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Nursing informatics: Definition and jobs 

At a glance

  • Nursing informatics leverages science and data analytics with a focus on improving patient outcomes.
  • Effective nursing informatics can benefit patients as well as medical professionals and healthcare organizations.
  • To become a nursing informatics professional, you need a bachelor’s degree in nursing and licensure as a registered nurse. For more advanced roles, you’ll need a master’s in nursing and certification in nursing informatics.
  • Discover how University of Phoenix’s Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Informatics degree program can help you pursue your goals.

Healthcare organizations regularly gather data on their patients, but what do they do with it? Healthcare professionals understand that nursing informatics affects every stage of the data usage process. Nursing informatics specialists collect patient data, isolate trends in the data and analyze those trends. The analyses inform more efficient processes that directly impact patients’ quality of life.

What is nursing informatics?

Nursing informatics is a nursing career that leverages science and data analytics with a patient focus to help collect, sort and analyze patient information. No matter the format patient data takes — electronic medical records, diagnostic tests, even vital signs — nurse informaticists help other medical professionals draw conclusions from data trends that can inform better patient care.

Nurse informaticists are often seen in leadership roles and may be responsible for staff education on new technologies, including handheld devices, point-of-care documentation, computerized provider order entry, electronic medical records, and bar-code medication administration. Graduates of nursing informatics programs have knowledge and skills in using data to analyze trends in population health to evaluate healthcare disparities and assessing legal and regulatory healthcare technology needs to ensure they are evidence-based and demonstrate improved patient outcomes.

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Master of Science in Nursing degree?

The value of nursing informatics

Nursing informatics is crucial for many healthcare organizations. Effective nursing informatics can benefit patients, medical professionals and healthcare businesses. As the medical landscape evolves, nursing informatics is becoming an increasingly important field. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) considers nurse informaticists as medical and health services managers. BLS forecasts that medical and health services manager jobs will grow 28% from 2021 to 2031 — much faster than the expected growth rate across all occupations. That’s an expected 56,600 job openings each year.

The BLS Projected Growth for 2021-2031 is published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The data reflects the BLS projections of national (not local) conditions. The data points are not specific to University of Phoenix students or graduates.

Typical daily duties for nursing informatics professionals

Nursing informaticists maintain a variety of responsibilities. Here are some common day-to-day duties for nursing informatics professionals:

  • Collect and store patient data in a HIPAA-compliant digital location until it is ready for use, which may include improving patient safety.
  • Manage communication and information technology development and implementation.
  • Drive technology implementation by researching options for improved nursing informatics processes.
  • Educate and encourage other healthcare professionals who might benefit from nursing informatics in clinical practice.
  • Manage informatics software to collect and store patient data or to identify trends across data sets.

The exact duties of nursing informatics professionals will vary. 

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What is health informatics? Definition, jobs and examples

Helpful skills for a job in nursing informatics

Nurse informaticists rely on a variety of skills in a clinical environment. The following skills help nurses, physicians and other professionals provide information and best care practices for patients and the community:

  • Information and project management
  • Communication
  • Basic computer use and computer programming
  • Technology research and data analysis
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving
  • Knowledge of health data systems

Education in nursing informatics

If you’re eager to go beyond data collection and basic skills in this field, you may wish to consider a Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Informatics. First, registered nurses must obtain their bachelor’s degree. The master’s degree teaches advanced nursing theory and research to provide the foundation for nurse leaders to help influence the future of nursing and healthcare. Upon completing their graduate program, nurses may wish to take the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) exam to earn RN-BC® certification in nursing informatics. Equipped with this background, nurses are ready to pursue a career specializing in nursing informatics.

Nursing informatics at University of Phoenix

Nursing informatics is known to be a subset of health informatics. University of Phoenix offers a Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Informatics. In this program, students learn information systems, research, advocacy, advanced nursing practice, operations, and continuous quality improvement. Career outcomes with this degree include becoming a clinical director or manager, or a nursing director.


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