According to Ramona Yehle, PhD, MS, RN, adjunct professor, graduate nursing programs at American Sentinel University, nurses working in the specialized field of nursing informatics are thriving. She’s not alone among healthcare leaders who are predicting that nursing informatics is a trend that’s here to stay.
PRUnderground.com defines nursing informatics as the practice of integrating health science, computer science and information technology to help clinicians more efficiently store, retrieve and apply mass amounts of critical data as part of daily care delivery.
Yehle tells PRUnderground, “Nurses have an immediate advantage in this field because they are the most frequent users of the [Electronic Health Record] EHR and have critical knowledge of healthcare workflows and processes. Nurses informaticists can help computer science specialists better understand how care is delivered and documented, which affects how information systems are designed.”
Thanks to new technical resources like the EHR which has been implemented to improve healthcare quality, safety, and efficiency, there is a high demand in the US healthcare system for nurses who can analyze technology from the patient care perspective and information technology frame of reference.
The need for nurse informaticists is continuing to expand both nationally and internationally. Two major roles are offered in the field: clinicians who utilize health information technology and specialists who create, facilitate, test, and implement new information technologies. Nurse informaticists are also needed to serve as a spokesperson between hospitals and information technology vendors to help implement and provide training for nurses and other medical staff.
For nurses interested in this rewarding and dynamic nursing specialty, it’s not an entry level career. Most nurse informaticists have a masters or doctorate and have spent several years receiving advanced education in information systems and nursing. However, for nurses who choose this career path, there are vast career opportunities available from hospitals and public health organizations to research labs, medical software companies, and educational institutions.
To learn more about the nursing informatics specialty, visit here.
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