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Healthcare Informatics Salary

What is nurse informatics?

Nurse informatics is a health care specialty that combines the practice of nursing with health information technology. Individuals working in the field are responsible for determining how best to use computer science to collect, present and disseminate information regarding patient care or medical research. Although similar to medical records or health information technicians, nurse informatics may have a larger scope of practice.

According to information published in the Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, the following are three knowledge areas critical to the work of nurse informatics.

  • Basic computer skills
  • Informatics knowledge
  • Information literacy

What are nurse informatics salaries?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) does not specifically track nurse informatics salaries. However, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society does conduct period salary studies. According to its 2011 study, nurse informatics professionals it surveyed reported average salaries nearing six figures.

Job TitleBottom 10% Annual WageAnnual Median WageTop 10% Annual Wage
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other-U.S.$26,990$41,070$71,280
Medical Secretaries-U.S.$23,220$33,730$49,730
Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

The closest role that bls.gov does have information for is health information technician. According to their website the median annual salary for health information technicians was below the median nation average for all occupations.

Is it difficult to find a job in nurse informatics?

Since bls.gov does not track nurse informatics as a separate occupation, there is no official estimate for job growth in the field. However, the HIMSS website reports demand for nurse informatics will continue to be strong in the years to come.

As technology advances, informatics will play a crucial role in integrating new methods of creating and managing medical data. In addition, the move toward electronic health records will likely require nurse informatics to successfully digitize patient records and facilitate communication between medical professionals.

Job TitleProjected Job Growth Rate
Health Technologists and Technicians, All Other-U.S.23.1%
Medical Secretaries-U.S.20.5%
Source: 2015 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Is there room for advancement in nurse informatics?

Nurse informatics appears to be a developing field that offers opportunities for those seeking to move into leadership roles. The American Medical Informatics Association notes those working in the field can be trained as educators or mentors, and those attaining the highest level of achievement in informatics may be elected to the American College of Medical Informatics Fellowship.

Do nurse informatics need to be licensed or certified?

At this time, states do not appear to have any licensing or certification requirements beyond what is required for other nurses.

The HIMSS does provide an optional certification program for informatics professionals. The Certified Professional in Healthcare Information & Management Systems credential is available to those with a baccalaureate degree and at least five years of information management experience or those with a graduate degree and at least three years experience. Those with less experience can take an exam to be designated as a Certified Associate in Healthcare Information & Management Systems. Although certification is not required, employers may prefer certified job candidates and having credentials may provide new opportunities for career advancement.

Sources:
American Medical Informatics Association, Nursing Informatics,
http://www.amia.org/programs/working-groups/nursing-informatics

American Medical Informatics Association, Your Path to Success,
http://www.amia.org/education/your-path-success

Thede, L., January 23, 2012 "Informatics: Where Is It?" OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in

Nursing Vol. 17 No. 1.,
http://www.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/Columns/Informatics/Informatics-Where-Is-It.html

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Demand for Nursing Informatics,
http://www.himss.org/ResourceLibrary/ResourceDetail.aspx?ItemNumber=12014

Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Health IT Certifications,
http://www.himss.org/health-it-certification?navItemNumber=17564

Health Information Technician, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2012,
http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/medical-records-and-health-information-technicians.htm#tab-1

Nursing Informatics Schools