A nurse informatics career focuses on how to boost the management of information and communications in the field of nursing. The goals are to boost efficiency, cut costs, and boost patient care quality.
Nursing informatics integrates nursing science, computer science and information science to better manage and communicate information, data and knowledge in the practice of nursing. Nursing informatics specialists facilitate data integration, information and knowledge so that they provide better support to patients, nurses and other health care providers.
Documentation is the major emphasis in the field of nursing informatics. The reason for this is that high quality care is fully dependent upon strong communication among the wide variety of health care providers. As health care providers communicate via notes on a chart, a nurse informatics analyst wants to increase the speed and accuracy of the charting process. This means that health care workers have better access to patient notes, and can mean better decisions about care.
Where Nurse Informatics Work
Nursing informaticists frequently work in hospitals, health care facilities, consulting firms, universities and corporations. Some of their most frequent job titles include the following:
Informatics nurse specialist
Director – clinical informatics
Clinical informatics coordinator
Job Opportunities & Salary Outlook
The job market for nurses generally is going to rise by 26% by 2020, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. One of the reasons for this is that people are getting older but living healthier lives. This increases demand for many health care services.
An interview with a Nurse Informatics Specialist
One factor that is specifically driving demand for nursing informatics analysts is that there is more focus than ever on controlling health care costs. Effective nursing informatics can help to rein in health care costs at hospitals and other medical facilities.
That is why the American Medical Informatics Association states that as many as 70,000 nursing informatics specialists/analysts may be needed in the next five years. This association reports that the surge in demand for nursing and health informatics is being caused by the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) passed in 2009, and the Patient Protection and Accountable Care Act (PPACA) passed the year before.
Graduates of a nursing informatics program will be ready to manage complex health information in many organizations, including hospitals, nursing homes, public health firms, research laboratories and insurance agencies.
Indeed.com states that the average salary for a nurse informatics analyst is $66,000:
Payscale.com reports that the average salary for nursing informatics analysts can vary from $49,000 to $87,000:
The variation is likely due to years of experience: Lower skilled, new workers will earn towards the lower end, and much more experienced professionals with an advanced degree will earn the higher amounts.
Requirements for Nursing Informatics
Most nurse informatics analysts start as registered nurses. After they earn their BSN, many aspiring nursing informaticists earn their master of science in nursing, or MSN. Others may earn their master’s in information or computer science.
This career is demanding in terms of project management, critical thinking and creativity. It is important to be able to work with a vast variety of people. You also must have skills to resolve demands that conflict, which can happen as you develop information systems to meet everyone’s needs.