An informatics nurse specialist is vital in supporting healthcare companies with evaluating and implementing new technology for the organization. They may also participate in the design and development process of the technology to ensure it meets the end-users needs. These specialists also help in analyzing data to improve patient outcomes and improve the nursing services being provided.
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How to Become an Informatics Nurse Specialist
Since informatics nurse specialists start out as nurses, you must at least have a degree in nursing. Though you can gain an associate’s degree in nursing, O*NET OnLine reports that about 60% of informatics nurse specialists hold a bachelor’s and about 25% hold a master’s degree. Many employers look for applicants with a unique blend of nursing experience and technology skills. Useful technology skills include knowing various medical software, Microsoft Excel, and other data reporting software.
Job Description of an Informatics Nurse Specialist
Informatics nurse specialists are registered nurses who work with technology to improve the nursing services and patient outcomes when they seek care. These nurses have the right blend of medical experience and technology skills to be able to test and evaluate new computer systems, be involved in a system’s design process by providing user experience feedback, and may even help existing staff implement the new technology.
An informatics nurse specialist will also look at data to find ways to improve a healthcare systems nursing efforts. Next, they must recommend and develop new policies or procedures to implement the new workflow and then evaluate it’s effectiveness using data. It is vital that they have good communication skills as they would also need to collaborate various staff members often.
Informatics Nurse Specialist Career Video Transcript
Since the health care industry has made the move to electronic health records, a lot of tech-savvy nurses have found their niche as informatics nurse specialists. This career combines their experience as nurses with technology know-how to keep up with the industry’s demand for accurate, timely data. These specialists may test new software that helps nurses make healthcare decisions, or create a better structure to store and retrieve patient records. They may develop new policies and procedures for using electronic records software, and train nurses on how to enter patient data.
In all they do, they make sure that their electronic healthcare system observes patient privacy standards while meeting the needs of their facility. Informatics nurse specialists work closely with nurses, although their focus is on the needs of patient groups rather than on one-on-one care. They’re likely to have a desk, but use others’ computers for demonstrations or to set up and update new software.
Typically, informatics nurse specialists have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and some work experience before entering the field, since it’s easier to train a nurse in electronic health records than to train a technology whiz on health care. As the field grows, more employers will likely seek candidates with advanced degrees in fields like healthcare management. Nurse informatics specialists make sure that medical professionals can obtain critical information at a second’s notice when they need it the most.
National Center for O*NET Development. 15-1051.01. O*NET OnLine.
The career video is in the public domain from the U. S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration.