Reply by authors Backonja, Mook, & Langford to Fogg-Martin on “Calling Nursing Informatics Leaders: Opportunities for Personal and Professional Growth”

January 5, 2022

Response by authors Backonja, Mook, & Langford to Fogg-Martin on “Calling Nursing Informatics Leaders: Opportunities for Personal and Professional Growth” (September 30, 2021).

Dear OJIN Editor,

We would like to thank the author of the Letter to the Editor in response to our OJIN article “Calling Nursing Informatics Leaders: Opportunities for Personal and Professional Growth” published September 30, 2021 (Volume 26, Number 3, Manuscript 6) (Backonja, Mook, & Heermann Langford, 2021). Reading their comments and experiences regarding their growth as an emerging NI leader highlighted to us the importance of proactive work to support the NI leadership pipeline. Especially in institutions where there are not robust or explicit mechanisms for emerging leaders to get experience and training, as mentioned by the letter’s author regarding their experiences, it is important for emerging leaders to have courage to make opportunities for themselves. Our article provides a checklist of actions individual emerging leaders can take; we are grateful to hear that the letter’s author found useful these and other recommendations in our manuscript. We also provide a list of resources and toolkits that emerging leaders can use in Table 1 of our related manuscript published in Computers, Informatics, Nursing, “How to Support the Nursing Informatics Leadership Pipeline,” also mentioned by the letter author (Backonja, Langford, & Mook, 2021). Our hope is that the resources in these articles can help support emerging NI leaders, like the letter’s author, through actionable recommendations.

We three co-authors have different yet complementing experiences within our own NI leadership journeys that resonate with what the letter’s author described and what our study participants shared. Through our experiences as both mentees and mentors, we have seen the value of taking the chance of making growth opportunities happen. As emerging and established NI leaders, we recommend to our mentees and practice ourselves pro-active self-advocacy though (1) ensuring resumes and accomplishments lists are always on our computer’s desktop and up to date and (2) having the courage to reach out to leaders to identify ways to expand skills and identify new opportunities. We’ve seen that for emerging leaders, having this courage can lead to gaining new skills and understanding more about one’s self; for current leaders, catalyzing these behaviors and the recommendations provided in our article can support succession planning and loyalty.

Thanks again to the letter author for sharing their experience – we hope that the resources provided in our articles can help support their and others’ journeys through the NI leadership pipeline.


Uba Backonja
Patricia J. Mook
Laura Heermann Langford


Backonja, U., Langford, L. H., Mook, P. J. (2021, September 8). How to support the nursing informatics leadership pipeline. CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 00(00), 1-13.

Backonja, U., Mook, P., & Heermann Langford, L. (2021, September 30). Calling nursing informatics leaders: Opportunities for personal and professional growth. OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 26(3), 1-8.