Informatics Nurse Specialists
Informatics nurse specialists work in hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes. They are also employed in health care consulting firms, universities, and corporations. The job closest to that of informatics nurse specialists that the U.S. Department of Labor provides data on is computer systems analysts, and there are 589,000 computer systems analysts employed in the United States. About 23,300 worked in hospitals, many of whom perform duties unrelated to health informatics, making informatics nurse specialists a relatively small, specialized—but growing—field. Related professionals, medical records and health information technicians, hold approximately 215,500 jobs, primaily in hospitals, doctors' offices, and nursing homes.
The career of informatics nurse specialist is not an entry-level position. Many have prior experience either in nursing and/or have an advanced degree and certification. The job also requires prior experience handling electronic health care records. Informatics nurse specialists network with other nurses and health care professionals through their jobs and through professional associations such as the American Nursing Informatics Association, among others. Many find out about job opportunities through referrals from colleagues and associates in the field. Ask your school's career services office for assistance with locating employment openings and internship opportunities.
Informatics nurse specialists with three to five years of work experience may advance to become senior informatics nurse specialists. They may manage and oversee the informatics department, hiring and managing informatics specialists and approving and managing informatics systems maintenance and budgets. Some return to school for a master's degree in nursing, specializing in informatics, and seek certification. Others advance by becoming educators and writing about informatics for medical journals.
Tips for Entry
Get an internship or part-time job in the informatics department of a hospital or other types of medical facilities. Ask your school's career services office for assistance with the job search.
Attend conferences and events to meet and learn from informatics professionals. Find event listings at https://www.ania.org/ania-events and https://www.amia.org/meetings-and-events.
Read industry publications to keep up with the latest news and developments in the field. For example, find information about journals and other resources at the American Medical Informatics Association's Web site, https://www.amia.org/news-and-publications.
Conduct an information interview with an informatics nurse specialist to learn more about the job. Professional associations and your school's career services office may be able to refer you to informatics professionals who are interested in discussing their career.