Pennsylvania Nurse Informatics Certification - PA

The American Nurses Association defines the field of nursing informatics as “a specialty that integrates nursing science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, knowledge and wisdom in nursing practice” (nursingworld.org).  Although a relatively new discipline, nursing informatics professionals are experiencing increased demand for their skills throughout Pennsylvania.  Documentation specialists, project managers, and chief medical information officers are just a few of the positions held by nursing informatics’ specialists throughout the state.

Currently, Pennsylvania does not mandate certification or licensure for informatics professionals, nurses or otherwise.  Professionals would do well to obtain accreditation on their own.  Pennsylvania nursing informatics certification gives informatics specialists an edge in the marketplace.  It validates expertise, announces membership in an elite healthcare group, and signals commitment to the industry.   
Certification can be earned by passing examinations administered by one of two national organizations.  The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) exam focuses on how informatics relates to nursing.  Eligibility requirements are (nursecredentialing.org):

  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing or a relevant field
  • Current active American registered nurse license and have practiced two years full time
  • Completed 30 hours of continuing informatics education within the last three years
  • Meet one of three practice hour requirement options as outlined at nursecredentialing.org

Certification lasts for five years and can be renewed with proof of 75 hours of continuing education, 1,000 practice hours in the informatics area, and a current RN license.

The Healthcare Management and Information Systems Society (HIMSS) exam emphasizes the specialty’s information technology component.  Requirements for testing are (himss.org):

  • Bachelor’s degree in nursing or an informatics-related field
  • Two to three years work experience in healthcare as an IT professional

Certification is good for three years.  It is renewable with evidence of 45 hours of continuing education in the specialty. 

Candidates seeking ANCC certification must also meet Pennsylvania’s requirements for registered nurse licensure: graduate from a Pennsylvania-approved nursing program; pass the National Council Licensing Examination (NCLEX); and pass a criminal background check conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police.

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