How to Become an Informatics Nurse

Steps to a job in this field

To enter into the nursing informatics field, typically you need a minimum of a four year degree. There are specific health informatics degrees available. Earning your Bachelorís of Science in Nursing (BSN) is also a requirement before sitting for the ANCC certifications test for Nursing Informatics. Some individuals start with just a two year degree or diploma, but continue on to earn their BSN before becoming certified. Although there are several different routes for getting into the field, the most favored manner is to earn a Masterís in Nursing Informatics from the start, however, most individuals start their career prior to earning their masterís degree.

Most nurses who are in the informatics field start in a specialty area, such as the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Perioperative Services (OR), Med-Surg, Orthopedic Nursing, or Oncology, just to name a few, and work in that specialty field for an extended period. Working in a specialty area helps nurses get to know the normal working processes and routines as well as understand the patient care process in their specialty.†They usually are experts at their specialty and then develop interests in computerized documentation or some other technological healthcare focus. They then tend to gradually move into an information systems clinical support role.

Skills needed for the field

Nursing Informaticists have excellent analytical and critical thinking skills. They also understand the patient care delivery workflow and integration points for automated documentation. Having additional education and experience with information systems is also important for this occupation. Finally, nursing informaticists are excellent project managers because of the similarity between the project management process and the nursing process.

To be competitive in this field one should become familiar with relational databases by taking a class about database structure and build. They should also become competent and comfortable with MS Office, especially Excel and Access. Visio is another program that is good to learn.

Job Titles

There are a few different job positions within the nursing informatics and health informatics fields that someone can obtain. The list below includes common job positions within this field. Some of these positions are different titles for the same position and others are completely different positions.

  • Clinical Director of informatics
  • Informatics Director
  • Informatics Manager
  • Nursing Informaticist
  • Health Informaticist
  • Director of Patient Care Informatics
  • Informatics Analyst
  • Clinical Informaticist
  • Medical Informaticist
  • Clinical Informatics Nurse
  • Clinical Quality Informatics
  • Informatics Nurse Specialist
  • Specialist of Nursing Informatics

Day in the Life of a Healthcare / Nursing informatics career

Below are examples of individuals who work in the field and their experiences and viewpoints about the field.

Other Health / Nursing Informatics Categories
To learn more about Health / Nursing Informatics careers, degrees, schools, and salaries, visit the following links/pages.