The future of healthcare is effectively managing information. In the next 10 years, paper medical files will begin to become a thing of the past; medical files will live online, in the medical “cloud” of information. Hospitals and clinics alike are searching for nurses who have the experience and education necessary to ensure that the information infrastructure and IT methodologies are both designed and performing the very best for the patient.
Requirements for Earning an MSN – Nursing Informatics Degree
The nursing informatics specialization combines nursing science and computer and information science to provide a dynamic, multidisciplinary approach to learning. Courses include information systems, database concepts, and project management, along with traditional nursing courses in clinical science, research, ethics, and hospital administration. Prerequisites generally include a diploma, an associate’s degree in nursing, or bachelor’s degree in a discipline other than nursing. Many programs are divided into introductory, foundational, core, specialization, and capstone courses, with varying requirements for each. Some schools like Kaplan, American Sentinel, Grand Canyon, or the University of Cincinnati offer online programs for this degree. Time to complete this program varies from student to student and program to program. Course titles might include:
- informatics in nursing
- information and knowledge management
- workflow in healthcare systems
- project management
- computer science
- computer programming
Average Salary and Career Data for Nursing Informatics
As healthcare information technology continues to permeate our healthcare system, employers are on the lookout for up and coming nursing leaders that possess not only computer literacy, but an advanced knowledge of how computer technology can integrate and improve the healthcare system. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported a median salary for medical records and health information technicians at $32,350 in 2010, though this salary reported was for those holding only a certificate, and not a degree. Nurse informaticists with an advanced degree can expect to earn competitive salaries, as technology advances and the demand for these skilled professionals increases. The BLS also reported an average annual salary for medical and health services managers at $96,030 in 2011. These numbers provide some insight into the field and what type of salary nurse informaticists can expect to earn.
Job Duties for a Nurse Informaticist
While large hospitals may rely on traditional computer programmers, they still require a healthcare professional to use their experience and expertise to consult on the IT projects for patient viability. Other roles include working with statisticians to present reports on healthcare trends, or supervise a project team in implementing a new IT system on the clinical floor.
MSN in Nursing Informatics Degree Programs
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