How to Become a Nursing Informatics Coordinator

Overview

Nursing informatics coordinators specialize in many different areas such as: research, consumer health, clinical informatics and educational health. As a nursing informatics coordinator, your nursing knowledge is combined with your computer and information science experience to create technological applications that can improve and enhance the nursing industry.

Your primary duties may consist of: examining ways to strengthen and/or improve patient health-care services and finding effective ways to combine consumer intelligence with information systems. In order to enter this industry, you must have a strong background in nursing and computer science.  This article will tell you all the “ins and outs” of entering the field of nursing informatics.

Educational Requirements

If you plan to enter the nursing informatics industry, you will need to obtain a bachelor’s or master’s degree in nursing with a specialty in informatics, computer science and/or related technical field. You will also need to have nursing experience with an intermediate or advanced knowledge of computers (software, hardware, applications and/or medical record databases). Most employers require that you be licensed as registered nurse (R.N.) and have management, leadership and/or medical information experience.

Certification

In addition to licensure, some employers prefer certified nursing informatics coordinators. You can obtain certification from the American Nurses Credentialing Center. To qualify for nursing informatics certification, you will need to have a bachelor’s degree in nursing or nursing informatics and an up-to-date, active R.N. license.

It is important to note that jobs in this field are usually considered advanced careers; therefore most employers prefer that you have master’s degree and/or several years of nursing and computer experience. In order to achieve or maintain certification, you will need at least two years of registered nursing experience, 2,000 hours of informatics experience and 30 hours or more of continuing education courses in nursing and computer informatics.

Skills

As a nurse informatics coordinator, you will not only have to be highly analytical, you will also need to be able to convert complex medical and business data into computer applications.  You will need to be very detailed and demonstrate a high level of patience and accuracy. In addition, you will need to have excellent communication (verbal and written) and problem-solving skills and be highly proficient in the most current Microsoft Office programs.

Job Duties

As a nurse informatics coordinator, you will more than likely work in a hospital. In fact, more 50% of nursing informatics coordinators are employed at hospitals and 40% of nursing informatics coordinators work at healthcare corporations, skilled nursing or assisted living facilities, home healthcare agencies, medical equipment manufacturing centers, insurance companies, educational instructions or state, local or federal agencies.

You will be required to complete the following duties:

  • Consult with other health and medical professionals
  • Share disease outbreak information with patients and the community
  • Combine nursing, information technology and management
  • Organize and manage complex medical data
  • Provide medical information to patients, nurses and other medical professionals
  • Develop databases to organize and maintain accurate medical records
  • Create new information systems that improve patient care
  • Aid in the implementation of technology so that information can be transferred more easily amongst the medical staff (physicians, technologists, nurses, etc.)
  • Act as an advocate for nursing research
  • Perform research that advances the nursing field
  • Participate in process improvement to improve and strengthen billing practices and patient care

Salary

According to PayScale.com (2013), you can expect to make between $50,000 and $85,000 a year, on average, as a nurse informatics coordinator (if you five to 10 years of nursing and computer experience). If you have more than ten years, you can expect to make between $65,000 and $85,000 per year, on average. Moreover, if you are a nurse informatics supervisor, you can expect to earn approximately $95,000 or more per year (Payscale.com, 2013). If you decide to further your career, you may be able to seek employment as a nurse informatics analyst or specialist, IT training manager, nursing informatics officer, chief nurse informatics or IT nurse informatics.

Career Outlook

The career outlook for nurse informatics coordinators looks positive. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2013), nursing jobs (including nurse informatics coordinator jobs) are expected to increase 20% by 2018. This increase will be due to technological advancements in both patient care services and medical equipment. In other words, as people age and the need preventative services increases, the need for nurses and nursing informatics coordinator will also increase (bls.gov).

References and Further Readings

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