Informatics Nurse Specialists


Education and Training Requirements

High School

Informatics nurse specialists must have strong knowledge of computer science, information technology, and nursing science. Take classes in computer science (including database management and programming, biology, chemistry, physics, health, and mathematics. Research and writing skills are also needed for this type of work, so be sure to take communications and English classes also. 

Postsecondary Education

Most employers prefer to hire informatics nurse specialists who hold a bachelor's degree in nursing (BSN) and significant coursework or a certuificate in health informatics. This is typically the minimum education requirement. Undergraduate nursing and health care courses are in topics such as nursing research, anatomy, public health nursing, nursing practice and theory, chemistry, nutrition, and health promotion and disease prevention. To gain an advantage in the job market, many go on to earn a master's in nursing, with a specialization in informatics. Graduate informatics nursing courses include topics like health care database systems, the workflow in health care systems, systems analysis and design, nurse leadership, and nursing technology.


Some colleges and universities offer certificates in health informatics. For example, the University of Pittsburgh offers a nursing informatics certificate. Classes include Introduction to Health Informatics, Clinical Information Systems, Information Technology Project Management, and Nursing Informatics Practicum. Contact schools in your area to learn more about available programs. 

Other Education or Training

The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) and other professional associations offers webinars, workshops, and other continuing education opportunities. Recent educational offerings from the AMIA included Nursing Informatics in Times of COVID 19: Achievements, Challenges, and New Ideas; Safety Considerations in Electronic Health Record Design; and Informatics Year in Review.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

All states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories require a license to practice nursing. To obtain a license, graduates of approved nursing schools must pass a national examination. Nurses may be licensed by more than one state. In some states, continuing education is a condition for license renewal. Different titles require different education and training levels.

Informatics nurses must pass the licensure exam and be registered nurses to qualify for the American Nurses Credentialing Center certification exam for informatics nurse. Eligibility requirements include: current and active registered nurse license; bachelor's or master's degree in nursing; two years of full-time work as a registered nurse; 30 hours of continuing education in informatics nursing within the past three years; as well as clinical practice requirements that vary depending upon degree and work experience. Find information at

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society offers the Certified Associate in Healthcare Information Management Systems (CAHIMS) credential to those with five or less years of work experience. More experienced informatics health care professionals may receive the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) certification, which demonstrates advanced knowledge and skills.


Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Most informatics nurse specialists have a bachelor's degree in nursing, and at least 25 percent hold a master's degree. Most employers prefer to hire informatics specialists with a minimum of two to three years of related work experience.

Informatics nurse specialists are analytical, have strong problem-solving skills, and are able to gather and organize information from multiple sources. They also have strong interpersonal skills, which are required to work effectively on teams and coordinate and communicate information between other nursing professionals and health care IT and other technology professionals. Informatics nurse specialists are detail oriented, dependable, honest, and ethical. The job requires a spirit of cooperation, since much of the work entails communicating with a wide variety of people. Adaptability and flexibility are also essential for handling last-minute changes, deadline pressures, and other changeable aspects within the work environment. Strong knowledge of computer science, informatics systems, and health care database and software systems is intrinsic to the job.