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Nurse Informaticist – The Future Is Now
- Have you heard of nurse informaticists? Are you wondering, “What does this type of nurse do?”
- A nurse informaticist, also known as an informatics nurse, is a nurse who works at the intersections of health care, nursing, data, and information technology. The role of nurse informaticists is always changing as the world of healthcare continues to expand itself in new technologies.
- Wanna know more? Continue reading and find out!
MPH, MSN, WHNP-BC
You’re here because you’re wondering what a nurse informaticist is!
A nurse informaticist, also known as an informatics nurse, is a nurse who works at the intersections of health care, nursing, data, and information technology. The role of nurse informaticists is always changing as the world of healthcare continues to expand itself in new technologies.
Like all nurses, nurse informaticists are educated and trained in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and assessment. However, their work focus is specifically the clinical integration and technological side of nursing, such as database management or electronic health record quality control.
Education of A Nurse Informaticist
Informatics nurses can be licensed vocational nurses (LVNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), or registered nurses (RNs). Over the past decade, more places of employment are often seeking informatics nurses who are RNs with an Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree in nursing.
In addition to a nursing degree, some nurses will pursue a Master’s degree in health informatics or a similar field, such as health care technology.
Some informatics nurses opt to become certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ACNN). Other nurses work as nurse informaticists without additional formal education or training.
Nurses often learn a significant amount of health care technology when providing direct patient care or seeking resources on health care technology.
It is important to note that many nurse informaticists will have a few years of patient-care nursing experience prior to working as a nurse informaticist.
Salary of A Nurse Informaticist
Salary varies by state and place of employment, such as a hospital or private practice. Typically, informatics nurses with more experience tend to have a higher salary than those without experience.
According to Salary.com, the average salary for an immunization nurse is $93,000. Note that this average varies depending on experience, location, and place of work.
Where Do Nurse Informaticists Work?
Common places of employment include:
- Clinical research facilities
- Public health departments
- Corporate health agencies
- Non-profit organizations
- Telehealth start-ups
- Military health services
- Pharmaceutical companies
- Community health centers, and more.
Informatics nurses can also serve in nursing management roles, teach at nursing schools, or be independent consultants.
Scope of Practice of A Nurse Informaticist
People often think that nurse informaticists do all things tech all day.
While technology is a significant part of a nurse informaticist’s day, common tasks and responsibilities include:
- Assess health care facilities’ technology needs
- Ensure data is reliable, medically accurate, and compliant
- Collaborate with clinical and non-clinical staff in overall technology evaluation
- Contribute to the presentation and performance of technological services
- Perform evidence-based practice and quality improvement activities related to patient care
- Evaluate technology in regards to its cost, safety, quality, and performance measures
- Provide a nursing perspective in regards to the integration of technology in patient care delivery
- Advocate for nurses and their voices regarding technology in the workplace
- Stay aware of the latest health care technology developments
- Present patient and health care data to relevant stakeholders
- and of course, educate patients and staff as appropriate.
This is just a sample of what informatics nurses can do! The scope of work for an informatics nurse mostly depends on their training, local boards of nursing, workplace practices, and local legislation.
Why Consider Becoming a Nurse Informaticist?
Nurse informaticists do many things! They are often viewed as tech nurses or nurses who love data and numbers.
While nurse informaticists spend much time in the world of technology and data, they are the true bridge between nursing and technology. Technology is rapidly evolving world, especially in a COVID world more heavily reliant on technologies for health care services than ever.
Unfortunately, many nurses can attest to issues with electronic medical records, charting, and more.
Nurses are the front-line for patient care, and sometimes, technology needs to not reflect the needs of nurses and patients. That is where nurse informaticists come in. By bringing in a nursing lens and a technology focus, informatics nurses lead the way for nurses in health care technology.
If you are considering being an informatics nurse, I would recommend that you ask yourself if you truly are passionate about data, collaboration, technology, nursing, and education.
If you are thinking about becoming an informatics nurse or learning more about the profession, I would recommend looking into the American Nursing Informatics Association and the American Nurse Association.
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