Nursing informatics is a growing, fairly new specialty that integrates the science of nursing with technology and analytical sciences. Because of the development of the nursing informatics field, health care organizations are better equipped to identify, define, manage and communicate data, knowledge, and wisdom within the practice of nursing. "Ten years ago, there was no formal training for a nurse informaticist, but today nursing informatics programs continue to evolve and the role is an integral part of promoting health in individuals, families, and communities worldwide, " said Natasha Zurcher, MSN/ED, RN, CPN, adjunct faculty member at the Purdue Global School of Nursing.
To be successful in the field o f informatics, one must be fluent in nursing and in technical terminology. "Nursing experience is a major component for those interested in nursing
What Does a Nurse Informaticist Do?
Within a health care organization, nurse informaticists are the liaisons between an organization's information technology (IT) department and nurses. Nurse informaticists work to advance health care as developers of communication and information technologies, as well as educators and researchers. Those trained in nursing informatics could have success as chief nursing officers and chief information officers. Depending on location, other positions could include software engineers, implementation consultants, and policy developers. Further, being fluent in the field can be a positive for those with desires to be small business owners in the health care industry.
Many opportunities in the field of nursing informatics deal with education and training of employees. With the advent of new technology and technological resources in the field of health care, organizations are finding it imperative to have programs available for educating new hires on how to use electronic charting and software programs. In acute care facilities, the need for seamless transition of new employees and regular training of current employees can be significant. Especially in larger hospitals, some of which employ over 1,000 nurses at any given time, training and
Nursing Informatics and the ACA
With the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and its implications surrounding data compilation and management, it's expected that the nursing informatics professional will become a vital part of the systems and processes upon which health care IT relies. As organizations transition to electronic health records to build an interoperable national data infrastructure, these professionals provide support by modifying practices to reflect current standards while maintaining
Generally an autonomous, leadership role, Zurcher says nursing informatics can be an excellent career choice for innovative individuals with nursing careers who are research and data driven. "The nurse informatics role is perfect for an analytical thinker who is interested in making big changes in patient care," said Zurcher.
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