How to become a Nursing Informatics Specialist
Get a nursing informatics career overview with education, salary and career outlook information.
What you'll do: Nursing informatics is a new and exciting specialty that combines nursing skills with computer expertise. Nurse informatics specialists manage and communicate nursing data and information to improve decision making by consumers, patients, nurses and other health care providers.
Degree you'll need to practice: At least a Bachelor's degree in Nursing (RN).
Certification: Certification as a nurse informatics specialist by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Median annual salary: $74,295*
Cities where jobs are often found: Madison, Orlando, Dallas, Boston
Most nurse informatics specialists' work in a hospital or health care setting, but a significant percentage hold lucrative positions with health-related vendors, suppliers and consulting firms.
Examples of jobs in the field of nursing informatics include:
- Nurse programmers who write or modify computer programs for use by nurses
- Nurse communicators who work with other nurses to identify computer system needs or to assist in the training and implementation of those systems
- Informatics nurse managers who manage or administer information systems
- Nurse vendor representatives who demonstrates systems to potential customers
Nurse Informatics Specialist Education
Although you will provide little or no direct patient care as nurse informatics specialist, you will still need an active registered nurse (RN) license. You can become an RN by one of three educational paths:
- Earning a bachelor's degree in nursing
- Earning an associate's degree in nursing
- Earning a diploma from an approved nursing school program
As in most fields, nursing programs increasingly use computers in their basic curriculum. There are many paths to specializing in nursing informatics. Bachelors and graduate level training is available either within a nursing school program or outside of it, depending on how deeply you want to get into the computer side of things.
Most nurses are not adequately trained in information technology. As computers become increasingly important, nurse informatics specialists will become even more important in bridging the gap between clinical care skills and technology. The demand for all types of nurses is expected to increase significantly over the next ten years. In general, the more training, certifications and experience a nurse has, the more demand there will be for his or her skill set.
Sources: Nursing Informatics Online; Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society; Salary.com, May 2012 Survey; Clinical Informatics Coordinator.
*The salary information listed is based on a national average, unless noted. Actual salaries may vary greatly based on specialization within the field, location, years of experience and a variety of other factors.
Nurse Informatics Perks at a Glance
Becoming Increasingly Popular
As technology advances, there is an increased need for nursing informatics specialists. Most nurses are not adequately trained in information technology, and as computers become increasingly important, nurse informatics specialists will become even more important in bridging the gap between clinical care skills and technology.
How to Pay for Nursing School
As nursing school tuition has increased, a rising number of nursing scholarships and grants have become available for qualifying candidates. Nursing school is expensive, but there are many grants, loans, scholarships, work-study and loan forgiveness programs available to hard-working students. Gain access to nursing school financial first aid.
How to Get Nursing Scholarships
Many scholarship and grant opportunities are available to nursing students to encourage people to enter the nursing field and help alleviate the increasing nursing shortages. With a little research, you can learn how to obtain this free money for your nursing school education. Learn how to uncover these nursing scholarship and grant sources to help free you from financial worries.