The Systems Development Life Cycle in Nursing

Role Description for Nurse Leaders Using SDLC Stages

To provide professional nursing care, thorough and precise documentation is essential. Nursing documentation records a nurse’s care and actions with a patient. It also records the results and verifiable evidence of how physicians make decisions and justify their orders. Nursing documentation is an effective communication tool since it documents the nurse’s work and assesses the patient’s progress and success. Designing and deploying a new nursing documentation system takes time and effort. As nurses would be using the system, a nurse leader is an important member and would be a valuable asset to the implementation team.

In ensuring the acceptability and usability of the new system by the involved nurses, the nurse manager should mind the advantages and the difficulties of having a nurse leader on an implementation team. The steps involved in the life of a system are referred to as the systems development life cycle (SDLC). The SDLC is a multi-step procedure often seen in nursing informatics to build new systems like medication reconciliation systems (McGonigle & Mastrian, 2018). The SDLC is a cyclical, unidirectional, iterative process. Due to the rapid advancement of technology, most organizations now employ electronic medical records and software to document the treatment they offer. The SDLC breaks down the complex process of developing new software into digestible components. Understanding the issue or business requirement, comprehending the approach or methodology of meeting the needs, making a plan and implementing and evaluating it, and management, assessment, and the associated destruction are all processes in the SDLC.

Planning and Requirements

This is an essential phase in the design process since it specifies all of the statutory criteria that the design must meet. It would be hard to document the objective that the new system must serve without preparation. The plan also serves as a road map, with attainable targets met methodically throughout the growth process (Sung & Park, 2019). The requirements are well-defined so that both management and the development team can comprehend them, ensuring that the objectives are met smoothly. The nurse leader’s role is to collaborate with other healthcare team members to fulfill tasks such as identifying the project’s scope and problems, choosing feasible solutions, evaluating required resources, creating a project schedule and timeframe, and starting the project. The clinical competence of the nurse assists in the smooth execution of processes and procedures.


Workflows and business strategy, including organizational culture practices, are validated and tested throughout this stage. The role of a nurse leader is to help prioritize project requirements, analyze various possibilities, and provide management recommendations (Sung & Park, 2019). If activities are not done successfully and do not meet corporate and user objectives, project delays, system failures, and blunders, then the process of communication disruption may ensue. The analytic approach includes examining routine activities, communication, and decision-making tools. Participation of a nurse leader in the analysis stage is crucial for analyzing relevant organizational policies and identifying what changes are required to accommodate new work patterns and technology (Weckman & Janzen, 2019). The model is assessed to see whether it is necessary, and options for changing the organization’s method are considered throughout the assessment process.

Designing the New System

The design phase focuses on the layout, interface design, and information flow. The design group determines which programs are necessary and how the programming will operate. During this stage of developing and implementing a nursing documentation system, a registered nurse leader provides critical feedback. For clarity, analysis, and easier adoption, mockups for the new design are created (Sung & Park, 2019). The nurse leader clarifies the system’s objective to improve patient safety. She also helps customize the system so that clinical decision support may be applied to various fields.


The program is created according to the project’s needs within the allocated time range. Before the new system’s debut, all essential features are well-designed and thoroughly tested for stability by the nurse leader (Weckman & Janzen, 2019). Employee training, system maintenance, and result evaluation are all part of the job, which guarantees two-way contact between employees and management to solicit feedback that can be utilized to enhance the system.

Post-Implementation Support

Specific program components, assimilation, quantity, the system as a whole, and beta screening are the five stages of testing. Many programs are created as discrete components, allowing for a thorough examination. During beta testing, clients put the system to use to ensure that it performs what they need to complete their jobs. To correct any software flaws and handle any user concerns, software upgrades and customer support are necessary from time to time (Weckman & Janzen, 2019). Nurses have an essential role throughout the SDLC, from conceptualization to execution. Registered nurses may use clinical expertise, patient needs, and work-related issues to identify flaws in a current software application system and provide suggestions and ideas for a new software program or redesign (Weckman & Janzen, 2019). The registered nurse may use the application throughout the execution stage and make comments on any changes that need to be made.


McGonigle, D. & Mastrians (2018). Nursing informatics and the foundation of knowledge 4(1) pg. 233-250. Jones & Bartlett Learning.

Sung, S. , & Park, H. (2019). Development of a mobile learning system for nurses’ cultural competency training. Health and Wellbeing e-Networks for All (pp. 1371-1372).

Weckman, H., Janzen, S. (2009). The critical nature of early nurse involvement for introducing new technologies. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 14(2).

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