What is a Nurse Informaticist?

Nursing Informatics improves nurse/patient communication and quality medical data through research and execution.

It implements information, computer, and nursing science into healthcare in relevant, helpful, and meaningful ways.

As a result, nurse informaticists are essential in improving patient care and nursing practice at all levels.

Nursing informatics also develops better medical data and implementation to reduce patient and hospital costs and time.

Finally, it provides specialists with vital medical/healthcare information to make the best decisions within their profession.

Nursing informatics is extremely valuable in a variety of healthcare disciplines.

It includes direct patient care, medical research, education, and administration.

The data nurse informaticists collect and analyze is utilized and applied to various areas within the healthcare spectrum.

The American Nurses Association defines nursing informatics as integrating nursing, information, and analytical sciences.

Its goal is to identify, define, manage and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice.

What Do Nurse Informaticists Do?

A nurse informaticist performs various duties to improve healthcare systems and the effectiveness of medical specialists. 

It includes patient and healthcare data collection and analysis, technology research and development, and computer science.

They also focus on pharmacology research, medical billing data collection, nursing systems, and implementation theory.

Nurse informaticists conduct leadership and management training to share vital information.

As a result, these professionals improve the entire healthcare system, from the organization to the individuals within it.

Nurse Informaticist Responsibilities:

  • Patient and healthcare data collection
  • Medical billing analysis
  • Computer science
  • Human interaction and development
  • Data retrieval
  • Nursing systems research
  • Strategy development and implementation
  • Technology research and development
  • Pharmacology research
  • Implementation theory

The information nurse informaticists collect, analyze, simplify, and share with various healthcare organizations.

It enables these organizations to make better decisions within their practice.

Essentially, nursing informatics collects and analyzes various patient/healthcare data forms.

It finds ways to improve the healthcare system and the facilities that operate within it.

In turn, informatics lowers patient/hospital costs and improves patient outcomes in various populations and communities.

Nurse informaticists provide healthcare professionals with the tools they need to be successful in their careers.

Where Do Nurse Informaticists Work?

Nurse Informaticists work in numerous healthcare settings to accommodate different occupational needs.

It includes hospitals, research centers, medical clinics, and other patient-facing work environments.

They also operate at college campuses, pharmaceutical companies, and government agencies.

These professionals educate nurses and patients on various topics and perform numerous medical/pharmaceutical duties.

Occupational Settings:

  • Hospitals
  • Research centers
  • Medical clinics
  • College campuses
  • Phamarcuitical companies
  • Government agencies

How to Become a Nurse Informaticist

There are numerous steps nurse informaticists must complete to obtain careers in nursing informatics.

It includes obtaining a BSN, passing the NCLEX-RN, gaining work experience, and getting certified.

Registered nurses may also need to obtain an MSN for non-entry-level nursing informatics positions.

  1. Join a nursing program
  2. Obtain a BSN
  3. Pass the NCLEX-RN
  4. Gain work experience
  5. Get Certified
  6. Obtain an MSN

The following section explores each phase in detail to help aspiring nurse informaticists enter this profession.

1. Join a Nursing Program

The first step to becoming a nurse informaticist is to join an accredited nursing program.

Numerous colleges and universities offer online and in-person nursing programs for qualifying students.

However, students must complete multiple prerequisite courses and maintain an excellent GPA to qualify for nursing school.

It takes approximately 1 – 2 years to complete the prerequisites depending on the student’s prior education.

2. Obtain a BSN

After completing the necessary nursing school prerequisites, students may apply for the nursing program.

Qualifying students can pursue a two-year ADN or four-year BSN degree.

The two-year ADN is excellent for those who want to enter enjoy-level positions quickly.

It enables registered nurses to earn an income and gain experience while pursuing an online BSN.

Nevertheless, many healthcare institutions prefer registered nurses with a BSN for non-entry-level positions.

Nursing informatics also usually requires a minimum of a BSN for qualifying prospects.

3. Pass the NCLEX-RN

After finishing nursing school, the final step to becoming a registered nurse is to pass the NCLEX-RN exam.

The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) develops the exam to ensure graduates have a good education.

Completing this examination is necessary to obtain state licensure.

4. Gain Work Experience

After obtaining a BSN, passing the NCELX-RN, and getting licensed, most nurses focus on developing career experience.

Some registered nurses can obtain entry-level nurse informaticist positions with a BSN and adequate experience.

These entry-level jobs may require 1 – 3 years of clinical experience.

Nevertheless, obtaining an MSN degree provides further opportunities for high-level nurse informaticist careers.

5. Complete Postgraduate Education

Nurse informatics requires registered nurses to utilize technical skills, systems management, leadership, and research.

As a result, many nurses who specialize in informatics return to school to earn an MSN in nursing/health informatics.

The college curriculum provides postgraduate students with various skills to operate effectively as nurse informaticists.

It includes assessing technology outcomes, evidence-based practice, healthcare advocacy and policy, nursing research, and project and systems management.

  • Assessing technology outcomes
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Healthcare advocacy
  • Healthcare policy
  • Nursing research
  • Project management
  • Systems management

The Master of Science in Nursing degree takes approximately 24 months to complete for full-time students.

Students may also participate in online nursing programs to earn their MSN while continuing to work.

Informatics Nursing Certification

Acquiring an informatics nursing certification (RN-BC) is highly beneficial for those who want to specialize in this field.

This exam tests a nurse’s competencies to ensure they have entry-level clinical knowledge and skills in informatics.

Registered nurses pursuing certification must possess a BSN or higher to be eligible.

They must also have two years as full-time registered nurses and 2,00o hours of nursing informatics within three years.

Finally, registered nurses must complete 30 hours of continuing education in informatics nursing within three years.

Those who obtain certification demonstrate their dedication and expertise in nursing informatics.

As a result, specialists with RN-BC certification can pursue more specialized roles and earn higher incomes.

How Long does it Take to Become a Nurse Informaticist?

The time it takes to become a nurse informaticist varies depending on numerous factors.

It includes an individual’s prior education, current work experience, and specialization.

Individuals with no nursing experience must pass numerous prerequisite courses to enter nursing school.

They must then spend several years acquiring education to obtain a BSN degree.

It takes approximately 1 – 3 years to complete the prerequisites, plus 2 – 4 years to acquire a BSN.

However, students with a BSN in another domain may take a BSN to RN program to obtain a nursing degree much sooner.

After earning a degree and licensure, registered nurses spend 2 – 3 years gaining experience.

To take the RN-BC certification, they must have 30 hours of continuing education and 2,000 hours of nursing informatics.

Overall, an individual may spend 6 – 10 years acquiring education and experience to become a certified nurse informaticist.

Can Nurse Informaticists Work From Home?

Yes, some nurse informaticists work from home partially or full-time.

Those who operate from home partially may commute to work several times per week or month to manage specific tasks.

Full-time remote specialists operate routinely from home with little or no commuting necessary.

Nevertheless, many employers hiring remote nurse informaticists look for employees with several years of experience.

It ensures they have adequate training and expertise to perform their duties remotely.

Each employer is different in terms of remote work opportunities and arrangments.

As a result, nurse informaticists must determine the benefits and limitations of working from home for specific employers.

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