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Nursing Informaticist

Overview

The International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA) defines nursing informatics as the "science and practice (that) integrates nursing, its information and knowledge, with management of information and communication technologies to promote the health of people, families, and communities worldwide." The application of nursing informatics knowledge is empowering for all health care practitioners in achieving patient-centered care.

Nurse informaticists work as developers of communication and information technologies, educators, researchers, chief nursing officers, chief information officers, software engineers, implementation consultants, policy developers, and business owners to advance health care.

The American Medical Informatics Association defines the nurse informaticist’s core areas of work as:

  • Concept representation and standards to support evidence-based practice, research and education
  • Data and communication standards to build an interoperable national data infrastructure
  • Research methodologies to disseminate new knowledge into practice
  • Information presentation and retrieval approaches to support safe patient-centered care
  • Information and communication technologies to address interprofessional work flow needs across all care venues
  • Vision and management for the development, design and implementation of communication and information technology
  • Definition of health care policy to advance the public’s health

Working Conditions

Nurse informaticists work in a variety of areas including health systems, business and industry and academia. As leaders in the field of health informatics, nurse informaticists work as chief nursing informatics officers, clinical analysts, informatics nurse specialists and nurse data scientists.

Their scope of practice may include participation in the planning, design, implementation and evaluation of electronic health records in health system organizations. They play a vital role in the application of information systems in analyzing and researching clinical and administrative performance analytics. And they assist in the integration of information technology into the workflow of nurses.

Salary Range

The average salary for a nurse informaticist was $100,717 in 2014, according to a survey done by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). 

Academic Requirements

Most nurse informaticists begin their careers as registered nurses. It is important for nurse informaticists to understand the nursing process, so they can design systems that will solve problems with patient care.

After completing a bachelor’s degree in nursing, many nurse informaticists obtain a master’s degree in nursing or a field related to computer science or information science. This career involves extensive project management, critical thinking and creativity.

Nurse informaticists must be able to work effectively with many different kinds of people. They must be skilled in resolving conflicting demands to develop systems that meet everyone’s needs.

The American Nurses Association Credentialing Center provides advanced training and certification in nursing informatics. You can also become a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information Management Systems (CPHIMS) or a Certified Professional in Health Information Technology (CPHIT).