Career in Nursing Informatics

Steps to Become an Informatics Nurse

The first step toward any nursing specialty is to become a registered nurse. Nursing requirements vary from state to state, but a nursing degree from a state-accredited nursing program is necessary. You can earn your degree by getting a bachelor’s of science in nursing through a four-year university or college, or an associate degree from a community or junior college. After earning your degree, you must pass a state licensing exam. Additional training or coursework in computer science is then necessary to become a qualified candidate for an informatics nursing position. To be competitive, graduate-level technology coursework, whether or not it is integrated with nursing, would give a competitive edge. MSN - Informatics degree programs are available for current registered nurses at a number of schools.

Job Description and Duties of an Informatics Nurse

According to the International Medical Informatics Association, nursing informatics is “the integration of nursing, its information, and information management with information processing and communication technology, to support the health of people world wide.” It is a specialty of nursing that combines nursing, computer science, and information to communicate and manage data and nursing knowledge.

Nurse informatics can perform a variety of jobs within healthcare organizations, including insurance companies, hospital, or clinics. They might be responsible for implementing medical databases, computerizing nursing stations or tasks, or training nursing staff in utilizing technology. They also work with data, collecting and interpreting information to ensure that healthcare is given in the most beneficial and cost-efficient manner. They often are responsible for presenting this data to healthcare executives as well.

Nursing Informatics Salary and Job Outlook

According to payscale.com, the average starting salary for an informatics nurse is $55,000, climbs to $65,000 with 5-9 years of experience, and hits a median of $70,000 with 10-19 years of experience. Salary will vary, depending not only on years of experience, but degree, region, and employer.

Healthcare is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States due to the growing aging population and the large portion of healthcare workers approaching retirement. Registered nurses in general are projected to see roughly 587,000 job openings before 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics. This is the largest projected rate of growth of any other occupation. The specialty of nursing informatics is expected to grow at an even more rapid rate due to healthcare’s increasing dependence on technology, and the industry’s strides toward more efficient and cost-effective medical services.

Online Nursing Informatics and Related Degree Programs

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