What is an Informatics Nurse?

An informatics nurse is a specialist who integrates her nursing knowledge with information management and analytical skills to identify and communicate knowledge and information within a healthcare facility. This position is highly respected in the nursing industry and attracts huge salaries and high job satisfaction rates.

Key Roles of an Informatics Nurse

Nursing informatics specialists are at the forefront of the ever-evolving technology in medicine. Their main responsibility is to manage and communicate information and data to patients and healthcare professionals across all fields. Their objective is to make information readily available and ensure that everybody uses it to make educated decisions based on accurate data. They provide training to other medical staff on how to retrieve and analyze information for their own use. They also develop various strategies and control measures to ensure the information systems in the facility perform up to the expected standards. Other roles include optimizing systems, managing projects and conducting research on various informatics topics.

Educational Requirements

You will need at least a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree to pursue a career as an informatics nurse. However, nursing informatics jobs are so specialized and sensitive that most employers prefer applicants who have master’s degrees in health informatics, quality management or healthcare management. Those who have a degree in nursing administration with a concentration in health informatics may also qualify for many positions. A master’s degree in health informatics cover topics such as health law and ethics, healthcare delivery systems, performance measurement, systems life cycles, data management and health information systems.

Certification Requirements

Anybody who wants to work as a nurse informatics specialist must obtain a certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). This is a nationally recognized body that offers certifications to different nursing specialists. Some employers may require additional certifications. One of them is the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) certification. This certification is available in two levels. There is the Certified Associate in Healthcare Information Management Systems (CAHIMS) certification and the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) certification. Those who have five or fewer years of experience in the industry must pass the CAHIMS exam while those with more than five years of experience must pass the CPHIMS exam.

Work Environment

Informatics nurses typically work in hospitals, consulting firms, private clinics, universities and sometimes companies that develop healthcare information systems. They usually perform few patient care duties, but they are sometimes required to interact with patients. Many organizations have created staff positions specifically designed for nurse informatics specialists.

Job Outlook and Salary

The salary of informatics nurses differs with location, level of education and the type of healthcare facility. According to a survey done by HIMSS, nurse informatics specialists earn an average salary of $100,710 per year. As technology in medicine continues to evolve, more hospitals will require the services of nursing informatics specialists. This is good news for those who want to become informatics nurses. It is also worth mentioning that all nursing jobs are in high demand due to the current shortage in the country.

Related Resource: What is a Nurse Advocate?

The points discussed above show the huge potential those who specialize in informatics have. If you are a registered nurse with some background in clinical nursing and healthcare IT, you may consider a career as an informatics nurse.