A Career in Nursing Informatics

Nursing Informatics is an interesting job for computer literate people who want to work in a care environment or caring capacity. Starting positions in informatics are nursing informatics analyst or nursing informatics specialist. The analyst is involved in the collection, entry, analysis and interpretation of patient and clinical data and the specialist provides data analysis and clinical information for effective patient care.

Nursing Informatics Philosophy

Nursing informatics is where technology meets caring. It is still a relatively new field that is evolving but Informatics is about the management of patient and medical data to not only improve administration but it also aids research and enhances evidence based care. One of the underpinning philosophies of informatics in healthcare is the creation and management of new knowledge.

In Focus: Technology in Healthcare

Education and Expected Salary

To be a nursing informatics analyst you will need a minimum qualification of a Bachelor Degree in Nursing. Some healthcare facilities may require a master’s level degree in health informatics, health care management or quality management. An analyst, like all nursing informatics jobs is expected to have had experience working in the same sort of facility the position being applied for is in.

For jobs as a nursing informatics specialist you will require the minimum of a Bachelor degree in nursing and a registered nurse. Most employers also have an expectation their NIS is certified with the American Nurses Association with a Nursing Informatics Clinical Nurse Specialist certification.

Degrees in nursing informatics can be studied at colleges nationwide or with accredited online schools. It is also beneficial to have a strong computer background and a familiarity with medical and data programs, statistical analysis and data management.

Typically jobs in acute care hospitals and clinics pay higher salaries because there is an increasing use of informatics in palliative care but working in a nursing informatics position you can expect to earn between $55,000 and $80,000, rising to $120,000 for a nursing informatics director.

Scope of Nursing Informatics Jobs

Once you have gained experience as either a nursing informatics analyst or specialist there is a good chance for career progression. As the use of informatics expands and more analysts and specialists are employed, there will be a greater call for supervisory positions and the numbers of nursing informatics managers, nursing informatics coordinators, nursing information directors, clinical data manager and clinical information directors. Jobs outside of direct health care provision are wide ranging in commercial or development organizations and are difficult to narrow down to a list. They can be as varied as working in data collection for a health insurance company or on the development of a new software program with an IT company.

With a qualification in nursing informatics you’re not restricted to working in hospitals, clinics or other care-giving facilities but you might find a job with a

  • Government agency
  • Medical group
  • Healthcare governing bodies or professional associations
  • Health or general insurance company
  • Companies offering managed care plans
  • IT company that provides healthcare systems

Roles of a Nursing Informatics Job

As a nursing informatics specialist you will need to know the system life cycle, possess knowledge of hardware and software, process design, systems analysis and project management. Typical tasks and projects in this role are

  • Data collection
  • Outcome data production and reporting
  • Design and management of clinical databases
  • Surveys
  • Designing forms

As a nursing informatics analyst you will have little direct contact with patients but concentrate on work processes. Typically this role is involved in:

  • Application of technology to improve processes
  • Educating clinical staff in how to use the technology
  • Advising technical staff about how to transfer healthcare data to an IT or data management context
  • Identification of opportunities to implement technology based solutions

With nursing administration undergoing a technological revolution, tasks traditionally undertaken on legacy systems are moving to data management systems. There is an increased use of IT in staffing, scheduling and resource management and nursing administrators will be assisted in their usage and understanding by their colleagues skilled in nursing informatics.

Additionally, as informatics are more extensively applied across the whole range of health and medical services, including research, the tasks that nursing informatics analysts and specialists are asked to undertake will expand exponentially.


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