Nursing informatics is a new and rapidly growing specialty within the healthcare industry which integrates nursing, computer, and information science to support the practice of nursing and to ensure high-quality healthcare delivery. Informatics nurses incorporate both clinical nursing skills and technical knowledge to generate systems which can vastly improve the quality of patient care. This is generally accomplished via the employment of information structures, information processes, and information technology. Using data science allows the informatics nurse to monitor for reoccurring and consistent errors, to analyze trends, and to implement new and more efficient systems.
Some common tasks that are carried out by informatics nurses include the following:
While they can be found in a variety of medical settings, informatics nurses are most commonly employed in the following:
Informatics nursing is a relatively new specialty which requires individuals to possess a unique set of skills and qualifications. If you're interested in this career, you'll need to earn, at the least, a BSN degree and gain some experience as an RN. An interest in IT and data systems is a must for this career type as well.
Those seriously considering a career as a nurse informaticist should be prepared to spend a few years earning their BSN degree. When an accredited nursing program has been completed and licensure secured, you'll then need to acquire some experience in the nursing field and undergo some additional continuing education courses in the nursing informatics discipline. Additionally, some students will opt to complete graduate degrees (i.e. MSNs or DNPs) in nursing informatics. Students who choose this route will often enjoy a wider range of employment opportunities and have greater opportunities for career advancement than those who only possess a bachelor's degree. After the above requirements have been met, you will then be permitted to apply for various certifications which are offered by both the ANCC and the HIMSS.
Informatics nurses will need to hold an unencumbered RN license and have some experience in the field in order to obtain the American Nursing Credentialing Center's Informatics Nursing Certification (RN-BC). Nurse informaticists are considered high-level nurses, so this role is suited for RNs who hold a graduate degree in nursing.
Those looking to become certified as informatics nurses can do so through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).
The ANCC's Informatics Nursing Certification (RN-BC) is the most commonly held credential for informatics nurses, and is the most likely certification that employers will want potential employees to have. To be eligible for this certification individuals will need to have fulfilled the following requirements:
The HIMSS offers two certifications in informatics nursing: the entry-level Certified Associate in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CAHIMS) and the advanced-level Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS).
The eligibility requirements for the Certified Associate in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CAHIMS) are as follows:
The eligibility requirements for the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) are as follows:
Informatics nursing is a relatively new field that's still only in its infancy stage. As the role of information technology becomes increasingly vital to the healthcare field, the specialty discipline of nursing informatics will continue to grow in importance. Nursing, computer, and information science are some of the most applicable and marketable skills in today's modern economy. Because of this, the field of informatics nursing and positions within it will only grow in scope as time moves forward.
PayScale reports that the median annual salary for informatics nurses lands at $77,414. Undoubtedly, however, the exact figure will depend on factors like educational credentials, years of experience in the field, city and state of employment, and place of employment. Although similar factors will contribute to the contents of employee benefit packages informatics nurses receive, most full-time informatics nurses can expect to receive medical, dental, vision, and prescription coverage, along with some paid time off annually.