Nurse Informaticist - How to Become a Nurse Informaticist

Nurse Informaticist

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Nurse Informaticist Job Description

The goal of the nurse informaticist is to basically compile information and, according to the International Medical Informatics Association (IMIA), to use the "science and practice (that) integrates nursing, its information and knowledge, with management of information and communication technologies to promote the health of people, families, and communities worldwide." Better care and patient outcome is the end result of the knowledge provided by the nurse informaticist.




The improvement of health care is what the nurse informaticist works towards, using information technology to communicate their findings to medical providers, educators, software engineers, business interests, researchers, and chief nursing officers. The information provided is instrumental in assuring that the highest quality of health care is provided to patients.

The responsibilities of the nurse informaticist are, according to the IMIA: using information technologies and communication to improve patient care; compile information regarding research and methodologies to use in actual practice; assist with the formulation of a national data base from present research and standards; develop communication and information technology that will expedite the dissemination of data to the various healthcare disciplines; provide a definition of public health policies for practical application.




Change Management

Needs to understand the impact of the change on users. Help transition users from current state to future state and help users deal with changes.

Workflow Documentation

Must be able to document and store information in a way users can review and understand. Know how to obtain and document requirements critical to the success of the project.


Nurse informaticists need to understand and address the complexities of standards and information interoperability and facilitate the sharing of data across healthcare environments, payers, policy advocates, and with consumers.


Must be able to lead teams, head projects and keep everything organized as things progress. 


Must pay notice things others don't and gather sensitive info and know how it relates to the transfer of info.

Critical Thinking

Must constantly be devising new ways of interacting with people, adapt to changes, and learn about the things a medical professional needs to know.


Working Conditions:


Nurse informaticists can be found in a number of employment venues; healthcare systems, academic research facilities, and business. This discipline is one of the top in healthcare and nurse informaticists can be found as nurse data scientists, clinical analysts, chief nursing informatics officers, and informatics nurse specialists.

Nurse informaticists generally participate in the designing and implementation of healthcare technology systems used in public or private institutions and businesses. They are at least partly responsible for the continual upgrading and improvement of healthcare delivery systems.

Those who undertake to become nurse informaticists will find that they will enjoy a salary in the upper ranges of the nursing field.



How to Become a Nurse Informaticist:


Because a knowledge of the nursing field is basically a prerequisite, most nurse informaticists are also licensed registered nurses. After receiving their nursing license, most nurses who are interested in this field will get a degree in information technology and/or computer science. Most will also seek a master’s degree in nursing. In addition to knowledge pertaining to nursing, nurse informaticists should also have superior critical thinking, and the ability to provide project management.


1. Get your Bachelor's of Nursing Degree (BSN) (4 Years)


You will want to get a BSN degree since you will most likely need a master's degree. During your time, you can choose to take information technology or computer science courses or perhaps major in one. BSN courses focus on patient care, anatomy, chemistry, health assessment, psychology and pharmacology. Clinical experience in a supervised medical setting is a big part of nursing programs and will give you hands-on experience.

A conventional BSN program takes 4 years to complete. A popular movement now finds more and more colleges and universities offering students who already hold a bachelor’s in another field an accelerated route to nursing-program graduation. These accelerated BSN programs take between 12 to 18 months to complete. If you already have your RN from an Associates Degree, you can do the RN-to-BSN program in 2 to 3 years, which can open you up to more opportunity and growth. 


3. Consider Earning a Master's Degree (2 Years)


It's not necessary to get your Master's to be a practicing RN, but if you do get your Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) you will learn more about the nursing field to better prepare you to be a Nurse Informaticist. 

There are programs available for an accelerated master’s degree (MSN), which takes about three years to complete. More and more RN-to-MSN and BSN-to-Ph.D. programs are being launched as a way to meet the increasing demand for more highly educated nurses in the workforce.

Another accelerated program is being offered by an increasing number of four-year institutions. These programs, called articulation agreements, are formed in collaboration with community and junior colleges to enable associate degree nurses or bachelor’s degree nurses to effortlessly transition into BSN and MSN programs.


4. Earn the Required Certification


Regardless of the type of entry into practice program you attend, all graduates must pass the National Council Licensure Exam for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) exam before they can practice as a registered nurse. The exam is administered by each state’s board of nursing. In order to take the test, you must first apply for your nursing license from your state board. Each state is different, so you must check to see if you meet all of the requirements for your state. 

The NCLEX covers the following:

  • Safe, effective care environment: Management care and safety and infection control

  • Psychosocial integrity: Coping and adaptation and psychosocial adaptation

  • Health promotion and maintenance: Growth and development through the life span and prevention and early detection of disease

  • Physiology integrity: Basic care and comfort, pharmacological and parenteral therapies, reduction of risk potential and physiological adaptation

Training and certification as a nurse informaticist is provided by the American Nurses Association Credentialing Center (ANACC). Should you decide that this challenging and rewarding field is for you, you can choose between becoming a Certified Professional in Health Information Technology (CPHIT) or a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information Management Systems (CPHIMS).

Related: Top 10 Best NCLEX-RN Review Books


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