For more than a decade the New England area has been home to two Nursing Informatics specialty organizations. The Boston Area Nursing Informatics Consortium (BANIC) was founded in 1990 and served the interests of informatics nurses in the greater Boston area. The Nursing Information Systems Council of New England (NISCNE) brought together informatics nurses from the western part of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Connecticut. In the early stages of their development the two organizations maintained separate agendas and membership. Both organizations provided their growing membership the opportunity to network, collaborate and share ideas and best practices with their local informatics colleagues.
Both BANIC and NISCNE were rich with talented nursing informaticians and the the leadership of both organizations recognized the synergistic potential of a merger. The education/networking meetings were opened to members of both organizations and then in 2006, BANIC and NISNE held its first joint full day symposium entitled, Trends in Clinical Informatics: A Nursing Perspective. The event was a huge success, receiving praise from all who attended.
Following this joint educational venture, the leadership of BANIC and NISCNE met to consider future synergies that might occur between them. From these discussion came the idea that both organizations could be strengthened if a merger of the two were to take place. It was at this point that a very committed group of board members decided to take action to strengthen the Nursing Informatics specialty interest group presence for the informatics nurses of New England. A joint board meeting was held and the options were detailed. The consequences of our decision was dissected and thoroughly discussed. At the end of this session a unanimous decision to merge was reached.
To formalize the process an application for incorporation as a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) corporate entity, based in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts was filed. To complete this application the bylaws of the organization were re-written to reflect the state and culture of the new organization. The newly formed board was comprised of all members of the previous boards. They would remain in place until the 2008 elections. The merger and incorporation of the new organization was formalized in September of 2007 and NENIC – the New England Nursing Informatics Consortium - is now formally established as the professional nursing informatics organization for the New England area.
At its genesis NENIC represents nursing and healthcare IT professionals throughout New England and will strive to serve as the premier resource for networking, education and information exchange, in order to enhance their professional development and further the profession of nursing informatics. NENIC will continue as a member of the Alliance for Nursing Informatics (www.allianceni.org) - a national collaboration of organizations representing a unified voice for Nursing Informatics.