The Canadian Nurses Association defines nursing informatics as integrating nursing information and knowledge with technology for managing health information.
These applications include electronic health/medical records (EHRs or EMRs), telehealth nursing, and mobile applications, aiming to improve patient outcomes, reduce healthcare costs, and achieve overall efficiency within the nursing profession.
If a nursing informatics career sounds like a good fit for you, read on to find more details about the job description, responsibilities, salary expectations, and how to get started.
Nursing Informatics Job Description
Nursing informatics is a very diverse field that continues to evolve along with advancing technology. One can expect to have literacy in computer systems and applications or at least be open to learning how to navigate them.
Nurses in this field can also be expected to listen to feedback to make nursing informatics technology more efficient to help perpetuate better outcomes related to patient care and nursing workloads. In light of this, nurses in this field should be problem-solvers and possess creative minds to turn feedback into solutions.
- Colleges and Universities/Research
- Ambulatory Care
- Healthcare Technology Companies
- Government and Policy Development
- Clinical Practice Leaders in Nursing Informatics/Nurse Educators
- Policy Development
- Privacy Officer
- Health/Medical Records Management
- Clinical Informatics Analyst
- Project Management
- Quality Initiative Planning and Reporting
- System Development, Optimization, and Utilization
- Nursing Informatics Consultant
- Research Coordinator
- Healthcare Advocate
- Health Systems Designer
- Healthcare Software Developer
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Important Skills and Qualities
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills
- Computer literacy with a strong foundation in computer programs
- Strong analytical, critical thinking, and problem-solving
- Strong foundation in health data systems, the nursing profession, and research
- Receptive to feedback and seeing nursing informatics through the lens of the client (e.g., the bedside nurse)
- Project management
- Creative, innovative, and adaptable to advancing technologies
- Capable of working collaboratively and independently
Benefits of Being a Nurse Informaticist
- Reduced involvement in direct patient care
- Potential to work from home
- Potential for laissez-faire work style
- Decreased obligation to report to a nursing department
- Ideal for those who enjoy working with technology, as well as data-driven analysis, research optimization, and innovative problem-solving
Overall, by being involved in nursing informatics, one can expect to improve the following qualities of the nursing profession:
- Better flow and efficiency of documenting patient care
- Reducing medical errors
- Creating stronger safeguards for protecting privacy of personal health information
- Improve savings to a corporation or facility
- Improve care coordination and communication
Nursing Informatics Responsibilities
Nursing informaticists aim to improve efficiency and find solutions to gaps existing among nursing technologies and communications. They must also be mindful of the literacy and accessibility of nursing technologies through the lens of nurses who use them to provide patient care. Expected duties include:
- Assessing, planning, implementing, evaluating, and optimizing nursing informatics in a facility
- Collaborating and communicating with other team members and improving interpersonal workflow through communication and information technologies
- Identifying gaps in nursing technology needs
- Being involved with the design of nursing informatics systems
- Implementing data-driven quality improvement practices for patient care
- Knowledge transition and training-resource development of new updates to existing nursing informatics systems
- Developing policies on how and when to use technology in the healthcare setting
- Lead teams or departments involved in implementing computer-based healthcare tools
- Supporting evidence-based best practices, education, and research efforts
- Advise companies on healthcare technology solutions
- Troubleshooting and responding to queries posed by nurses and other healthcare team members
Nursing Informatics Salary
Nursing informatics can be deemed a worthwhile and promising career choice among nurses who wish to make a change within their field. Given that the skillsets combine nursing and information technology foundations, the entry-level salary range tends to be higher than other entry-level positions.
HIMSS’ 2020 Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey has found that the salary range among nursing informaticists in the U.S. ranged between $61,000 to $115,000, with 49% stating they earned more than $100,000.
Over 80% of respondents reported high job satisfaction, and less than 5% reported dissatisfaction with nursing informatics as their career choice.
How to Become a Nursing Informaticist
All nurses have a general foundation of nursing informatics through their program. They learn the basic concepts of protecting patient privacy and working with EHR/EMR technologies to document nursing interventions and assessments. It’s also been indicated that nurses who wish to pursue a career in nursing informatics should seek an education in that field or another health-related field, such as health information management, as the HIMSS survey found that 66% of nursing informaticists possessed a Master’s.
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For those who wish to be officially certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) in the U.S., the following are requirements to be eligible:
- Bachelor’s degree (minimum) in nursing or related field
- Active nursing license at RN-level minimum
- Minimum two years of full-time practice as a registered nurse
- Completion of 30 hours of informatics nursing continuing education in the past three years
One of the following is also required:
- 2,000 hours of informatics nursing practice in the last 3 years
- 1,000 hours of informatics nursing practice in the last 3 years and completion of at least 12 semester credit hours in a graduate informatics nursing program
- Completion of a graduate program in informatics nursing with at least 200 faculty-supervised hours in informatics nursing
Accredited nursing informaticists must also maintain continuing professional education requirements to maintain current licensure, with each state varying on this requirement.