The remarkable development of technology has created new trends for medical care services. They allow you to build a complete and organized patient information system.
The specialist responsible for managing and improving this system is the nurse informaticist. They are the ones who capture the trend to optimize the process.
It is not surprising that the demand for careers in this field increases rapidly. So, how to become a nursing informaticist?
To learn about the details of the steps, continue reading the article with us!
Before learning about how to become a nursing informaticist, you will need to understand the nature of the field.
As defined by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA), informatics is the science of using information and data about human health.
As a result, specialists can analyze and provide appropriate care.
When you combine this knowledge with nursing, you get nursing informatics.
This field focuses on the systematic management of databases and technical information. Through it, they offer high-quality healthcare services.
Informaticists can track consistent errors, implement more robust systems, and analyze new trends using data. Compared to traditional nursing jobs, technology has upgraded the profession.
According to a report by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, the exchange of information can affect the experience of using healthcare services.
Over a year, 32% of patients reported inconveniences and obstacles they encountered. Common problems include:
- They could not determine the test results. They were forced to start over.
- Medical records were lost and had to be redone.
- They must bring documents related to previous test results to the clinic.
- The waiting time was longer than expected.
These issues can be thoroughly addressed in their care facility thanks to nursing informatics. These professionals can improve EMR communication and accuracy.
After understanding the industry knowledge, it’s time to analyze, more specifically, the nurse informaticist job description.
A nurse informaticist (also known as clinical informatics) combines IT, the medical sciences knowledge, and skills.
They assist service providers in using, retrieving, and processing data during patient care.
These professionals can streamline and improve various nursing care processes and procedures. So, they save a lot of working time and bring higher accuracy.
To perform this function, clinical informatics has to work with many departments in a medical hospital.
On a daily basis, clinical informatics will have the following responsibilities and duties:
- Redesigning clinical workflows.
- Financial and clinical database analysis.
- Obtaining data is the basis for conducting clinical studies and experiments.
- Design and standardize nursing content.
- Take advantage of the information system to assist users with health checks.
- Optimized analytics and storage applications for research.
- Applying technology to the nursing workflow.
- Manage technological changes.
- Update the latest trends for medical staff.
- Analyze data and information to suggest improvements to the service.
To be a talented nursing informaticist, you must possess certain skills and characteristics. Some of them include:
Communication skills are one of the most important skills of nursing informaticists.
You will need them to explain health care procedures to patients or colleagues. The key is that the instructions are concise, precise, and to the point.
New advances in IT and the emergence of intelligent patient data profiling have become invaluable assets for improving workflow in medical centers.
Clinical informatics must have a good technology background as those responsible for technical information exchange and database synchronization.
They need to be able to work competently and efficiently to ensure the smooth flow of medical care.
Patient data is confidential. Therefore, these professionals need to be able to organize and categorize data coherently and logically.
One of the tools that professionals often use is a flowchart. It is very useful in collecting and improving the accuracy of patient information.
There are many methods to become a nursing informaticist. However, whichever path you choose, the field still requires several degrees and certifications.
The minimum qualification for clinical informatics is a bachelor’s degree in Science in Nursing (BSN).
The content of this BSN course covers the theory of pharmacology, anatomy, patient care, psychology, health assessment, and chemistry.
If you already have a bachelor’s degree in another profession, you will need to take additional courses for 12 to 18 months. This situation is similar to the Associate Degree in Nursing.
During training, students may also be required to alternately complete clinical assignments. It will bring useful, practical experiences for future work.
By the end of the course, future nursing informaticists should have formed a comprehensive idea of nursing concepts and processes.
As a result, they can build and improve system software to address problems and enhance the patient’s medical experience.
Nursing informatics professionals need to obtain a license to practice in the state they live in before applying for a job. That certificate is called the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).
NCLEX will test the candidates’ knowledge, skills, and critical thinking. If you pass the exam, the state will issue a registered nurse (RN) license to prospective nurses.
If you’d like a more detailed guide to state-by-state testing, visit the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
While a master’s degree is not a requirement to enter the field, you should still experience them to hone your skills and expertise.
Course content may include data management, health information systems, health law, data management, and professional ethics.
Clinical informatics should receive certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Similar to a master’s degree, these certifications are also not required. However, owning them shows that you have the necessary experience and skills.
Some certifications to look out for include:
The first requirement to get this certificate is to complete a bachelor’s degree. In addition, candidates need to pass the ANCC certification exam and have two years of practical nursing experience.
This certification will show you have adequate entry-level clinical skills and knowledge in this profession.
Alternatively, you might consider challenging yourself with the two other certification levels below.
CAHIMS certification will show that the professional has a deep and sustained knowledge of information technology and health management systems.
After passing the exam, you can be more confident in designing and upgrading systems to deliver the best healthcare services. In addition, your job opportunities and remuneration will also be more attractive.
CPHIMS certification demonstrates your expertise in IT systems and healthcare service management. It is a certification to be within international standards.
You’ll need a bachelor’s degree to become a nursing informaticist. However, some others choose to gain on-the-job training while working as an RN.
This training method allows professionals to practice, learn and gain more practical experience in a controlled environment.
Some university programs also include these courses as a core curriculum.
In addition, practical work experience is indispensable. It helps candidates become more prominent in the eyes of employers.
Along the way, you’ll also need to complete periodic training certifications regularly. The good news is that they can be completed online to save time.
By constantly updating new information technology trends, it will be easier for you to upgrade the service system in your organization.
Tips for Starting a Nursing Informatics Career
For nurses with passion and knowledge in informatics, you can refer to several other career paths. They can also lead you to work that interests you:
If you are a nurse and are tech-savvy, try becoming a super-user in their clinical and medical organizations.
You can learn systems with new expertise, such as EHR and EMR. In addition, super-users are responsible for training and communicating the procedure to other nurses or others in need of assistance.
Start by volunteering for medical facilities and information technology centers, where you can train them to access new systems and processes.
As a result, nurses have a good environment to learn and practice more before starting the nursing informatics course.
One of the skills that everyone should possess is networking. For future clinical informaticists, this skill set can present many opportunities for you.
By connecting and chatting with experts in the field, you will have an overview of it. Plus, you can also get better at capturing new trends.
One of the unique forms of networking is informational interviews. By tapping into the knowledge of those you know, you’ll learn more.
These conversations will help you refine your CV and marketability and recommend quality certifications. It’s easier to find out if you have a guide.
With the above-required knowledge and skills, you will wonder about the recruitment needs and the remuneration of this job. Find out more below!
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for this profession will have an expected growth of 9% until 2030.
This number can grow as more and more older nurses retire. The aging population also reduces the workforce significantly.
Burning Glass also predicted in 2014 that career demand for clinical informatics could double that of the general workforce.
This information proves that it is easy for professionals to get good jobs with favorable remuneration.
Tremendous advances in technology have launched this development. If you are interested in it, now is the golden opportunity to get started.
Professionals with higher degrees or more experience will receive better compensation and salaries than those without. The position you apply for will also determine your salary.
The work area is also a deciding factor. Those who work in cities with a high cost of living will receive higher wages.
Many people wonder how much it costs to become an informatics nurse. You will want to have a concept of numbers to prepare for the future.
We assume that most candidates will get a BSN before wanting to do this job.
Depending on the institution, the tuition rate for the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree can vary. Yet, expect an expense between $40,000 and $100,000.
One note is that tuition does not always cover all costs incurred, such as materials or program fees. If needed, find out about the financial aid program at your school.
You should sign up for advanced credits and courses to get jobs and greater benefits. These include the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) and the doctoral degree program (DNP).
Nursing informatics is a profession of the future. It offers opportunities to influence the care process that benefits patients and medical teams.
So, how to become a nurse informaticist? Specific steps include:
- Earn a bachelor’s degree.
- Pass the licensing exam.
- Pursuing a master’s degree.
- Obtain certifications.
- Keep up with higher education.
Their requirements will be higher than conventional nursing positions. Computer science is a must. However, it opens up exciting new opportunities for those who want a challenge.