Nursing Informatics Jobs: the Rising Nursing Specialty
Nursing informatics is a division of nursing that’s rapidly growing and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. Why? This field is expanding exponentially because of the importance of nursing informatics and the impact it has on everyday patient care, documentation, and procedures.
Analysis of current healthcare IT systems and the implementation of new software in healthcare, such as electronic health records (EHR), have profound implications for the delivery of healthcare and patient outcomes. As a nurse or even a travel nurse, working in healthcare IT, you are trusted to combine your clinical nursing skills and technical knowledge to help improve patient care.
As hospitals increase their usage and dependence on healthcare IT systems such as EHRs, electronic order entering systems, and coding applications, there is a growing demand for technical departments that have both clinical and non-clinical professionals working in them. As a nurse informaticist, you can become a core member of a hospital or health system’s clinical IT team.
What is Nursing Informatics?
A field of nursing which focuses on the delivery of high-quality patient care through the analysis and management of healthcare data and technical systems is called nursing informatics. A nurse working in the informatics field can:
- Analyze trends
- Monitor for recurrent errors
- Implement new systems
- Improve the efficiency of current processes
How do You Find Nursing Informatics Jobs?
Nursing informatics jobs come in many different settings and roles and can be found under various titles. The following are types of roles and titles given to nurses working in informatics, (their specifics may vary):
- Nurse informaticist
- Nursing informatics specialist
- Nursing informatics clinician
- Clinical informatics coordinator
- Clinical analyst
- Clinical nurse informatics specialist
- IT clinical nurse
- Perioperative informatics nurse
Nursing Informatics Job Descriptions
Healthcare informatics is a field that deals mostly with the administrative side of healthcare data, such as registration and billing applications. Nursing informatics brings in the patient care aspect of healthcare and deals with the computer systems interacted with by the nursing and care staff. As such, registered nurses who work in informatics serve as a point of contact between the clinical nursing staff and the IT team or department.
What’s the Importance of Nursing Informatics?
Nursing informaticists effectively bridge the gap in communication between the clinicians using the software every day and the technical folk working “in the trenches” on the backend of the development and rollout of such applications. Effectively, nurse informaticists can make sure that the new tools and procedures being implemented will be practical and user-friendly for the application and use of such systems by all staff members involved.
Because a nurse with a clinical and technical background can help see both sides of the spectrum, they are in a unique position to help demonstrate how systems can be used to provide the best care for patients. Let’s say a group of medical-surgical nurses is given training by a nursing informaticist, once that training is complete, that IT nurse will effectively serve as a point-of-contact for any questions that arise once the system is in place.
In addition to serving as a liaison between these two entities, nurse informaticists might also take part in:
- Quality control
- Systems development
- Clinical staff training
Responsibilities of Nurses Working in Informatics
Hospitals are the most common employer for nursing informaticists according to a study conducted by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). System implementations were cited as the most frequent job responsibility for IT nurses at 40 percent according to the study. Within this blanket term of implementation includes the preparation of new technology and the support and training of clinical staff members.
Where Do Nurse Informaticists Work?
Ever since the implementation of Meaningful Use and hospitals and healthcare facilities were driven to implement digital solutions, such as electronic health records (EHR) and computerized order entry (CPOE), technology solutions have been deeply entrenched throughout the healthcare realm. Therefore, nurses who work in informatics are needed in practically every clinical and healthcare setting that exists, including:
- Consulting firms
- Nursing homes
- Public heath firms
- Research laboratories
- Insurance agencies
Nursing Informatics Job Outlook and Salary
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the job market for nurses in general if going to rise by 15 percent by 2026. As people get older, but are leading healthier lives, there is an increased demand for many healthcare services which drives the nation’s need for nurses.
One of the biggest factors that increases the need for nurse informaticists is the push for controlling healthcare spending and costs. The proper management of nursing data in medical facilities and hospitals can help managers and executives implement policies and make decisions that effectively lower healthcare costs.
Because of this, the American Medical Informatics Association suggests that as many as 70,000 nursing informatics specialists/analysts might be needed in the next five years. The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) passed in 2009, and the Patient Protection and Accountable Care Act (PPACA) are two driving pieces of legislation that are responsible for the surge in the demand for nurses who work in informatics.
Nursing Informatics Salary Details
- So how much do nurse informaticists make? According to Indeed.com – the average nurse working in informatics makes $66,000 annually.
- If you take a look at the numbers on Payscale.com – they estimate that the average salary for nurses who work in IT varies from $49,000 to $87,000 annually.
Why is there so much variability in these figures you might ask? Usually the pay is going to vary based on experience. An entry-level IT nurse is going to earn towards the lower-end and highly-experienced professionals, who perhaps have an advanced degree, will earn towards the higher end of the scale.
What are the Requirements to Work in Nursing Informatics
The majority of all nurse informaticists start their careers as registered nurses. You can apply for positions in the IT field in healthcare as an RN and gain experience from there. Nurses who work in informatics often have higher degrees of education. Many of them earn a BSN and even go on to earn their master’s of science in nursing or MSN. Nurse informaticists may also earn their master’s in computer science or information.
Are you up for the challenge? A career in the healthcare IT realm is demaning and requires extensive:
- Project management
- Critical thinking
You must be able to work in different environments and with a variety of people. Challenges arise during the development of information systems that meet everyone’s needs and you must be able to resolve those demands and come up with creative solutions to solve the conflicts.
Searching for Travel Nursing Assignments?
Nurses trust Elite Specialty Staffing to provide the highest-paying travel nursing jobs in the industry. Available jobs with our agency are scattered across the nation, and we often have travel IT positions that need to be filled. To find out more, give us a call today at 208-378-1338.