Nurse Informatics: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for nurse informatics. Get the facts about education and certification requirements, salary and potential job growth to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Health Informatics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are Nurse Informatics?

Informatics is a growing field thanks to advancement in computer usage and ease of technology. Nurse informatics specialists are registered nurses that are trained in the technologies used to collect, analyze and document medical information. They design and develop the informatics systems and data structures used by hospitals and clinics. These professionals need training in medical terminology and data entry. Nursing informatics adds clinical training to computer information skills. According to O*NET Online career statistics, nurse informatics specialists fall under a broader category of computer systems analysts. Below is a table listing some facts that are discussed in this article.

Degree Required Bachelor of Science
Education Field of Study Nursing
Certification Registered Nurse - Board Certified (RN-BC)
Key Responsibilities Assess clinical information technology needs, record and analyze medical data, evaluate and test technologies for clinical application and train other health care providers on electronic documentation systems
Job Growth (2014-2024)*21% (for all types of computer systems analysts, including nurse informatics specialists)
Median Salary (2016)*$87,220 (for all types of computer systems analysts, including nurse informatics specialists)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Kind of Education Do I Need for a Nurse Informatics Career?

You must be a licensed registered nurse (RN) to become an informatics nurse. You may qualify to become a licensed RN after attaining an associate's degree from a registered nursing program; however, many employers prefer that you hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Common courses in a BSN program include microbiology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, statistics, pharmacology, psychology and ethics. Some organizations may prefer to hire informatics nurses who have a master's degree.

How Can I Become Certified?

The American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers the RN-BC credential for informatics nursing. You must be a licensed RN, have a BSN or bachelor's degree in another related field, two years of experience as an RN and at least 30 hours of informatics-related continuing education in the past three years. You'll need a combination of informatics experience and academic credit. You can also meet ANCC requirements if you have earned a graduate degree and completed an informatics practicum (www.nursecredentialing.org).

What Might My Job Duties Be?

You may work in an ambulatory or managed care center, group medical practice or hospital, or you may work with hospice or home health care organizations. Job titles for this position include clinical informatics director, nursing informatics analyst and clinical applications specialist.

Your primary responsibility will be to act as a bridge between health care and technology departments. You will assess the clinical information technology needs for your organization or department. You'll collect, interpret, analyze and record relevant data. You will evaluate and test technologies for clinical applications. You may provide training to other health care providers on electronic documentation systems.

What Could I Expect to Earn?

According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary of nursing informatics and other computer systems analysts was $87,220 as of May 2016. Common benefits include life insurance, paid sick leave, holiday pay and 401(k). You may also receive tuition reimbursement.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

The majority of related careers in nurse informatics will require at least a bachelor's degree. These professions might include computer and information systems managers, computer network architects, or database administrators. Computer and information systems managers take charge of planning and implementing the computer activities of a company or organization. They work with executives to determine technology goals and how to meet them. Computer network architects work for organizations to design and build information networks to pull together a company's technology to determine the need for a local area or wide area network and which is most cost effective. Database administrators work with specialized software and networks to organize and store information for a company such as a hospital, financial institution or school.

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