When it comes to nursing, much of the job may seem hands-on, providing patients with the best care possible in a hospital, clinic, private practice or other medical facility. With the growing need and incentives for computerized medical records, nursing has grown to encompass more than practical patient care, but has also established itself as a hybrid field within information technology careers. The Nursing Informatics specialist is a true professional with a nursing degree at the crossroads of nursing and technology, and these positions are only beginning to experience growth within the medical field.
Nursing informatics combines the theories and practical application of medicine and patient care with the administration and management of data relating to the patients being treated. These specialists have advanced knowledge of how to interpret data from diagnostic and treatment devices, and are able to further a patient’s treatment through implementing systems within medical care facilities, training other nurses and employees on the best way to use new technology within the facility, troubleshooting, and advising information technology departments, as well as staff, about quality improvement and patient safety with regard to the information received from devices in either a diagnostic or treatment capacity. Nursing informatics professionals are also able to help keep physicians and hospitals more in touch with research and developments in the medical field, as well as help catch any errors or oversights that can affect a person’s health or medical treatment.
Because of the specialized, hybrid nature of a Nursing Informatics career, and the reliance of the medical community on computers to help maintain patient records and current information on health concerns, new or recalled treatments, prescriptions and the like, this field is experiencing enormous growth. The majority of nurses who specialize in informatics today have been given training within the hospital, clinic or other medical facility employment, but with the growing need for nursing informatics professionals, many colleges and universities are beginning to offer degrees in Healthcare Informatics as a way to generate more qualified employees armed with the latest knowledge and information. According to a recent survey by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), the average salary for a Nursing Informatics professional is around $98,000 annually, excluding bonuses and other benefits.
Nursing Informatics careers are on the rise, and with that, the need for qualified nurses to fill these positions has risen. With the combination of nursing and computer-related knowledge, as well as the incentive for more medical information to be stored electronically, this specialized career field may see nothing more than continual growth, making it a strong career choice for the nurse with an interest in computers and information technology.