News Feature | March 16, 2017

Nursing Informatics Continues To Grow, Survey Finds

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Nurse Fired Posting ER Photos

HIMSS Poll finds nursing informatics specialists’ experience and salary continue to rise. Nursing Informatics Continues To Grow, Survey Finds

As healthcare adopts technology at all levels of care, the industry has been turning to nursing informatics specialists to help improve efficiency, boost patient outcomes, and reduce errors. As Health IT Outcomes reported, informatics nurses provided a high degree of impact on the quality of patient care, with the number of Chief Nursing Informatics Officers (CNIOs) increasing over the past five years.

Nursing informatics is a specialty in nursing that integrates nursing science, computer science, and information science, as well as the role is an expanding one in today’s healthcare organizations. As a field, nursing informatics has been around since the 1960s, becoming more prominent in the 1990s with the American Nursing Association recognizing it as a discipline in 1992. There are about 3,000 informatics nurses in the U.S. currently participating in HIMSS and other organizations, according to Information Week.

“It is clear informatics nurses will continue to be instrumental players in the analysis, implementation, and optimization of advanced information systems and emerging technologies that aim to improve the quality of patient care, while reducing costs,” HIMSS said in a press release.

This trend is continuing to grow, as a recent HIMSS survey revealed. Experience and salary continue to increase for nursing informatics specialists, as reported in the HIMSS 2017 Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey. HIMSS has been tracking the upward trajectory of this specialty since 2004.

According to the2017 survey, 80 percent of respondents report being satisfied or highly satisfied with their careers, likely in large part because their salaries continue to rise. Nearly half of respondents indicated a base salary of over $100,000, with 34 percent also reporting they received a bonus. Certification in nursing informatics or a post-graduate degree also demand a higher salary; over half of those with a certification or post-graduate degree made more than $100,000 a year compared to 37 percent of those without.

Last fall, Executive search firm Witt/Kieffer published CNIO 2.0: What’s Next For Nursing IT Leaders?, a survey report highlighting the expanding requirements and experiences healthcare organizations should consider when recruiting nursing IT leader and identifying ways organizations with a strong CNIO can prepare for the healthcare challenges of tomorrow. According to that survey, there was a 250 percent increase in the number of respondents holding the title of CNIO between 2011 and 2016, and the study found that the role is increasingly extending beyond informatics into the broader corporate realm.