With a bachelor's degree, it's possible to begin a career in nursing informatics; however, many professionals in this field complete additional certification or earn a master's degree in nursing informatics as well. This field is expected to grow at a much faster than average rate through 2024.
Nursing informatics combines multiple disciplines into a functional and coordinated healthcare mechanism. The informatics mechanism assists with communication of healthcare professionals, like nurses and doctors, as well as with patient information on a practical level. Informatics also optimizes nursing services, preventative medicine and patient outcome.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree|
|Other Requirements||Additional certification is available|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)||14% or higher%*|
|Median Salary (2015)||$85,800*|
Source: *O*NET Online
Professionals in this field may carry out tasks such as managing data, interpreting data and developing patient information policies.
Common informatics nurse job duties include:
- Information translation for health and information teams
- Interpreting data
- Identifying relevant patient data
- Policy development for patient information sharing
- Supporting information communication
- Enhance nursing practice and administration
- Researching effectiveness of nursing technologies
Salary and Career Outlook
As of 2015, the median salary for nursing informatics specialists was $85,800 per year according to O*Net Online. Like many other healthcare and technology fields, opportunities are expected to be plentiful in the coming years. According to O*Net Online, the projected career growth is anticipated to be more than 14% from 2014-2024, which will be significantly faster than most careers.
Master of Science in Nursing Informatics
According to O*NET, 25% of nursing informatics specialists have completed at least a master's degree program. Completing a 2-year Master of Science degree program in nursing informatics is a viable option to enter nursing informatics careers. These programs merge technology and nursing education to develop students for nursing informatics research and education opportunities. Common courses include:
- Health applications
- Clinical practice informatics
- Database design
- Healthcare financial management
Certificate in Health Informatics
These certificate programs are available at the graduate level and typically require applicants to hold at least a bachelor's degree and some experience in the healthcare field, including professional nursing work. Obtaining a certificate in health or nursing informatics can lead to an opportunity to gain professional certification in the field. These are 1-year education programs, which develop student skills by combining nursing and information science to deliver high quality patient care. Common courses include:
- Nursing informatics
- Health informatics
- Information systems
The American Nurses Credentialing Center offers nurses the chance to gain professional certification in nursing informatics. Eligibility requirements include having at least 1,000 clinical practice hours and relevant, approved education. Students must pass an exam on applied knowledge of nurse informatics. Passing the examination provides students with the informatics nursing credential. Continuing education is required in order to maintain certification over time.
High job growth is anticipated for in the field of nursing informatics through 2024. Applicants with a bachelor's degree and optional certification or a master's in nursing informatics will be able to compete in the job market upon graduation. Professional credentials are available to those who meet training and education requirements and pass an exam.