How Much Do Nurse Informaticists Make?
As technology becomes increasingly vital to delivering quality healthcare, greater demand is likely to be seen in the area of nursing informatics. This growing field blends together patient care with technological systems, driving the tools and procedures that nurses use each day.
If you’re interested in working with the hardware and software that impact modern healthcare, a career as a nurse informaticist might be a great fit.
In this guide, learn about the salary and benefits you could earn while working in this rewarding career, as well as what your path could look like as you advance in the field.
Nursing Informatics Salaries by Role
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) doesn’t specifically track salary for those working in nursing informatics, the median salary for computer systems analysts—roles with similar duties and necessary skill sets—is listed at $88,270 per year.
That said, it’s important to remember that salaries can vary greatly depending on your exact job title, level of education, location, and employer. According to the BLS, the average annual salary for medical records and health information technicians is $39,180 per year, while medical and health services managers earn an average of $98,350 per year.
What Kind of Salary Growth Can I Expect?
Data from a 2017 survey conducted by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) shows that salaries for nurse informaticists shows are on the rise. Nearly half of respondents reported a salary of more than $100,000, compared to only 33% of people polled in 2014.
If you’re looking to earn a higher salary, survey results show that a master’s-level education and industry certification could increase your earning potential. Among nurse informaticists making more than $100,00, more than half hold a postgraduate degree, professional certification, or both.
Data from PayScale also shows growth for informatics nurses as their years of experience increase. According to nearly 300 user-submitted salaries, those with at least 20 years of experience report an average salary of $13,000 more than entry-level nurse informaticists.
Do Nurse Informaticists Get Benefits?
Benefits for nurse informaticists depend on your employer, but benefits are typically offered for full-time employees. The HIMSS survey results showed a 401(k) or 403(b) to be the most commonly offered benefit, closely followed by medical and dental insurance. Other benefits listed include:
- Life insurance (78% of respondents)
- Long-term disability (61%)
- Short-term disability (58%)
- Tuition reimbursement (57%)
- Healthcare savings account (52%)
States with the Best & Worst Salary Ranges
Salaries will depend on your specific role in nursing informatics, as well as the city and state where you work. Per the BLS, New York and Washington, D.C. land among the top 5 highest-paying states for both health services managers and information systems managers.
Other states with high average salaries include:
- New Jersey
States with the lowest salaries include:
How Do Nursing Informaticist Salaries Compare to Similar Jobs?
Salaries for nursing informaticists are listed among the highest average wages for all professionals in the nursing field. Median salaries for similar roles include:
- Registered nurses: $70,000
- Nurse specialists (midwives, anesthesiologists, nurse practitioners): $100,000
- Occupational health and safety specialists: $67,720
- Medical transcriptionists: $32,250
How Competitive Is the Field?
With the growing need for nursing informaticists, the field is becoming increasingly competitive. If you’re interested in advancing into informatics, it’s helpful to have a strong background in both clinical nursing and technology. Employers often want to hire experienced candidates who are experts in each field.
What Makes Candidates More Desirable?
There are several things that could make you stand out as a candidate for nursing informatics. Having skills in these areas can help boost your resume:
- Project management
- Electronic medical records (EMR) implementation
- Clinical information systems
- Information technology
- Policy writing
Education for nurse informaticists
While some nurse informaticists learn through on-the-job training or other less formal education options, there’s an increasing number of degree programs offered by colleges and universities.
As a licensed RN, you may want to pursue a bachelor’s in healthcare administration or a master’s in nursing informatics to advance your career. Programs are offered both online and on campus from schools across the country.
Professional certifications for nurse informaticists
A professional certification is another way to demonstrate your dedication and knowledge to a potential employer. Certification requires you to have a combination of experience and education before you can take an exam. Once you’ve earned your credential, you need to maintain an unrestricted RN license and take continuing education courses to renew your certification.
The Informatics Nursing Certification (RN-BC) from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)is required by many employers to work as a nurse informaticist. The HIMSS offers 2 other prominent professional certifications that can boost your career. The certification you apply for depends on your level of industry experience and education. These are:
- The Certified Associate in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CAHIMS) entry-level certificate
- The Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) professional-level certification
What Kind of Institutions Hire Nursing Informatics Specialists?
Among the HIMSS survey respondents, 42% reported working in a hospital—the most common employer for nurse informaticists. Other employers include:
- Academic settings (9% of respondents)
- Government or military settings (8%)
- Corporate offices of a healthcare system (7%)
- Consulting firms (3%)
- Ambulatory care centers (2%)
Job Growth Projections
This HIMSS also found that 1/3 of healthcare facilities employee a chief nursing information officer, a role that often oversees a department of nursing informaticists. This number is likely to continue to grow as technology continues to advance.
Career Paths: Advancing Your Nursing Informatics Career
As the role of technology expands further into healthcare, the role of nurse informaticists will also expand. You may be hired to write EMR programs, teach new technology to clinical staff, or manage data systems. Titles you could hold as your career progresses include :
- Chief nursing informatics officer (CNIO)
- Nurse programmer
- Nurse manager
- Nurse educator
- Nurse vendor representative
- Nurse communicator
Ready to Get Started?
Nursing informatics is an in-demand, rewarding, and potentially high-earning career. If you’re ready to combine your clinical skills with your technical abilities, you can start by looking into financial aid programs to help you get the nursing education you need, or use our Find Schools button to search for nursing informatics programs near you.
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