How to Become a Nurse Informatics Specialist

You may be interested in nurse informatics degree programs if you are interested in integrating clinical nursing with computer processes and data management. Highly organized and technologically inclined individuals can excel in the nursing informatics field—if they are also able to use these skills alongside their clinical expertise and caring bedside manner. A nursing informatics specialist can improve the health care process by communicating and managing nursing information to help consumers, patients, doctors, nurse and health care providers to make better decisions.

Becoming a Nurse Informatics Specialist

There are several routes you can take to become a nurse informatics specialist, but you can expect to complete at least four years of schooling. Many nurses earn a four-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing, become registered, earn a Master of Science in Nursing Informatics, and finally complete the ANCC certifications for nursing informatics. There are quicker routes, but this is often the preferred route by major employers.

It takes a good education to be competitive in the field of nurse informatics. Apart from your nursing education, you will also need additional training on relational databases and MS Office programs, such as Access, Excel and Visio.

Choosing a Specialization

After getting a nursing education, you will probably work in a specialty area for a while, as most nurses do. For this reason, it’s a good idea to think about what area you’d like to specialize in early on in your education. Popular specialties include the following:

•    Intensive care unit

•    Medical-surgery

•    Oncology

•    Orthopedic services

•    Perioperative services

You aren’t required to stay in that specialty area forever, but it helps to stay there for a while to get to know the routine and understand the patients as expertly as possible. After completing the certification exams for nursing informatics, you can seek employment in computerized documentation within that specialty area and put your support skills to use.

If you complete your degree, pass the exams and become a nursing informatics specialist, you will be able to use your experience and training to make improvements on the operations of health care organizations. Your analytical and critical thinking skills will serve you well when integrating the delivery, documentation and workflow of patient care. Your additional education pertaining to information systems will differentiate you from other nursing specialists and make you a better project manager in the health care environment where you find employment.

Nurse informatics degree programs are all different, and nurses take many paths to this career. If it sounds like the right path for you, there’s no day like today to get started.

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