We think of nursing as one of the noblest professions because of the time and attention nurses put into the care of others. But what we often forget, when we think about nursing, is all of the infrastructure that has to be built up around nurses to create the best possible care. In today’s healthcare field, that means technology, and to manage, analyze, and use health data, a whole new field of professionals has developed – health informatics. It’s one of the biggest growth occupations within the healthcare field, and gives professionals with information technology skills a way to find their own place in the booming healthcare industry.
The study of nursing and health sciences, in collaboration with information technology and analytical sciences, is called Nursing Informatics. Nursing informatics analysts make use of all the masses of data that the healthcare industry collects – such as patient information, epidemiology, population studies, and more – and determines how to use that information to improve nursing case.
Nursing informatics is gaining importance with every passing day because it helps nurses to care the patient in an efficient way. In fact, Nursing Informatics has brought a revolution in the world of medical sciences. Nursing informatics professionals blend clinical care with data collection and analysis to make modern nursing all that it can be. Their role in maintaining the electronic medical record of patients and computerized provider entry cannot be denied.
Here, it is worth saying that nursing informatics requires a different kind of nurse. The best professionals in nursing informatics need to have just as much ability dealing with computers and software as caring for patients. They need an analytical mind, talent for seeing patterns, and, above all, the knowledge and confidence to take information and use it to find the right course of action.
Nursing Informatics Education and Training
Nursing informatics degree programs being offered in various medical schools have qualified staff to impart quality professional education. Becoming a nurse informatics professional, means earning the right nursing informatics certifications. Nurse informatics professionals are nurses first – they have to pass licensing exams to become RNs, and they need clinical education to fully understand the work nurses do.
Many BSN and MSN degree programs now offer a specialization in nursing informatics, so students can concentrate their education on the field from the start. For nurses already working in the field, or who already have a BSN or MSN and want to get into nursing informatics, a shorter graduate certification can be added on.
Nursing Informatics Duties
The medical profession is incomplete without certified nursing informatics professionals. Some of the duties of nursing informatics specialists include:
- Analyzing technology needs
- Designing and testing system technology
- Helping institutions adopt new technologies
- Serving as a helpful resource to the medical staff
- Serving as nurse educators
- Implementing new medical software
- Researching various healthcare related topics
Nursing Informatics Salary
Different hospitals and healthcare centers offer different salaries to nursing informatics professionals. Payscale shows that nursing informatics salaries may range between $56,372 and $97,367 annually. This is because their salary differs due to various certifications they possess. However, on average, nursing informatics salary remains about $75,000 annually – a significant increase over the average nurse’s salary.