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Nursing Informatics Career Overview

Maura Deering, J.D.
Updated August 29, 2022
    A career in nursing informatics offers fulfilling work, high salaries, and strong career advancement opportunities. Read on for information on nursing informatics and how to enter the field.
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    average earning potential$61,000-$115,000SOURCE: Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Inc (HIMSS)

    Nursing Informatics Career in Brief

    BSN required
    certification optional

    Nurse informaticists develop communication and information technologies and policies. These professionals also serve as educators, researchers, and software engineers to work as chief nursing officers and chief information officers. Some nurse informaticists own businesses, while others find employment in consulting roles.

    Primary Responsibilities

    • Supporting evidence-based education, practice, and research through concept representation and standards
    • Developing data and communication standards to build a national data infrastructure
    • Disseminating new knowledge into practice using research methodologies
    • Defining healthcare policy

    Skills Learned

    • Clinical Experience
    • Technical Skills
    • Project Management
    • Data Analysis
    • Medical Economics
    • Interpersonal Skills
    • Leadership
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    Where Do Nurse Informaticists Work?

    According to the 2020 Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Nursing Informatics Survey, more than 68% of nurse informaticists work in hospitals or health systems. Other common work settings include higher education and ambulatory care.

    Nursing informatics job sites include:

    • minusHospitals/Health Systems

      Professionals working in these settings liaise between clinical areas and IT departments, train clinical information systems staff, and ensure compliance with practices and policies.

    • minusColleges and Universities

      In academia, nurse informaticists write reports, conduct research on methods development, and perform statistical analysis.

    • minusAmbulatory Care

      Nurse informaticists analyze data, determine clinical application needs, and manage automated systems in these settings.

    Why Become a Nurse Informaticist?

    Prospective nurse informaticists should consider the advantages and disadvantages of the field. In general, healthcare and nursing careers offer job stability and growth but also present challenges. The list below includes some of the pros and cons.

    Advantages to Becoming a Nurse Informaticist

    • check-circleOpportunities to improve healthcare
    • check-circleClear and tangible results
    • check-circleCollaboration with and education of nurses and healthcare professionals
    • check-circleHigh salaries

    Disadvantages to Becoming a Nurse Informaticist

    • x-circleConsiderable education, training, and experience
    • x-circleLong working hours
    • x-circleLicensure process

    How to Become a Nurse Informaticist

    The path to becoming a nurse informaticist involves education, examination, licensure, and certification.

    Graduate With a Bachelor of Science in Nursing

    Students can complete their bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) programs in about four years, including clinical rotation hours and coursework in the sciences, nursing procedures, and patient population concentrations.

    Pass the NCLEX-RN Exam to Receive RN Licensure

    Nurse informaticists must hold registered nurse (RN) licensure. State licensing boards require BSN program graduates to pass the National Council Licensure Examination.

    Complete Required Nursing Experience

    RNs who want to earn their registered nurse-board certified (RN-BC) certification in nursing informatics must log two years of full-time clinical RN work, along with continued informatics education and practice hours.

    Apply for Your Nursing Informatics Certification

    While not a requirement to practice, 49% of HIMSS survey respondents cited enhanced credibility and marketability as the top reason to obtain an RN-BC certification in nursing informatics.

    Advance Your Career With a Graduate Degree

    Senior nursing informatics roles may require a graduate nursing degree, such as a master of science in nursing (MSN). Advanced degrees can lead to higher salaries.

    Nursing Informatics Careers

    Nursing Informatics Specialist

    These professionals manage data, information, and knowledge; develop and maintain clinical information systems to improve nursing care; and apply technology to inform and facilitate decision-making.
    Salary 79,790*
    Job Outlook 9% growth for RNs from 2020-30

    Clinical Analyst

    Working within organizational guidelines, clinical analysts interpret data to find and carry out solutions to optimize workflow. They must also ensure that the guidelines comply with laws and regulations.
    Salary 70,680*
    Job Outlook 9% growth for RNs from 2020-30

    Chief Nursing Informatics Officer

    CNIOs direct nursing activities related to organizational procedures in safety, optimal patient care, and emergency strategies. They also oversee nurses’ technological training and procedural changes.
    Salary 134,680*
    Job Outlook 9% growth for RNs from 2020-30

    Manager of Clinical Informatics

    Clinical informatics managers plan and manage the transformation of clinical data into information for organizational staff. They improve system efficiency and ensure compliance with performance standards.
    Salary 97,520*
    Job Outlook 9% growth for RNs from 2020-30
    *SOURCE: Payscale, April 2022

    How Much Do Nurse Informaticists Make?

    The HIMSS report states that, among its respondents, 49% of nursing informatics salaries topped $100,000 per year — an increase from 45% in 2017 and 33% in 2014. More than 10% of those surveyed reported earnings of $151,000 or higher, and nearly 25% of those highly paid informatics nurses hold doctoral degrees. Sixty-one percent of doctoral-level nurse informaticists cited salaries of more than $100,000.

    Experience can also lead to increased wages, with 71% of nurse informaticists who have logged 11 years or more earning salaries of over $100,000. Only 27% of survey respondents with less than five years of experience reported incomes that high.

    Certification may also boost salaries. More than half of those surveyed who hold nursing informatics certification earn more than $100,000 per year.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are some specific duties of nurse informaticists?

    The HIMSS report found systems implementation, such as choosing and developing new technologies and training nursing staff to use them, as the most common job duty. Other typical tasks include informatics education, project management, system development, and quality initiative planning and reporting.

    How long does it take to become a nurse informaticist?

    A career in nursing informatics requires a minimum of a BSN, which usually takes four years to complete. Students with RN licenses can often enter accelerated or bridge BSN programs to finish in 12-20 months. Graduate-level degrees, such as MSNs and nursing doctorates, add 2-5 years.

    What skills are important for working in nursing informatics?

    Nursing informatics calls for a combination of clinical, technological, and collaborative abilities. Successful nursing informatics workers need interpersonal skills, such as conflict resolution, empathy, flexibility, and teamwork, along with problem-solving abilities, computer programming knowledge, and experience with health data systems.

    Can you work remotely as a nurse informaticist?

    According to HIMSS report respondents, 45% reported working remotely during some points in their workweeks. Many nurse informaticists must spend time at their worksites, but 21% of those surveyed report working remotely every day. Twenty-nine percent of respondents work offsite one day per week, and 19% work remotely two days a week.

    Professional Organizations for Nursing Informatics

    • American Nursing Informatics Association

      ANIA offers nursing informatics certification. The organization supports its national membership with an annual conference, continuing education resources, and journals and publications through its online library. Other benefits include a virtual connection forum, job listings, and 27 local chapters. ANIA offers discounted student memberships.
    • The Alliance for Nursing Informatics

      ANI aims to advance the practice of nursing informatics, along with education, leadership, policy, and research. The organization represents individual nurse informaticists through member groups at the local, regional, national, and international levels. Affiliates qualify if the entire group or a component of the group focuses on nursing informatics.
    • Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Inc

      HIMSS advises healthcare leaders, policymakers, and stakeholders on best practices. This organization offers expertise in health analytics, innovation, public policy, research, and workforce development. Members can join as individuals, corporations, or nonprofit partners to benefit from extensive digital educational resources.
    • American Health Information Management Association

      AHIMA features a digital community platform for members to access content and interact with the organization and fellow professionals. AHIMA also hosts an annual conference, posts job listings, publishes an online journal, and provides certification options. AHIMA offers membership to information professionals, and students can join at a reduced rate.

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