Professional Use of Electronic Resources in Nursing

Electronic resources are information or data distributed online in formats ranging from online journals, personal information within workspace, books, and webpages. The online nature of such resources means nearly anyone can access or create their materials. However, the professional use of electronic resources covers topics such as the creation and distribution of the mentioned resources. Managing and maintaining the access and licensing of an electronic resource system also falls under the umbrella of professional use. Lastly, professional use covers the marketing of electronic resources. Overall, the professional use of electronic resources tends to focus on the appliance of specified resources in a non-casual setting, such as a business or public institution. In particular, the professional use of electronic resources includes functions such as medical coding, storing The Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) data and materials, and lastly, use in Clinical Information Systems (CISs).

Various sources describe the importance of professional use of electronic resources within the nursing setting. For instance, Verminski and Blanchat (2017) cover a variety of topics that might be relevant to any individual seeking to create and publish their electronic resources. The book describes payment plans and marketing, as well as technical and legal aspects, such as electronic resource management and licensing. It also mentions trends and future-proofing electronic resources. The article states that online resources “defy that traditional linear path, however, by moving through cyclical stages as intangible, digital objects, which is commonly referred to as the lifecycle of the electronic resource” (Verminski & Blanchat, 2017, p. 9). However, the main focus of the text is on online libraries, particularly University Online Libraries. Online resources are increasingly relevant, as the text argues “Library acquisition budgets increasingly allocate more funds to electronic resources than to print materials” (Verminski & Blanchat, 2017, p. 9). While important, the scope of online resources is vast. Certain aspects of Online Libraries carry over to other resources; the text by Verminski and Blanchat (2017) is only relevant for individuals seeking to create or work with University Online Libraries. However, the book provides a detailed overview of the technical aspects of maintaining and working with large-scale online resources (Verminski & Blanchat, 2017). The text covers essential, but not exhaustive parts of electronic resources.

In addition, the nursing handbook of informatics presents the valuable reports of various online information databases and multiple ways to use them for healthcare professionals (Hebda et al., 2018). For instance, hospital, clinical, and administrative information systems differ in their purposes; therefore, they need to be handled individually. Overall, it is essential to learn more about healthcare information systems to maintain the professional use of resources.

Furthermore, medical coding is the codification of various medical work aspects, ranging from patient data to equipment information. This codification allows for easy integration into electronic resources. These resources enable healthcare providers and other medical staff to access and view data or patient information quickly. If these data are organized as an electronic resource, it allows patient records to be obtained more easily from different hospitals and potentially different countries. It also provides healthcare professionals to share the data and other materials with the broader healthcare community. However, a recent study found that medical coding in online resources suffered from fragmented and unclear data (Alonso et al., 2020). The study found that “Incomplete, unclear and non-specific documentation in the health records not only hindered the coding process but also worsened the communication across health professionals” (Alonso et al., 2020, p. 34). Health care professionals are not taught to use standardized medical codes leading to lower quality of electronic resources. This would indicate that marketing and educating about the functionality of electronic resources is just as important as building the resources themselves.

QSEN was initially developed as a cooperation with the Institute of Medicine. The QSEN is aimed to improve the state of quality and security of the health care industry. The QSEN named six main competencies expected from all health care providers to reconstruct the health care system. One of the six required skills includes integrating informatics in nursing care (Stalter & Mota, 2017). Overall, the specialists are advised to accommodate contemporary technologies to communicate, lead, decrease error, and encourage reliable patient care decision-making. Thus, the QSEN recognizes and prioritizes computer literacy, including the capability to implement professional use of electronic resources. The QSEN encourages nurses to learn more about publishing medical research online or using secondary-data in the professional setting.

It is important to mention that Clinical Information Systems (CISs) primarily focuses on private clinical information of patients. The CISs uses various applications that apply data from several other devices dedicated to healthcare (Hebda et al., 2018). Overall, the CISs are regarded as an infrastructure to bring this information to nurses and other medical specialists. The database maintains several types of healthcare-related actions, including practitioner form entry, retrieval of results, documentation, and decision assistance (Hebda et al., 2018). Thus, specialists are required to use electronic resources professionally because of constant access to private information collected for an online health record. Therefore, learning how to store, use, and preserve electronic resources is essential for a professional nurse with access to CISs.

In conclusion, electronic sources are knowledge or data shared online in numerous formats. Furthermore, the professional use of electronic resources incorporates themes such as the formulation and distribution of the abovementioned resources. The professional application of electronic resources covers such functions as medical coding, QSEN data, and use in CISs. Various contemporary sources focus on this topic from different aspects, including online libraries or specific information systems. Overall, learning more about the professional use of electronic resources is essential for contemporary nursing specialists.


Alonso, V., Santos, J. V., Pinto, M., Ferreira, J., Lema, I., Lopes, F., & Freitas, A. (2020). Health records as the basis of clinical coding: Is the quality adequate? A qualitative study of medical coders’ perceptions. Health Information Management Journal, 49(1), 28–37.

Hebda, T. L., Hunter, K., & Czar, P. (2018). Handbook of informatics for nurses & healthcare professionals (6th ed.). Pearson.

Stalter, A. M., & Mota, A. (2017). Recommendations for promoting quality and safety in health care systems. Journal of Continuing Education in Nursing, 48(7), 295–297.

Verminski, A., & Blanchat, K. M. (2017). Fundamentals of electronic resources management (6th ed.). ALA Neal-Schuman.