Nurse Informatics Certification
By an allied health world contributing writer
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Nursing Informatics CertificationTo enter a nursing informatics program, an individual must have their registered nurse (RN) credential. To obtain an RN, one must pass the NCLEX board exam. This exam is an all inclusive, cumulative nursing background analysis. The goal of the exam is to verify RN candidates have a thorough understanding of the whole umbrella of patient care and nurse responsibilities. Most nursing informatics professionals maintain their nursing license throughout their career to maintain credibility and marketability.
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After nurses have their RN they may choose to seek further certification in their specialty area. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers an Informatics Nursing certification exam. While employers typically do not require applicants for nursing informatics positions to have this credential, it is preferred and can give individuals a competitive edge when applying for positions. A lot of employers also pay higher salaries to those nurses who are certified in informatics. In order to sit for the ANCC exam one must have their BSN, RN, have worked as a nurse for two years, and practiced at least 2,000 hours over the past three years in nursing informatics.
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The ANCC Informatics Nursing certification exam is computer based and contains 150 multiple-choice questions. There is a four-hour time limit given on this exam and it is offered at training centers across the U.S. Those who pass this exam are able to put RN-BC (board certified) after their name since they specialize in an area (nursing informatics).
In addition to the ANCC certification, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) also offers a Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) certification. This certification has more of a project management/IT emphasis whereas the ANCC test focuses specifically on nursing informatics and how that relates to nursing in general. Most people choose the certification that best matches the area they work under. If they are in an IT department, they tend to prefer the CPHIMS certification. If they work under Clinical Informatics directorship they may prefer the ANCC certification. Also, the CPHIMS exam is open to all healthcare IT professionals, including the CIO, programmers, informatics specialists and consultants.
What professional organizations exist for professionals in this field?
- CARING Nursing Informatics Organization – This organization is for nursing informatics professionals and its mission is to increase the quality of healthcare through the implementation of technology.
- American Nursing Informatics Association – This is a group started in Southern California, that is dedicated to the advancement and networking of the profession of informatics nurses.
- American Nurses Credentialing Center – This organization credentials nurses and has a nursing informatics specific certification.
- Healthcare Information Management and Information Systems Society – This organization is focused on providing global leadership to use healthcare IT in the most optimal manner.
- American Medical Informatics Association – is known as the professional home for informatics and is devoted to better incorporating technology to improve healthcare and nursing processes.
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