Nursing Informatics Career and Degree Guide


How Much Do Nurse Informaticists Make?

nurse and doctor looking at desktop computer

Nursing informatics is a growing career field for nurses, and salaries are growing along with it. In fact, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) 2020 survey revealed that informatics nurses across the country have the potential to earn a high salary, depending on their level of education, where they work, and a number of other factors.

Median Annual Salary

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) backs this up. Although the BLS doesn’t track nurse informaticists specifically, it does categorize them under the hybrid umbrella of “health information technologists and medical registrars.”

Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars

National data

Median Salary: $55,560

Projected job growth: 17.4%

10th Percentile: $29,680

25th Percentile: $37,500

75th Percentile: $76,960

90th Percentile: $98,490

Projected job growth: 17.4%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alaska $48,350 $37,300 $97,360
Alabama $47,380 $35,250 $73,650
Arkansas $47,230 $29,270 $89,320
Arizona $46,690 $29,850 $93,110
California $77,600 $39,820 $132,960
Colorado $60,840 $37,240 $98,300
Connecticut $47,160 $36,940 $74,200
District of Columbia $77,240 $59,080 $118,070
Delaware $37,020 $29,320 $88,500
Florida $57,970 $29,670 $98,050
Georgia $37,500 $28,440 $93,790
Hawaii $48,350 $37,670 $93,720
Iowa $60,930 $46,950 $81,690
Idaho $59,120 $29,300 $101,650
Illinois $38,230 $29,440 $72,880
Indiana $37,850 $29,280 $77,290
Kansas $59,120 $30,480 $93,660
Kentucky $47,120 $29,900 $81,280
Louisiana $46,660 $29,290 $75,840
Massachusetts $77,240 $40,130 $104,800
Maryland $77,810 $37,110 $162,400
Maine $60,780 $35,570 $93,110
Michigan $58,480 $37,660 $77,830
Minnesota $76,080 $46,950 $98,980
Missouri $37,530 $29,300 $74,200
Mississippi $37,670 $22,950 $73,380
Montana $48,990 $36,900 $77,830
North Carolina $47,670 $29,540 $77,250
North Dakota $58,810 $37,030 $76,600
Nebraska $45,610 $29,550 $81,920
New Hampshire $60,370 $36,460 $98,990
New Jersey $37,100 $29,120 $74,970
New Mexico $37,560 $27,480 $73,120
New York $76,580 $46,910 $161,210
Ohio $59,120 $36,530 $98,430
Oklahoma $37,500 $29,120 $76,600
Oregon $61,770 $46,910 $98,930
Pennsylvania $56,360 $37,110 $82,030
Rhode Island $47,240 $37,500 $77,290
South Carolina $38,710 $29,230 $76,600
South Dakota $58,810 $37,150 $76,600
Tennessee $60,770 $29,430 $79,240
Texas $66,350 $36,080 $98,400
Utah $37,080 $29,430 $61,250
Virginia $47,230 $34,480 $77,290
Vermont $60,110 $36,930 $95,150
Washington $47,940 $37,500 $97,110
Wisconsin $48,350 $36,800 $78,820
West Virginia $29,600 $23,460 $40,290

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2031. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

As technology in healthcare increases, so will the role of nursing informatics.

While there isn’t data tracking to show that nursing informaticists are always in that top 10%, the salary is in line with numbers found in the HIMSS survey and listed on hiring websites. Nurse informaticists have an advanced role with increased responsibilities, and their salaries often reflect that. However, your salary as a nurse informaticist will depend on a number of factors, such as employer, location, years of experience, level of education, and even your job title.

Nursing informaticists analyze data and use technology to help improve the care nurses provide. As technology continues to play an ever-greater role in healthcare, nursing informaticists will likely also see their roles expand and their job opportunities increase.

“The field is constantly growing as technologies evolve,” says Debra Henline Sullivan, PhD, MSN, RN, CNE, COI, a nurse educator who teaches nursing informatics to post-graduate students. And she expects the field to keep growing. “Suitable technologies can help improve patient care, cut the cost of healthcare, and make nursing more efficient.”

What’s My Highest Earning Potential?

Three of the biggest factors that can affect your salary are your education, the certification you earn, and your years of experience. In general, a higher degree, more experience, and a certification can lead you to a much higher salary.

So, how big of an impact can your education have? Having a higher degree in an increasingly competitive field like nursing informatics can make a serious difference in your career path. You’ll need to be a licensed registered nurse (RN) in good standing to get any nursing informatics job. Most roles will also ask that you have at least a bachelor’s degree, although a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is fast becoming the go-to degree for the field.

If you’re looking to advance your career even further, there are doctoral options, too. Nursing informaticists can earn a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) or a PhD in Nursing. Either degree will allow you to apply for high-level leadership roles and can have a significant impact on your earnings. In fact, nursing informaticists with a doctoral degree reported the highest salaries in the HIMSS survey. The survey found that 61% of nurse informaticists with a doctorate earned well more than average for the field, a larger percentage than any other degree level.

Will a Master’s Make a Difference? How About a Doctorate?

While a master’s degree isn’t a requirement to land a job in nursing informatics, it can make a serious impact on your salary. Having a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) can help you stand out from other applications.

With an MSN, you’ll have more opportunities to advance your career—and your salary along with it. You’ll be able to apply for higher-level nursing informatics roles, such as chief nursing informatics officer.

Earning a doctorate can advance your career even further and afford you opportunities for a significant salary increase. Advanced roles often come with advanced salaries to fairly compensate for the jobs’ demands.

How Can I Increase My Earnings?

Beyond advancing your education, there are several steps you can take to increase your earnings. One of the top ways is to earn a certification. Certification isn’t a requirement for nursing informatics, but it can definitely help. Plus, while it may not be required by the profession as a rule, some employers do require it.

You’ll need education, experience, and an active RN license in good standing before you can apply for certification. Common nursing informatics certifications include:

  • Informatics Nursing Certification (RN-BC) from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
  • Certified Associate in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CAHIMS) from HIMSS (entry-level certification)
  • Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) from HIMSS (professional-level certification)

You can also potentially increase your earnings by furthering the skills and education you bring to the role. You can do this by gaining additional education, attending conferences, or simply gaining experience. In fact, while it might not be the fastest way to increase your earnings, experience can play a big role in your overall earnings. The HIMSS survey found that nursing informaticists with over 11 years of experience were the top earners, often significantly out-earning new informatics nurses.

How Do Nursing Informaticist Salaries Compare to Other Nursing Jobs?

The BLS doesn’t currently track data for nursing informaticists specifically.

For now, roles in the hybrid category earn an average of $55,560. Keep in mind that survey and association salary data show that nursing informaticists are likely among the top earners in this category. According to the BLS, the top 25 percent of healthcare professionals in this hybrid earn an average of $76,960 and the top 10 percent earn an average of $98,490. How does that compare to other nursing roles? Check out some similar jobs below to get an idea of how nursing informatics stacks up.

Career Median Annual Salary
Health Information Technologists and Medical Registrars $55,560
Licensed Practical and Licensed Vocational Nurses $48,070
Registered Nurses $77,600
Nursing Instructors and Teachers, Postsecondary $77,440
Nurse Practitioners $120,680
Nurse Anesthetists $195,610

What Cities Offer the Best Pay?

Where you live can make a big impact on your nursing informatics salary.

“This is typically caused by the macroeconomic factors in the area, such as the overall cost of living, the demand for nursing, and the ratio of healthcare employers,” Sullivan explains. Areas all over the country—including the Midwest, New England, and the Southeast—offer high pay for nursing informaticists. You can check out some of the top-paying areas below.

Remember, this data represents all jobs in the BLS joint category of “all other health information technologists and medical registrars.”

Metro Area Median Annual Salary
Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA $124,680
St. Cloud, MN $98,300
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA $96,960
San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA $89,110
Sacramento--Roseville--Arden-Arcade, CA $83,540
Rochester, MN $77,780
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA $77,600
Vallejo-Fairfield, CA $77,600
Manchester, NH $77,600
Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, NY $77,600

Does My Place of Employment Matter?

According to the HIMSS survey, hospitals and health systems are the primary place of employment for nurse informaticists. Other common places of employment for nurse informaticists and the average salary in the BLS hybrid category include:

Place of Employment

Salary


Scientific Research Facilities

$110,790

Computer Systems Design Companies

$110,780

Technical Consulting Services

$84,490

Business Support Services

$77,670

General Medical and Surgical Hospitals

$59,640

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021

Again, remember that these numbers represent the average for the entire hybrid category. Your salary as a nursing informaticist could be higher. It could also be affected by personal factors such as your education, experience level, and any certification you’ve obtained. As the field continues to grow, nursing informaticists might see even higher salaries and greater career opportunities.


Written and reported by:

Stephanie Behring

Contributing Writer

debra sullivan

With professional insight from:

Debra Henline Sullivan, Ph.D., MSN, RN, CNE, COI

Nursing Informatics Instructor