Nursing informatics job is one of the recent opportunities nurses can now pursue and it is already becoming quite popular. Nursing is among the oldest careers in the world and employs some 2.7 million people in the USA alone. Nurses can work in different departments of healthcare facilities and their jobs vary depending on the healthcare facility and what they specialize in. nurse informatics jobs are fairly new and the definition of a nurse informatics specialist may frequently vary from one health organization to another.
- Nursing Informatics Job Definition
- Nursing Informatics Job Description
- Nursing Informatics Job: Educational Requirements
- Nursing Informatics Job: Tips to Jumpstart Your Career
- Nursing Informatics Job: Salary Information
However, it is defined by the American Nursing Association as follows:
- It is the position of overseeing integration and interpretation of data, information and patient history (medical records) to facilitate decision making for both the patient and their healthcare provider.
Essentially, nursing informatics specialist jobs emerged due to the shift from analog to electronic medical practices that involve storing patient medical data, statistics and history on electronic databases. Nurses out in the field often come by different types of medical data and information which can be used in administering treatment for momentary and future cases. Recording, compiling and integrating this information in the broad healthcare delivery network is therefore very crucial and nurse informatics jobs are the platforms for overseeing this requirement.
Nursing informatics job description is simple to understand once you grasp the scope of what such specialists are required to achieve. The paper records that were used for over a century are a thing of the past. A bill was passed back in 2009 requiring all healthcare facilities to switch from paper record keeping systems to electronic databases by 2014 and it is now a legally enforced requirement.
Nurse Informatics specialists are required to oversee the integration of collected data (from medical history), information from the records and existing knowledge to support decision making when treating patients.
To achieve this, they must keep the information technology systems up-to-date at all times, record all the necessary data collected and make sure these records are accessible to doctors, specialists, other nurses and the patients themselves. The benefits of electronic record keeping are quite obvious and straightforward. Nurses interested in information technology and its application in trying to improve patient health care delivery plans should consider a career in nurse informatics. Some of the key responsibilities performed under nursing informatics job include the following:
- Project management
- Policy writing
- Education, training and provision of support to system users
- Choosing the correct systems
- Optimizing system performance
- Maintaining electronic record keeping systems
If you work outside a clinic or health facility, your job may include testing patients, training system customers, designing a record keeping system and even sales and marketing.
The starting point of becoming any type of nurse is completing formal education and taking a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing Sciences. This gives you certification as a licensed registered nurse and you can then major in any branch that interests you.
Once you have the licensing, you can begin training and crossover lessons to jumpstart your way into nursing informatics jobs. However, this will often take a longer time and your reputation as an informatics specialist will not be as good as you expect.
For this reason, it is advisable to major in Nursing Informatics. Universities are already offering on-campus and online degree and certification programs for health informatics. You can graduate with a Master’s of Health Informatics, which gives you better credibility as a specialist in the field. Graduates of nursing administration with an emphasis on health informatics will also qualify for nurse informatics jobs.
According to statistical reports, nursing informatics jobs are expanding rapidly and about 70,000 new specialists will be required in the next few years. These jobs do not have an entry level point and most specialists advance their careers acquiring the needed skills along the way. Here are some tips to help you jumpstart your career in informatics:
- Know what you need — Informatics basically brings together health science, computer science, and information technology. These, therefore, are the areas you should seek to advance your knowledge and skills if you want to be the best nurse informatics specialist in your facility or region.
- Advance your field — Advancing the nursing field is often quite difficult even though nursing is still very popular and honorable. Expanding your skills in the three areas is one way to quickly advance your career.
- Get educated — It is very important to get educated in health informatics and get certification. Look for courses and programs that deal with health informatics and enroll for the classes.
- Find job opportunities — The next thing is to work part-time first then full time in such departments developing professional networks and relationships with other nurses in the division.
Example jobs and career paths you can take as a nurse informatics include Nurse Communicators, Nurse Managers, Nurse Programmers and Nurse vendor representatives among others. These jobs basically deal with programming the medical systems used, vending them to interested facilities, providing/communicating help to users and managing/maintaining the systems.
Like most other professions, the salary awarded depends on various factors including physical location, type of facility, scope of the job and education. Since the field is still emerging, its salary statistics are yet to be published by the department of labor.
However, surveys have been conducted across all US regions and the salary of a nurse informatics specialist is around $93,000. Other reports depict an average salary of $102,715. It is advisable to conduct a personal research within your region market for up to date information.
As mentioned above, there are different scopes in the field ranging from programmers to educators, vendors, communicators and clinical analysts who simply analyze the data and information collected using special computer tools and systems. Different paths will attract different jobs and programmers are likely to earn more than analysts and sales representatives.
Nursing informatics jobs will only increase as we move forward. More health care facilities continue to install electronic record-keeping systems which lead to one major path; unlimited possibilities and solutions. Once you start using systems, faults, challenges and difficulties are no longer negatives but opportunities to improve the system which means new versions, features, tools and solutions. It will, therefore, be a cyclic activity that guarantees diversity and job security.