Nursing informatics is a specialty career within nursing that combines nursing science with analytical sciences to help identify, define, manage, and communicate health information and data. Informatics nurses assist with the implementation of computer applications in hospitals, nursing homes, doctors’ offices, pubic health clinics, and other health-care settings.
Informatics Nurse Career
Nurses in the informatics field are sometimes referred to as nurse informaticians or nurse informaticists. They may work as developers of communication and information technologies, educators, researchers, or policy developers. Often, nursing informatics work may include:
- Concepts representation in supporting evidence-based practice and research
- Research methodologies dissemination
- Information and communication technology development to support increased and efficient workflow
- Supporting the care continuum by bridging the gap between clinical and technical needs
The demand for informatics nurses is growing as a result of an increase in the amount of electronic data collected during nursing practices. Informatics nurses have the potential to improve patient outcomes, reduce medical costs and create online teaching and patient care tools.
Informatics Nursing Education
According to the American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA), informatics nurses are typically registered nurses (RNs) at the minimum. Some earn their Masters in Nursing to pursue executive roles. Majority of ANIA’s members, as of May 2019, are educated at the bachelor’s or master’s level.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers an Informatics Nursing Certification (RN-BC) to RNs that have practiced two full-time years as a RN, have competed 30 hours of continuing education in informatics nursing, and have either hours of experience in informatics nursing or have earned a graduate-level degree in informatics nursing.
Informatics Nursing Certification
Eligibility Requirements: Candidates must have a current active registered nurse license and either a Bachelor’s in Nursing or higher or a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. They must also have practiced for the equivalent of two full-time years as a registered nurse and have completed 30 hours of continuing education in informatics within the last three years. Additionally, candidates must meet one of the following practice requirements:
- Minimum of 2,000 hours in informatics nursing in the past three years;
- Minimum of 1,000 hours in informatics nursing in the past three years, plus 12 semester hours of academic credit in informatics as part of a graduate-level informatics program;
- Completion of a graduate program in nursing informatics which contains at least 200 hours of faculty-supervised practicums in informatics.
Fees: $395 for non-members, $295 for American Nurse Association (ANA) members, or $340 for ANIA members
Renewal: Informatics nurse practitioner certification is valid for five years. The application must be submitted at least eight weeks prior to expiration of the original certification. For this certification, nurses must earn 75 hours of continuing education within informatics nursing.
Information for the ANCC certification for nursing informatics was last retrieved in February 2020. For the most up-to-date information, refer to ANCC’s website.
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FAQs About Nursing Informatics
If you’re interested in a nursing informatics career, here are some questions to consider to help you determine whether an advanced degree in health informatics is worth your money and time:
What is Nursing Informatics?
Nursing informatics is a subset of health informatics that focuses on integrating IT and nursing specifically, to help improve patient care. The U.S. Leadership and Workforce Survey from HIMSS found that hospitals were the most common employer for nursing informatics professionals, and that 80 percent of respondents were either satisfied or highly satisfied with their jobs.
What can I do with a degree in nursing informatics
Here are few examples of nursing informatics jobs:
- Nurse Informaticist
- Nursing Informatics Specialist
- Nursing Informatics Clinician
- Clinical Nurse Informatics Specialist
- Perioperative Informatics Nurse
How do you get into nursing informatics?
You can enter this subset of health informatics by pursuing a master’s in health or nursing informatics, or a nursing degree program that gives you the option to specialize in nursing informatics. Other qualifications and traits that may help you enter the field and boost your marketability include:
- Experience in or a strong understanding of working in a clinical setting
- Strong technical skills
- The ability to quickly adapt to emerging technologies and innovation
- Strong project management skills
- An affinity for obtaining, analyzing and strategizing with data
- Understanding of medical economics
- Strong interpersonal skills
Is a Master’s in Nursing Informatics worth it?
Nursing informatics professionals work within the healthcare system to keep patients safe and healthy through their efforts to improve workflows, best practices, information structures, processes, and technology.
A Master’s in Nursing Informatics could be a good investment for you if you want to bring technological advancements to clinical settings, be a part of making a lasting impact in the field of health informatics, or if you are looking for opportunities to grow and diversify your career.
While salary will vary from nurse informaticist to nursing informaticist, your earning potential is another factor to consider when deciding whether pursuing a master’s will be worthwhile. Respondents in the HIMSS 2017 Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey reported earnings ranging from $86,000 to $115,000.
What is the purpose of nursing informatics?
Nursing informatics is key in improving patients’ healthcare experiences in many ways. Nursing informaticists provide hospitals, physicians, patients, and government agencies with vital information and IT support. Those who work in nursing informatics play a key role in translating both the clinical and the technical languages of healthcare so that this information can be used to drive improved patient outcomes.