Advanced Nursing – Nursing Informatics SpecialistDecember 6, 2013
As technology continues to advance, exciting new careers keep getting created to meet newer challenges that arise. One just career is that of a nursing informatics specialist. Nursing informatics a specialized area of nursing that incorporates nursing, computer and information science. Although this is more technical than other nursing careers, patient care is still the main goal of nursing informatics. Improved information systems and data result in less medical errors and enhanced patient security and confidentiality.
Nurse informatics specialists are at the forefront of ever-evolving technology in the medical field. In a nursing informatics work environment, you will be responsible for managing and communicating data and information to patients and health care providers across all fields. One of the aims of making this information available to all is to allow individuals to make educated decisions based on more accurate data. Often, you will act as the liaison between nurses and technology experts.
In addition to providing systems training and continued support to users, you will also spend time on systems development, which involves customizing and update existing systems or developing new systems to meet ongoing needs. Quality control is another focus area for nursing informatics specialists.
As a nurse informatics specialist, some of your jobs and responsibilities would include:
- Choosing appropriate systems
- Optimizing systems
- Project management
- Systems maintenance
- Policy writing
- Educating, training and providing support to systems users
That’s just in a hospital, nursing home or clinic.
If you choose a job that involves working outside these facilities, some of your job responsibilities will include designing systems, testing, training users and even sales.
If your interest lies more in educating other nurses and promoting professional development, nurse informatics covers that too.
At the very minimum, you will need a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree leading to a registered nurse license. However, today more and more nurse informatics specialists are choosing to earn their Master’s Degrees in informatics because of the tremendous scope that this job offers. If this career field interests you, it is important to consider the level of degrees necessary to stay competitive.
After you’ve earned your degree, you will need to obtain your certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC).
Career paths in nurse informatics
The number of opportunities in this field of nursing is expected to grow tremendously to keep up with advancements in technology. Moreover, there are even more specialties being created.
Some such sub-specialties of nursing informatics include:
Nurse communicators: This involves identifying computer system requirements and setting up and training users in the system.
Nurse programmers: These specialists are responsible for writing and modifying programs that are used by nurses.
Nurse vendor representatives: Nurse vendor representatives showcase newly developed systems to potential buyers.
Nurse managers: The primary responsibility of nurse managers managing information systems.
Informatics is increasingly being used in various areas of primary care, intensive care, public health and pharmacology among others. Choosing a career in this field, gives you the opportunity to make a difference in an area of your expertise. If you are interested in global health, for example, you could work to propagate best practices to countries that lack basic medical resources.