The Role of the Nurse Informaticist in Systems Development

The creation and promotion of a safe nursing environment contain several steps and obligations. Due to current changes and innovations, the nursing staff should be ready to implement changes, understand the work of all the necessary systems, and perform their roles. The healthcare system consists of multiple elements, and stakeholders need to measure their needs respectfully (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, n.d.a). In this paper, the analysis of the graduate-level nurse’s roles during the implementation of a new nursing documentation system will be developed regarding the stages of the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC).

Implementation Importance

When a need to implement a new system or change occurs, nurse leaders should support their teams, explain the details, motivate, and follow the correct performance of all the tasks. The participation of a graduate-level nurse in a nursing documentation system implementation plan as an informaticist is obligatory according to the scenario offered for this paper. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (n.d.b), people, who are involved in health information technology practices, participate in planning, design, and analysis activities. Being properly aware of their potential responsibilities, nurses could make significant contributions to the work of the system and the improvement of care quality in general.

SLDC Stages and Roles

Information systems work by a properly developed plan and norms. There are many ways for people to understand how these systems can be implemented, and SDLC is one of the possible ways. McGonigle and Mastrian (2017) admit that SDLC models are regularly developed and pioneered to enhance development techniques. Each stage (planning and requirements definition, analysis, design, and post-implementation support) in the plan has its goals and requirements for the nurse informaticist.

Planning and Requirements Definition

During the planning and requirements definition phase, participants are already informed about available resources, and it is necessary for them to gather information and defined the problem and training requirements. The nurse has to communicate and cooperate with the rest of the team, analyze offered ideas, and make final decisions. Control of human behaviors, motivation, and information are three main elements at this stage. A leader focuses on what the participants know at the moment of implementation and adds new information to help the team take another step in this process.


System analysis is the next stage after the evaluation of the functions of the system in terms of stakeholders’ needs. To guide participation on the implementation team, the nurse must focus on the needs of patients and medical employees and the possibility of the system to identify them. It is not always easy for experts to combine technical and individual aspects of the analysis, and much time is required to complete this task properly. During this stage, comparison, external research, and cooperation within a team are integral, and the task of the leader is to maintain order and control other participants.

Design of the New System

The analysis of the system shows what tasks the team faces and what expectations are imposed. Now, it is time to implement theoretical knowledge into practice. The design stage includes the identification of the functional features, specifying technical details, and the role of the medical employees in the system. A nurse leader is responsible for the distribution of functions in a team and further coordination. It is not recommended for a leader to be involved in a technical process because the task is to observe what other members could do to complete this stage.


As a result of hard work, there is a new system that is ready to be implemented in the healthcare environment. The leader studies how the program is moved and cooperates with the old system. The responsibility of the graduate nurse is not only to make observations and support the team but also to ensure a safe environment and promote the security of the implementation. The principles of confidentiality, availability, and integrity have to be discussed and followed (Bertin et al., 2017). As soon as the change causes problems and confronts the existing elements, it is necessary to attract a technician and accommodate the improvements. If everything works well, a plan for sustainable development is developed.

Post-Implementation Support

Finally, any intervention or change must be analyzed and evaluated after its implementation. The task of the nurse leader is to study recent technical changes (both positive and negative outcomes), professional improvements or losses, and the reactions of stakeholders. During this stage, the leader should decide if the new documentation system is helpful or not within the chosen environment. It is time to discuss possible mistakes, evident achievements, and share rewards if any.


In general, the role of a nurse leader during the implementation of a new nursing documentation system is to keep order and balance the tasks of other representatives of the team. It is necessary to understand that the leader should not be responsible for all activities in this case because enough people with specialized knowledge are able to do their work. However, final decisions that influence the work of the system, human relationships, and collaboration turn out to be a direct responsibility of any leader.


  1. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (n.d.a). Health IT evaluation toolkit and evaluation measures quick reference guide. AHRQ. Web.
  2. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. (n.d.b). Workflow assess-ment for health IT toolkit. AHRQ. Web.
  3. McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. (2017). Systems development life cycle: Nursing informatics and organizational decision making. In D. McGonigle & K. G. Mastrian (Eds.), Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). pp. 175-187. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
  4. Bertin, L. R., Mastrian, K., & McGonigle, D., (2017). Electronic security. In D. McGonigle & K. G. Mastrian (Eds.), Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). pp. 229-242. Jones & Bartlett Learning.