Knowledge Worker and Nursing Informatics

Knowledge Worker and Nursing Informatics

The term “knowledge worker” was first coined by management consultant and author Peter Drucker in his book, The Landmarks of Tomorrow (1959). Drucker defined knowledge workers as high-level workers who apply theoretical and analytical knowledge, acquired through formal training, to develop products and services. Does this sound familiar?

Nurses are very much knowledge workers. What has changed since Drucker’s time are the ways that knowledge can be acquired. The volume of data that can now be generated and the tools used to access this data have evolved significantly in recent years and helped healthcare professionals (among many others) to assume the role of knowledge worker in new and powerful ways. Knowledge Worker and Nursing Informatics

In this Assignment, you will consider the evolving role of the nurse leader and how this evolution has led nurse leaders to assume the role of knowledge worker. You will prepare a PowerPoint presentation with an infographic (graphic that visually represents information, data, or knowledge. Infographics are intended to present information quickly and clearly.) to educate others on the role of nurse as knowledge worker.

Reference: Drucker, P. (1959). The landmarks of tomorrow. New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers. Knowledge Worker and Nursing Informatics

To Prepare:

  • Review the concepts of informatics as presented in the Resources.
  • Reflect on the role of a nurse leader as a knowledge worker.
  • Consider how knowledge may be informed by data that is collected/accessed.

The Assignment:

  • Explain the concept of a knowledge worker.
  • Define and explain nursing informatics and highlight the role of a nurse leader as a knowledge worker.
  • Develop a simple infographic to help explain these concepts.  Knowledge Worker and Nursing InformaticsNOTE: For guidance on infographics, including how to create one in PowerPoint, see “How to Make an Infographic in PowerPoint” presented in the Resources.
  • Your PowerPoint should Include the hypothetical scenario you originally shared in the Discussion Forum. Include your examination of the data that you could use, how the data might be accessed/collected, and what knowledge might be derived from that data. Be sure to incorporate feedback received from your colleagues’ responses. Knowledge Worker and Nursing Informatics

A good example of a scenario that would benefit from access to data is a case where a healthcare centre wants to know the number of patients visiting on a daily basis so as to establish whether the available staff is enough.  Data of this nature can be collected by registering all the patients that come to seek medical services on a daily basis for a period of one month. Upon registering the patient, the data might be stored in the computer and retrieved when needed. The only people that will be allowed to access such information are the staff members (McGonigle, 2017).

The specific knowledge that will be derived from the data on a number of the patient visit is information on whether there is a shortage of labour force. In any case, the health facility will, for instance, establish that the number of patients visiting the facility is too high when compared to the available number of nurses; this will be taken to mean that there is a staff shortage. It will also be interpreted to mean that the current staff is being overworked and so the quality of health services being provided is more likely to be compromised (Sweeney, 2017). Knowledge Worker and Nursing Informatics

A nurse leader can use clinical reasoning and judgment in the formation of knowledge from this experience to approximate the overall performance of the health facility being managed. The nurse leader could for example reason that since the health facility is understaffed, it may not be performing well. The nurse leader could judge that the patient feedback is more likely to be negative suggesting poor performance. This is due to the fact that feedback from the patients is one of the tools used to tell whether a health facility is performing well or not (McGonigle, 2017).


McGonigle, D., & Mastrian, K. G. (2017). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge (4th ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Sweeney, J. (2017). Healthcare Informatics. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics, 21(1).

Definition of knowledge worker

Peter Drucker (1959) defined it as a very valuable 21st century asset. It is, therefore, a worker who capitalizes on knowledge as an asset. The worker focuses on the themes of integrity, impact, intelligence and individuality(Pegg,2019). Knowledge Worker and Nursing Informatics

They are different in terms of problem solving of complex problems and creating services and products.

Knowledge worker

The competencies that knowledge workers are associated with include communication, technology skills, team work, ethics, project management, innovation, thinking skills, and ongoing learning.

There is an increasing demand for knowledge workers as employers search for highly skilled workers who will promote the company’s growth. In addition, such workers can easily adapt to the ever-changing digital global market.

For instance, engineers are knowledge workers who must perform complex and technical tasks and who have to adopt to technological advances in their field such as machine learning and artificial intelligence.

Nursing informatics

It involves the combination of nursing science with information technology systems.

The purpose is to manage and generate medical information and systems to promote the nursing performance and patient care management. Knowledge Worker and Nursing Informatics

Overall, it enables nurses and physicians to share information for effective treatment and care of patients. Health informaticists help to develop and develop strong products which are beneficial to all healthcare team members( Sweeney, 2017).

The type data include lab tests and other patient information which can also be accessed by patients through a username and password.

Nursing informatics

There is an increasing demand for nursing informatics in the nursing career field. In addition, the education of nursing informatics specialists is in line requisite competencies of the role (Nagle et al., 2017).Furthermore, informaticians help to translate language and codes in standard technical language(Public Health Informatics Institute,2017). Hospitals are increasingly integrating electronic medical records and integration of information technology in their operational structures. Knowledge Worker and Nursing Informatics

It requires nurses to exhibit skills in nursing, information science and communications. This is a complete shift from the previous nursing roles in which nurses were only limited to the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Today, most nursing professions demand that nurses are able to develop and manage data systems. In this regard, registered nurses(RNs) are in demand as they fall under informatics nursing practice.

Role of a nurse leader as a knowledge worker

Nurses are also examples of knowledge workers because their roles demand high quality care which involves being highly skilled on patient care. A nurse leader, in this regard, is at the forefront of encouraging nurses to promote quality care, medical research and innovation, evidenced-based practice as well as information technology management.

A nurse leader, in this regard, needs to take the initiative to learn and improve their knowledge in how he or she can effectively lead other nurses and their assigned departments in the hospital. In particular, the nurse leader learns how to lead in implementation of quality management, patient education, evidence-based practice and acquisition and implementation of customized technology systems.

Patient care scenario

The application of nursing informatics is integral in the case of a patient who undergoes diagnosis and screening process in a different hospital. Knowledge Worker and Nursing Informatics

The presiding doctor is able to access the patient’s specific antigen test(PSA) results through the other hospital’s electronic health records. The type of data the doctor is able to access includes, blood tests, weight, blood pressure, age and blood sugar levels. This type of data helps the doctor to administer the right testing and subsequent treatment of the patient.


The process of accessing the data is guided by each hospital’s guidelines and policies on data security management. The other hospital’s administrator can easily generate the patient’s previous records and fax them to the other doctor after proper authorization. The patient can also access their data in case he has an account and send an email message to the doctor.

The doctor is able to have an overview of the other hospital’s policies and procedures in how it generates, manages and share patient data with other hospitals.

Knowledge worker concept infographic

Knowledge worker

Thinking skills

Team work & project management

Factual and theoretical knowledge

Technology skills & innovation Knowledge Worker and Nursing Informatics

Ethics & professionalism

Communication skills

Nursing informatics concepts

Nursing informatics

Information Science

Computer Science

Cognitive Science

Nursing knowledge


Milner,J.J.(2016). A Concept Analysis of Nursing Informatics. Retrieved from

Nagle, L.M., Sermeus, W.,& Junger,A.(2017). Evolving role of the Nursing Informatics Specialist. Stud Health Technology In formation, 232, 212-221.

Pegg, M.(2019). Knowledge Workers. Retrieved from Knowledge Worker and Nursing Informatics

Public Health Informatics Institute.(2017). Public Health Informatics: “translating” knowledge for public. Retrieved from =fLUygA8Hpfo

Sweeney,J.(2017). Healthcare informatics. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics, 21(1) Knowledge Worker and Nursing Informatics

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