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Informatics Nurse

Informatics nurses combine their knowledge of nursing, computers, and information science to help develop and maintain medical data information systems. Advances in technology have led to increased use of electronic medical records (EMRs), remote patient monitoring, and telehealth. Informatics nurses play a prominent role in the reliable implementation and operation of these complex systems. 

In addition, informatics nurses are responsible for educating and assisting staff in operating and troubleshooting these computer programs. They may be involved in analyzing costs to increase efficiency and monitoring patient outcomes to improve quality patient care.

Education Requirements

All nurse specialty areas require an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree and successfully pass the state's NCLEX-RN exam. Two years of nursing experience is usually required and is necessary to apply for certifications.

How to advance/career pathway

You can apply for an Informatics Nursing Certification (RN-BC) after you have worked full-time for two years as an RN. You need to complete 30 hours of continuing education in informatics nursing, or hours of experience in informatics nursing, or have earned a graduate-level degree in informatics nursing.

You can also advance by getting an MSN degree in Nursing Informatics.

RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Build and maintain clinical application programs
  • Analyze patient care data and use results to improve patient outcomes
  • Participate in the research or design of new technology 
  • Train staff on the use of new technology and how to troubleshoot
  • Serve as a liaison between nursing staff and technology departments
  • Manage hospital or facility-wide projects

MOST COMMON CASES

  • Projects that assure compliance to national laws and standards such as HIPAA, FDA, and Joint Commission
  • Preparation of medical data system policies, procedures, and training materials 
  • Translate between IT department and medical/nursing staff
  • Staff educator on the use of devices, EMRs, and medical orders entry systems
  • Project manager to analyze workflow to determine the best implementation method 
  • Analyze ergonomics and human-computer interaction (HCI) principles for informatics design

How to become a

Informatics Nurse

  1. Complete an ADN or BSN program in nursing
  2. Pass the NCLEX-RN exam and apply for your RN license
  3. Have two years of experience working as an RN
  4. Apply to work as an informatics nurse or take courses to learn informatics nursing
  5. Apply for an Informatics Nursing Certification (RN-BC) after meeting prerequisites

Specialty Groups and Communities

American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA)

  • Mission: "AMIA aims to lead the way in transforming health care through trusted science, education, and the practice of informatics."
  • Cost: $380 annually. Young Informatics Professional (YIP) membership fee is $210. "This membership type is open to recent graduates (within the last 18 months) of any undergraduate, graduate, or post-doctoral program." 
  • Perks: Receive discounted rates for AMIA's four annual conferences. Connect with 5,000+ informaticians and expand your professional network. Earn CME/CE and MOC credits by attending AMIA conferences and reading journal articles. Be part of a separate nurse branch called Alliance for Nursing Informatics (ANI)

American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA)

  • Mission: "To advance nursing informatics through education, research, and practice in all roles and settings."
  • Cost: $79 Regular (RN) / Associate annually, or 2 Years for $148 Regular (RN) / Associate.
  • Perks: Receive the Journal of Informatics Nursing, published quarterly, which has free contact hours. Attend regularly scheduled, free webinars to earn contact hours. Receive reduced registration rate for the ANIA Annual Conference.

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society

  • Mission: "Reform the global health ecosystem through the power of information and technology."
  • Cost: $199 annually, for health professionals
  • Chapter: $39 annually. 
  • Perks: Receive member pricing on the HIMSS Global Health Conference, regional events, webinars, bookstore, and the HIMSS Learning Center

The Pros

  • Challenging, intellectual work requiring logical decision making
  • Seen as an expert in understanding and implementing medical technology systems 
  • Work collaboratively with other IT professionals while incorporating input from staff
  • Be part of an efficient running operation to deliver safe patient care

The Cons

  • Minimal patient contact or involvement in providing direct nursing care
  • Always in front of a computer screen
  • Stressful when the systems are not working, and staff is frustrated
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Personality Traits

  • Strong problem solver 
  • Acts independently
  • Critical thinker with strong analytical skills
  • Enjoys technology
  • Operations and project management-oriented
  • Patient and persistent
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Average Salary

On average, informatics nurse salaries in 2021 range from $79,590 and $102,590.  For the most up-to-date salary information, check out Salary Explorer.

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Work Setting

Found in hospitals, clinics, long-term care facilities, IT companies, and consulting firms. 

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Interested in learning more about what it's like to be an Informatics Nurse? We spoke to one to find out. Read What Does an Informatics Nurse Do?