Nursing Informatics Career Information

A nursing informatics specialist is a technologically proficient health care professional who ensures a seamless and efficient flow of information from nurses to management. The primary aim is to improve the methods of making critical decisions of healthcare providers, nurses and patients.

Nursing informatics acts as a bridge between the clinical care database and information technology. The clinical knowledge possessed by nursing informatics specialists is used to develop more efficient software applications.  

Different types of nursing informatics specialists include these:

  • Programmers: Code or modify the computer application software to be used by nurses.
  • Communicators: Identify the computer requirements as needed by the nurses and implement them in an application software. They also train them for using this software.
  • Managers: Responsible for managing the nursing informatics system.
  • Vendor representatives: As frontline sales professionals, demonstrate the informatics system to potential customers.

Duties of Nursing Informatics Specialists

Job duties may include the following:

  • Automate the nursing care through various computer programs
  • Integrate the data and knowledge for supporting the patients and other decision makers
  • Improve the accuracy, speed and timeliness in patients' medical charts
  • Design methods of enhanced documentation through the use of advanced technological knowledge
  • Implement new technological improvements like voice recognition, handheld readers and other emerging technologies
  • Make the application software user-friendly
  • Train the health care providers to use the application in their daily tasks
  • Optimize the nursing services.

The Work Setting for Nursing Informatics

Specialists may work in hospitals or health care setups. Nursing informatics specialists also work along with suppliers, vendors and consulting firms which operate in the health care industry.

Educational and Skills Requirements

Educational and skills requirements for a career in nursing informatics may include any or all of the following:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing or an associate’s degree in nursing
  • Be a registered nurse and complete the licensing examination according to the state requirements
  • Complete the certification program offered for nurse informatics specialist by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) after gaining mandatory field experience
  • Possess effective communication and training skills
  • Offer good observation and accurate decision-making skills.

Income for Nursing Informatics Specialists

According to a survey undertaken by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the average salary for the nurse informatics specialist was $83,675 in 2008. However, the pay may increase with experience. Professionals working with application development firms or vendors earn more than those in the health care organizations.

As per the study of Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary of nurse informatics specialists has increased by 20 percent during the past five years and is expected to rise due to increasing demand for these professionals.