What is Nursing Informatics? Nursing informatics is an exciting field that is growing exponentially with each year that passes. Have you ever wondered how a nurse can pull up your patient information from anywhere in the hospital, or how that information is accessible to your doctor even when he’s at home or in his private office? Nursing informatics is the science and practice of communicating health information by combining healthcare and information technology. The certification makes you eligible to work as a nursing educator, researcher, chief information officer, implementation consultant, policy developer, and beyond. The Nursing Informatics salary has a nationwide average of $88,000 per year.
The certification itself is offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) and is active for five years, after which it must be renewed. It costs between $270 – $395 to attempt the 175 question test, so it’s not something you want to try without putting in a good amount of study time. To prepare for your test, make sure you review all of the test content and work through plenty of practice questions. You will definitely want to get one of these Nursing Informatics Study Guides. Once you pass the exam, you will receive the credentials RN-BC, which stands for “Registered Nurse- Board Certified.”
To be eligible to sit for the Nursing Informatics Certification Exam, you must hold an active, current RN license within a state or territory of the US or the professional, legally recognized equivalent in another country. You must also hold a bachelor’s or higher degree in nursing or a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field, as well as have practiced at least 2 years full-time as a registered nurse. In addition you must have completed 30 hours of continuing education in informatics nursing within the last three years and you must meet a certain amount of practice hour requirements depending on experience.
There are also various Nursing Informatics programs at universities and colleges across the US from which you can attain a degree or certificate in Nursing Informatics; however, this does not replace the certification itself, which can only be earned through the ANCC. The programs range in length from one year to three years and many can be completed part time or full time, in person or entirely online.
The information to be studied covers topics from basic database structure to computer hardware and software to rules, regulations, and requirements knowledge. It combines understanding of the practice of nursing and healthcare with the technology required to organize and optimize it. Many employers prefer nurses who have had five or more years of experience on the floor who then choose to specialize in the area of Nurse Informatics. That way, the nurses with the Nursing Informatics Certification have more practical experience to help them apply technological solutions to healthcare problems.
For a nurse who enjoys computers, there may be no more rewarding field than nursing informatics. From solving logistical problems to assisting physicians and other healthcare professionals in reaching patient diagnoses and solutions more quickly, the informatics nurse constantly learns to use the latest technology. It’s a challenging, exciting position that will keep a nurse on his or her feet!
In the coming years, nurses who hold a certification will be in even more demand. Recent healthcare legislation has prompted the development for ever increasing standards of security on healthcare information. As each healthcare system implements its own standard of electronic records, there is a need for them to exchange information between systems, which is not always simple. The nursing informatics specialist will play a large role in healthcare and its use of technology for the foreseeable future.