Competencies in Nursing Informatics in the Saudi Arabian Context:
A Sequential Explanatory Study

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Farhan Alshammari, PhD, RN
Eddieson Pasay-an, PhD, RN
Maria Charito Laarni Indonto, DNM, RN


Studies demonstrate that there is a dearth of literature published in the local context regarding competencies in nursing informatics in Saudi Arabia. This study employs mixed method design (specifically, a sequential explanatory approach) in documenting the nursing informatics competencies of nurses. A total population was used for the quantitative aspect and purposive sampling was used for the qualitative. There were 295 nurses as respondents. This study commenced with the approval of the Ethics Review Board of the University of Hail. The study was conducted from October 2016 to March 2017 at King Khalid Hospital, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The results show that nurses are competent in computer literacy (3.38), informatics management (3.49), and informatics literacy (3.27). Nationality and area of assignment proved to be significant in relation to nurses’ competencies. Three themes and six subthemes emerged which included: (a) uncertainty, with the subthemes of diffident and reticent; (b) uncovering the meaning of technology, with the subthemes of value for patients and technology for nurses; and, (c) streamlining Continuing Nursing Education, with the subthemes of competency perspective and the missing link.

Nurses acknowledged the significance of nursing informatics in promoting safety and quality care to the patient. However, there can be improvement in the impact of the results of this study by focusing on what the nurses consider as contributory factor in the full achievement of competence in nursing informatics.