How to Become an Informatics Nurse
Duties, Responsibilities, Requirements, Certifications, Job Outlook, and Salary
Although many people may not be familiar with their role and responsibilities, Informatics Nurses fill a vital role in the healthcare industry. Thanks to their service, a number of healthcare technologies have advanced quite rapidly, including computerized provider order entry (CPOE), electronic medical records (EMRs), test results, progress or nursing notes, medication records, and more.
We’ve created this career guide to help you develop a better understanding of the Informatics Nurse profession. One of the most notable aspects of choosing this career is the potential to complete your duties from the comfort of your own home. In fact, this nursing specialty is featured among our list of the top work from home nursing jobs.
(Click here to see our full list of the best work from home nursing jobs)
Continue reading to learn more about the requirements, responsibilities, training, salary, and job outlook of Informatics Nurses.
Informatics Nurse Definition
What is an Informatics Nurse?
Informatics Nurses are amongst the unsung heroes in healthcare. Informatics Nurses combine nursing, computer, and information sciences to maintain and develop medical systems that support nursing practice. Ultimately, the most important goal of an Informatics Nurse is to improve patient care outcomes.
Informatics Nurse Duties & Responsibilities
What Does an Informatics Nurse Do?
These professionals fill a vital role in developing healthcare technology, educating other healthcare workers, and evaluating results from this implementation.
Some of the day-to-day job responsibilities of an Informatics Nurse include:
- Assessing healthcare technology needs
- Designing systems technology
- Testing systems technology
- Implementing the tech & training staff/troubleshooting
- Assisting in the transition from one system’s technology to another
- Evaluating the success of implementation & revising as needed
- Helping to ensure that organizations meet federal healthcare laws
- Assessing user requirements and developing solutions
- Improving organizational policies and standards
- Researching different informatics topics
Where Do Informatics Nurses Work?
Informatics Nurses may have the opportunity to work remotely or in-person for healthcare facilities such as:
- Nursing schools
- Long term care facilities
- Healthcare consulting firms
- IT companies
Informatics Nurse Hours
While an Informatics Nurse can usually expect to work during business hours, they may also work some evenings or weekends depending on the organization they’re working with. They are often employed full-time and complete 40 hours on the job every week.
Informatics Nurse Skills
Becoming an Informatics Nurse might be a great fit for you if you:
- Bring ideas to the table
- Enjoy technology and project management
- Have a strong desire to learn
- Be a problem solver
- Possess strong organizational skills
- Are extremely reliable
- Can help train and support other staff
- Are receptive to feedback and improvement
Informatics Nurse Schooling & Certification
How Long Does it Take to Become an Informatics Nurse?
What Degree Do You Need to Be an Informatics Nurse?
Depending on your education level, it could take about seven years to become an Informatics Nurse. Earning a BSN degree alone typically takes around four years to complete, and earning a master’s or doctoral program requires several additional years of schooling.
Before you can apply to become an Informatics Nurse, you will typically need to gain two to three years of experience working as a Registered Nurse with specialization in your chosen field. Once you’ve gained this experience, you’ll complete 30 hours of continuing education in Nursing Informatics as well as various other requirements before applying for the certification exam.
If you’d like to become an Informatics Nurse, then you’ll likely need to follow these steps:
1. Earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Degree
The first step to becoming an Informatics Nurse is to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from an accredited program. Afterward, it’s recommended that you continue your education and pursue an MSN degree.
To be accepted into most BSN programs, candidates are required to submit several standard application materials, such as academic transcripts, GRE scores, personal essays, and letters of recommendation.
Core nursing classes during a BSN program may include the following topics:
- Professional nursing
- Health assessment
- Family nursing
- Medical and surgical care
- Nursing management
- Psychosocial nursing
2. Pass the NCLEX-RN Licensure Exam
A critical milestone for aspiring nurses is the RN licensure exam. Before you can become a Registered Nurse, you must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) developed two exams to test the competence of aspiring RNs and LPNs/LVNs. Learn more about the NCLEX and what to expect with this detailed FAQ section.
(Click here to learn how to become a nurse)
3. Gain Experience Working as an RN
If you’re looking to become an Informatics Nurse, it’s vital that you work a minimum of two years as a full-time RN or the part-time equivalent. If you’d like to become certified, you will also need to acquire experience in the field of Informatics Nursing.
4. Complete Eligibility Requirements for Certification.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or other learning institutes can administer certification for an aspiring Informatics Nurse.
Check the following requirements to ensure you’re eligible for this certification exam:
- Hold a bachelor’s degree or higher
- Maintain a current, active RN license
- Complete the equivalent of two years work as an RN (full time)
- Obtain 30 hours of continuing education in Nursing Informatics within the last three years
- Meet one of the following requirements for practice hours.
- A minimum of 2,000 hours in Informatics Nursing within the last three years.
- A minimum of 1,000 hours in Informatics Nursing in the last three years and earn at least 12 semester hours of credit in informatics courses that are part of a graduate-level Nursing Informatics program.
- Complete a graduate program in Nursing Informatics with a minimum of 200 hours of supervised practicum.
This credential is valid for five years.
To learn more, you can find lots of helpful information from the following organizations or societies:
- American Medical Informatics Association
- American Nursing Informatics Association
- Alliance for Nursing Informatics
- Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society
Informatics Nurse School Cost
So, how much does it cost to become an Informatics Nurse? As previously discussed, most candidates will earn a BSN degree before pursuing this career path.
Tuition fees for a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree normally depend on the institution. However, you can probably expect to pay anywhere from $40,000 to $100,000.
Below are some other considerations to keep in mind:
- Tuition costs do not always include expenses like books, program fees, or other mandatory fees
- Most schools offer some form of financial aid
Earning a BSN degree is typically the minimum requirement for Informatics Nurses. An advanced-practice degree, while not required, is often recommended. This includes a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree or a doctoral degree program (DNP).
Work from Home Opportunities
These positions require nursing experience as well as computer or data-management skills. Although some positions require time in the office or a hybrid role, many also work from home, thanks to advancements in technology.
In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has also opened doors for more remote work in the field of nursing informatics.
Remember to search for REMOTE Informatics Nurse listings on job recruiting sites like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, FlexJobs, and LinkedIn.
Informatics Nurse’s Salary
How Much Does an Informatics Nurse Make?
According to Salary.com, the average Informatics Nurse in the U.S. earns about $91,000 per year or about $44 per hour. While their salary range typically falls between $80,000 and $104,000, Informatics Nurses that earn salaries in the 90th percentile can make more than $115,000 per year.
(Click here to learn about the highest paid nursing jobs)
Informatics Nurse Job Outlook
While the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not offer statistics for Informatics Nursing at this time, they have assessed overall growth for Registered Nurses throughout the next ten years. According to the BLS, employment of RNs is likely to rise 7 percent by 2029. This growth is due to the ever-increasing emphasis on preventive care in our nation’s healthcare system.
Why Pursue a Career as an Informatics Nurse?
If you’re a nurse or aspiring nurse who has analytical skills, enjoys technology, and excels at problem-solving, then you might make a great Informatics Nurse! Nursing informatics is a vital and growing field within the healthcare sector. In addition to helping others, Informatics Nurses have a bright career outlook and enjoy decent salaries.
If you’re an aspiring nurse but don’t know where to begin, you can earn your Vocational Nursing diploma, BSN degree, or enroll in another nursing programs at Unitek College.