Citation: Kagan, O. & Connor, M. (2022). Paving the way: HIMSS NYS chapter Spring 2022 virtual nursing symposium. Guest Editorial. Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), 26(2). https://www.himss.org/resources/online-journal-nursing-informatics
Nursing informatics encompasses a rapidly expanding field in healthcare. The Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) attracts nursing professionals by offering educational advancement, networking and HIMSS certification opportunities. New York State (NYS) comprises one of the few chapters which benefit from the active presence of its nurse members. Nurses constitute the largest workforce sector in the healthcare industry. As of May 2022, members holding RN credentials account for approximately 10 percent of the total HIMSS NYS Chapter membership (Kagan, 2022). To date, the NYS HIMSS nursing committee is the largest committee within the HIMSS NYS Chapter. The nursing committee was initiated by two nursing informatics leaders in 2013 (Connor & Tiase, 2021; HIMSS NYS, 2013). NYS nurse members serve in various roles within the HIMSS organization, including its board of directors, advocacy, diversity, and membership as well as the nursing committee. The committee members represent nursing professionals across New York State, employed in roles such as clinical practice, academia, industry, executive leadership within the healthcare sector.
Despite the nursing committee's growing success, nurses with specialty degrees and certifications gravitate towards organizations which provide educational offerings that they can apply towards advancing their knowledge, license, and recertification requirements. These opportunities, based on our survey results, became limited during the COVID-19 pandemic, and proved cost prohibitive for some members. Additionally, overall membership declined during the pandemic. Determined to incorporate innovative methods to improve declining attendance, our chapter nurse leaders added value by offering American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC) approved educational events with contact hours. According to Dr. Eileen Achacoso, former NYS Board member and former co-chair of the NYS nursing committee (2022), “Providing contact hours is a great value-added to our current and future members” (personal communication, 2022). Additionally, incorporating networking during these events is another way to engage nurses who are looking to advance within the Nursing Informatics (NI) field as well as students who plan to enter the NI specialty. Dr. Kathleen McGrow, Chief Nursing Information Officer for Microsoft Health & Life Science and HIMSS member stated: “This symposium helped expose the NI community to thought leaders, to different opportunities that some may not be aware of, and most importantly build the NI community” (personal communication, May 25, 2022).
The HIMSS NYS chapter leaders remain very attuned to the environment our healthcare workers were subjected to for over two years. Collectively we recognize the unprecedented burden the COVID-19 pandemic added to nurses’ work and well-being. This included rapid integration of advanced technologies, increased workload, and burnout. These challenges inspired the theme for the Spring 2022 Nursing symposium. On May 7th, 2022, the HIMSS NYS chapter nursing committee, in partnership with the Philippine Nurses Association of America (PNAA), held its first educational symposium offering three contact hours. Dr. Mary Joy Garcia- Dia, PNAA President, expressed her excitement to collaborate with HIMSS NYS Chapter “to meet the professional needs of nurses, build future partnerships, and share our individual and collective experiences” (personal communication. June 13th, 2022).
The spring 2022 nursing symposium focused on nurse well-being, leadership, and professional growth, and how they align with the delivery of the quadruple aim. Each session focused on strategies to empower nurses as they navigate through the rapid changes of high-tech healthcare in the 21st century. The first session focused on examination of tools that can empower nurses in self-care and foster well-being. The second session encompassed the application of leadership strategies to facilitate smooth transitions and support nurses in the rapidly changing high tech healthcare environment. The third session provided an exploration of different career pathways in nursing informatics. The program concluded with a 20-minute virtual open discussion and networking session.
After a year of preliminary research of accredited providers, the nursing committee brought up their interest for the educational program with ANCC accredited contact hours to the NYS Board of Directors, which became part of the strategic goal for the 2021-2022 year. A budget was set aside to support this initiative. Upon Board recommendation, the establishment of a task force for continuing education commenced. The task force, composed of representatives from the various chapter committees, developed a comprehensive proposal for the pilot. The proposal was presented to the Chapter Board in January 2022 and received majority approval to move forward. The volunteers from the nursing committee were recruited to serve on the planning committee and met weekly for two months to prepare the event. The planning committee sought out speakers who could provide content relevant to the selected theme. They also worked closely with the chapter's programming, finance, marketing, and technology teams. Weekly notifications were circulated via HIMSS NYS chapter social media platforms and email for five weeks prior to the event. Students, HIMSS and PNAA members attended at no cost, all other registered guests paid a fee of $25.
All seven presenters were invited to a practice run prior to the event to familiarize themselves with the virtual meeting platform, and to meet each other and their session moderators. On the day of the event, the first speaker, Dr. Phyllis Quinlan, PhD, RN, Executive coach from Northwell Health, spoke about recovering, moving forward and creating a career plan for the 21st century. The second speaker, Tracy Gosselin, PhD, RN, AOCN, NEA-BC, FAAN from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC), spoke about supporting nurses through transitions from the leadership lens. Finally, the third session centered around the career ladder in nursing informatics from novice to expert with four panelists: Julie D. Luengas, DNP, MBA, RN-BC, FHIMSS, Jen Zuber-Bozek MBA, RN-BC, CPHIMS, CRCR, Paul Coyne, DNP, MBA, MSF, RN, APRN, AGPCNP-BC, and Sarah Collins Rossetti, RN, PhD, FAMIA, FACMI, FAAN. The symposium culminated with a networking session, where attendees had an opportunity to ask questions and exchange their contact information either verbally or via chat. All sessions were recorded and published on the HIMSS NYS Chapter YouTube channel (HIMSS NYS Chapter, 2022a, 2022b, 2022c). Survey results post the Spring 2022 nursing symposium were analyzed to evaluate attendees’ satisfaction in meeting their needs and expectations, their learning outcomes and knowledge retention, interest in future programs and in becoming a HIMSS and/or PNAA member.
This pilot program met or exceeded all short-term goals, including an increase in attendance, member recruitment and retention, and revenue generation. Out of 96 registered participants, 68 (71%) attended the event. The HIMSS NYS Chapter gained 10 nurse members from the time the nursing symposium was publicized, increasing the total number of nurse members to 239 by May 1st (Figure 1).
Out of those 10 new members, four were nursing students. Subsequently, the NYS nursing committee gained 5 (2.5%) new members. Additionally, 14 existing HIMSS NYS chapter nurse members joined the nursing committee within 30 days of the event. Based on the data from the satisfaction survey, out of 52 responses, 46 were HIMSS members, 5 indicated interest in joining HIMSS. Overall, those who responded to the survey reported a 100% satisfaction with the program. Additionally, the event generated over $1000 from ticket sales ($600), new member fees ($916), and sponsorships ($500).
Qualitative data was collected within the comments section and future recommendations session. Several major themes emerged from analyzing written text. Survey respondents stated they enjoyed topics and found information as well as provision of contact hours very valuable. An expressed desire included the provision of similar, short and highly engaging virtual events in the future. Several respondents conveyed an interest in both virtual and in-person events. They also asked to hear from newer to the field NIs, include more roundtable discussions, and add more time for networking and open discussion. Two people commented on the value of wellness breaks between each session and the reminder emails received on the day of the event. Several major areas of interest based on recommendations were identified and are listed in the order from most to least requested:
The Spring 2022 virtual nursing symposium pilot program proved both successful and well received. While the long-term outcomes of this program may not be evident, the committee met its short-term goals. 1) The program received high satisfaction ratings among attendees in targeted content areas and in acquiring free contact hours; 2) It demonstrated benefits to HIMSS National and NYS HIMSS chapter in relation to recruitment and retention of nurses and student members; 3) It generated revenue from sponsorship, new member fees, and non-member ticket sales; and 4) It opened new opportunities for member engagement, mentorship, and networking.
Valerie Serwicki, MSHI, BSN, RN reflected on her experience, “I joined the planning committee as an opportunity to become more involved with our NYS HIMSS nursing committee, while networking with our impressive team of more seasoned Nurse Informaticist leaders” (personal communication, June 3rd, 2022).
There are areas that could be improved in the future. For example, this event conflicted with the partner organization’s in-person conference and nurses week commitments. Being mindful of the conflicting conferences would be desired. Another area to consider is the registration platform. EventBrite had several limitations which required additional steps for registrants to claim a free ticket and for organizers to manually verify students and non-NYS HIMSS members. The registration platform used by HIMSS National would be ideal. A desire exists for a more versatile platform and/or a more streamlined registration process.
Overall, this event supported The New York State HIMSS Nursing Committee (n. d.) mission to provide “networking and educational opportunities that prepare and support nurses in informatics roles” (pgh. 3). Additionally, it supports our vision, to facilitate member engagement and enrichment for nurses involved with or interested in IT initiatives in health care by leveraging the skills, expertise, and professionalism of its members to support each other.
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Connor, M., & Tiase, V. (2021, July 28). Brief history of the NYS HIMSS nursing committee
[Presentation]. Monthly Nursing Committee Meeting, New York, United States.
HIMSS New York State Chapter. (2013, December). HIMSS eNewsletter, p 1-3.
HIMSS New York State Chapter. (2022a, May 9). Session 1: Spring 2022 Virtual Nursing
Symposium: 'These times they are a-changin' [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/bYKDb_pmcFs
HIMSS New York State Chapter. (2022b, May 9). Session 2: Spring 2022 Virtual Nursing
Symposium: 'These times they are a-changin' [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/Eg006GbyrJc
HIMSS New York State Chapter. (2022c, May 9). Session 3: Spring 2022 Virtual Nursing
Symposium: 'These times they are a-changin' [Video]. YouTube. https://youtu.be/Bix3SWZXDMc
HIMSS New York State Chapter. (n. d.). Nursing committee.
Kagan, O. (2022, May 25). Meeting notes. [Presentation]. Monthly Nursing Committee Meeting,
New York, United States.
Olga Kagan, PhD, RN 1,2
MaryAnn Connor, MSN, RN-BC, CPHIMS, FAMIA 3
1.The Barbara H. Hagan School of Nursing and Health Sciences
2. CUNY School of Professional Studies
3. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York
The authors would like to acknowledge Eileen Achacoso, Mary Joy Garcia Dia, Kathleen McGrow and Valerie Serwicki for contributing testimonials.