What is an Informatics Nurse?

An informatics nurse, also known as nurse informaticist, is a type of nursing specialization that focuses on streamlining the delivery and improving the quality of nursing services in various medical environments. While these positions have been around for several decades, the exact definition and terminology used to the describe the field are still evolving. Nurse informaticists have a wide range of responsibilities depending on their education, experience and specific areas of expertise.

Educational and Certification Requirements

The majority of nurse informaticists start by becoming registered nurses by pursuing a degree from an accredited university. These degrees include ample coursework in human services and medical subjects, as well as clinical training rotations that take place over several semesters. Many students obtain a graduate degree in informatics following their undergraduate program in nursing before seeking employment as an informatics nurse.

In general, nurses are expected to have advanced people skills in addition to the critical thinking and technical knowledge needed to perform their job properly. Nurses who specialize in information analysis and application often build on their standard nursing curriculum by studying the logistical and technical issues of the occupation. Expertise with computers, software and related technology are a must for anyone who wants to pursue a career in nursing informatics.

Responsibilities in the Workplace

Many professional positions require the ability to train and educate others, as well as communicate between various parties involved in a healthcare project. Nurse informaticists are often responsible for analyzing current systems to find areas that can be improved as well as creating strategies for integrating new technology and procedures into current practices.

Workflow analysis, database management and nursing leadership are just a few of the skills that may be necessary throughout the course of a career in the field. Informatics nurses can further specialize by pursing an advanced or additional degrees during their education. Many also pursue learning opportunities outside of academia, like professional conferences, to stay on top of new developments and ideas.

Expected Salary and Professional Demand

The demand for nursing informatics professionals has been growing in recent years, which reflects a larger trend of growth in nursing fields, according to the Advance Healthcare Network. As technology becomes more integrated and essential to the functioning of basic healthcare practices, so do informatics nurses. Adoption of electronic systems for patient monitoring and record keeping are expected to contribute to a rising demand for nurses with a technical skill-set.

According to Nurse Journal, recent graduates who are just entering the workforce can expect to receive an entry level salary of around $45,000 to $50,000. Nurse informaticists with more experience or specialized skills can earn up to $90,000 or more depending on their specific field of expertise and employer. An advanced degree can play a pivotal role in determining salary for individuals in nursing professions.

Related Resource: What is a Critical Care Nurse?

Preparing for a Career in Nursing Informatics

Since there are significant educational requirements, prospective nurse in informatics should carefully consider the requirements and prospects of their planned career before deciding to pursue a related degree. Fortunately, there are many different ways for an informatics nurse to specialize their education and skills to fill various roles in healthcare and research settings.