Nursing Science and Informatics

Read about nursing science and informatics and how information technology can be used to advance the quality of healthcare services. Find information about certification and educational requirements here, as well as how much you might earn in this cutting-edge field.

Are Nursing Science and Informatics for Me?

Career Overview

The modern nursing profession includes the use of a rapidly developing science called health informatics, which applies information science to healthcare for the purpose of improving and advancing patient care and outcomes. Registered nurses (RNs) can specialize in health informatics, where they'll use computer technology to efficiently and accurately record clinical data, monitor patient care and communicate with other healthcare professionals. Collected information may also be processed and analyzed to increase medical knowledge, reveal trends in diagnosis and treatment and improve clinical outcomes.

Career Options

As a registered nurse or other qualified professional, you may pursue a position as an information systems coordinator or analyst, informatics nurse specialist or clinical applications specialist. Informatics nurse specialists work in hospitals and clinics, as well as in teaching, consulting or for medical insurers.

Employment and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities for RNs in general are expected to increase 19% nationwide from 2012-2022, which is faster than the average for all occupations. This is due in part to advances in healthcare technology, including informatics. PayScale.com reports that informatics nurses earned a median salary of $66,251 in June 2014.

How Can I Work in Nursing Science and Informatics?

Education

Most informatics nurse specialists have at least a bachelor's degree in nursing. To become an RN, you'll first need to complete a Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, which includes courses in biochemistry, pharmacology, psychology and statistics. Required clinical practices take place at local hospitals or healthcare facilities. After graduation, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses; this is required in all states. If you wish, you can continue your studies to earn a master's degree, with program options available in informatics nursing.

Certification

Though not required, RN Board Certification (RN-BC) is provided by the American Nursing Credentialing Center for informatics nurse specialists (www.nursecredentialing.org). To qualify for the exam, you must be a licensed RN with at least two years of nursing experience and 30 hours of continuing education in informatics completed during the previous three years. A minimum number of practice hours and/or education in informatics nursing will also be required.

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