The Evolution of Nursing


The field of nursing has evolved within the past three decades to meet the changing health needs of more underserved populations. Numerous studies and scientific inquiries have been done to present evidence-based concepts that can improve healthcare delivery (Darvish, Bahramnezhad, Keyhanian, & Navidhamidi, 2014). This process of evolution has catalyzed new specialties that appear to differ from contemporary advanced practice nursing (APN) roles. One of these specialties is that of nursing informatics.

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Description of the Specialty

Nursing informatics (NI) has emerged as a new specialty that seeks to transform the nature of healthcare practice. Nurses in this field are trained to gather information using different technologies in an attempt to coordinate and improve the process of health care delivery. Professionals in this specialty develop technologies and communication systems that can be used to design evidence-based care models (Kelley, 2014). They go further to collect and analyze data in order to come up with better medical practices. They design adequate information systems that can be used to store, retrieve, analyze, and interpret data. The gathered information can be used to inform different health policies and practices.

Key Differences

APNs are trained to offer quality, evidence-based, and safe care to patients from diverse backgrounds. Some of the developed APN specialties include those of a family nurse practitioner, mental health practitioner, and nurse midwife (Kostas-Polston, Thanavaro, Arvidson, & Taub, 2014). These roles mainly focus on the best approaches to deliver quality care to different patients. These specialties are clinical in nature since they have to operate in a health care delivery setting. These developed APN specialties have been embraced for decades to deliver safe and timely care to more patients.

However, nursing informatics is a new specialty influenced by modern changes in technology. Unlike the established APN roles, this new specialty focuses on the use and application of technology to improve healthcare outcomes. The specialty is not clinical in nature. NI specialists collect information, analyze it, and come up with inferences that can influence healthcare policy. The professionals go further to guide different units to implement appropriate technological systems to foster communication and health care delivery (Kelley, 2014). They can go further to conduct new researches and disseminate suggestions to improve the safety and quality of medical care.

Future Vision and Goals

Established APN specialties such as family nurse practice seek to deliver quality, timely, and safe care to patients in different settings. The specialties guide practitioners to use evidence-based ideas and clinical competencies to support the health needs of more patients (Kostas-Polston et al., 2014). The practitioners use their competencies to develop adequate care delivery models depending on the unique needs of the targeted patients. The future of these clinical specialties is to ensure exemplary clinical services are available to more underserved populations.

Darvish et al. (2014) informatics is a new field that seeks to utilize the use of modern technologies to improve the healthcare delivery process. The vision of the goal is to ensure new technologies are implemented in different facilities to maximize the outcomes of more people. Despite these differences, it is evident that each APN specialty is critical towards addressing every emerging health need and trend. Each APN specialty can benefit from informatics by embracing appropriate technologies to coordinate various care delivery practices. Nurse practitioners will acknowledge that all specialties are capable of working synergistically to address every emerging healthcare need. The use of technology is a new development that is capable of improving the healthcare delivery process.


Darvish, A., Bahramnezhad, F., Keyhanian, S., & Navidhamidi, M. (2014). The role of nursing informatics on promoting quality of health care and the need for appropriate education. Global Journal of Health Science, 6(6), 11-18. Web.

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Kelley, T. (2014). Opportunities for nurses in the era of electronic health records. Open Journal of Nursing, 4(1), 15-17. Web.

Kostas-Polston, E., Thanavaro, J., Arvidson, C., & Taub, L. (2014). Advanced practice nursing: Shaping health through policy. Journal of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, 27(1), 11-20. Web.

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