care. Nurse Leader, 16(6), 385-388.

Rehani, N. (n.d.). Using SDLC methodology to implement HIT. https://pdfs.semantic

Rojas, C., & Seckman, C. (2014). The informatics nurse specialist role in electronic health

record usability evaluation. Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 32(5). 221-222. DOI: 10.1097/CIN.0000000000000042

Weckman, H., Janzen, S. (2009). The critical nature of early nursing involvement for

Introducing new technologies. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 14(2), 1-13. DOI: 10.3912/ojIN.Vol14No02Man02

new technologies. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 14(2), 1-13. DOI:103912/OJN.Vol14No02Man02

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