OBJECTIVE To identify informatics abilities essential to decision making in nursing management. METHOD Survey study with specialist nurses in health informatics and management. An electronic questionnaire was built based on the competencies Information Literacy (five categories; 40 abilities) and Information Management (nine categories; 69 abilities) of the TIGER - Technology Informatics Guiding Education Reform - initiative, with the guiding question: Which informatics abilities are essential to decision making in management? Answers were sorted in a Likert scale, ranging from 1 to 5. Rasch analysis was conducted with the software WINSTEPS ®. Results were presented in logits, with cutoff value zero. RESULTS Thirty-two specialists participated, coming from all regions of Brazil. In the information literacy competency, 18 abilities were considered essential and in Information Management, 38; these were sorted according to their degree of essentiality. CONCLUSION It is believed that the incorporation of these abilities in teaching can support the education of nurse managers and contribute to evidence-based practice, incorporation of information and communication technologies in health and information management.