The Nursing Knowledge Big Data Science (NKBDS) Initiative brings together nurse leaders and informaticists from public and private institutions and organizations across the United States and beyond to utilize their unique knowledge to solve critical problems in health care. Organized into workgroups to address these issues, members meet throughout the year. An annual conference is held every June to discuss accomplishments, challenges, and new goals. The initiative also maintains a publicly-accessible online repository.
By 2013, big data activities were exploding in all fields, including health care. However, nursing found itself on the outside looking in. The University of Minnesota School of Nursing invited nurse leaders to engage in addressing obstacles to achieving sharable and comparable nursing data. Over 40 nurse leaders and informaticians attended the inaugural invitational meeting. Participants included health system leaders, electronic medical record vendors, educators, researchers, and informaticians. Priorities were identified and structured into workgroups with defined goals to be completed by the next annual meeting. All participants agreed that nursing data must be codified in universally-accepted, standardized terminologies in order to be included in big data research. The leaders decided to align with the professional nursing informatics communities of AMIA and HIMSS and to adopt SNOMED CT and LOINC as standardized terminologies. Starting in 2014, the conference has been open to all those who are committed to learn, partner and transform to advance the NKBDS Initiatives’ vision.