If you currently work in nursing and are thinking about transitioning into a career in health informatics, you’re not alone. Nurses are increasingly interested in health informatics as technology plays a bigger role in the work they do in hospitals and other healthcare settings. Most people who enroll in a master’s in health informatics program come from either a healthcare or business background.1
Health informatics is a growing field with ample opportunity for employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market for medical and health services managers (under which health informatics falls) is expected to grow by 17 percent between 2014–2024.2 In addition, the average health informatics salary is almost six figures; as of May 2016, the median annual wage medical and health services managers was $96,540.2
If you’re considering transitioning from a career in nursing to health informatics, here’s what you need to know.
What Is Health Informatics?
Health informatics is an interdisciplinary field of work that combines research, data, and medical practice; it’s a career at the intersection of healthcare and technology.3 Some examples of the type of work you might do in health informatics include:
- Training healthcare staff on recordkeeping processes, increasing patient record accuracy, and addressing technology-related issues in patient care
- Securing and managing data to help clinicians practice evidence-based medicine and improve quality of care
- Solving complex administrative problems through data analysis
The Challenges of Becoming a Health Informatics Innovator
Nurses make great candidates for transitioning into a career in health informatics. Why? They are already familiar with the delivery of the care side of the field and have experience with both the clinical process and patient management process.
However, it can be a challenge to get up-to-speed on the technological aspects of the industry, which is why it’s so important to get the proper training. Health informatics requires more technical expertise than you might expect, far beyond what you may be used to for the practice of nursing in a hospital setting.
Look for a master’s in health informatics program that provides more support for learning the technical aspect of the field. Experience with healthcare business and operations, the ability to bring people and processes together, and an understanding of how the end user will use the information you provide may also contribute to your success as a health informatics innovator.
Positioning Yourself for Success
The University of Scranton’s online Master of Science in Health Informatics (MSHI) curriculum is designed to prepare you for a successful career. In addition to providing an integrative approach to patient care, the program provides you with a comprehensive understanding in health care systems, business intelligence, database applications, and information technology so you may excel in the health informatics field. While the program is taught entirely online, the faculty at The University of Scranton works to ensure you have the support you need to master the more technical aspects of the MSHI coursework. To learn more or speak with a Program Manager, call 866-373-9547.
- “Health information 101.” AHIMA.org. http://www.ahima.org/careers/healthinfo?tabid=what (accessed February 4, 2017).
- “Occupational outlook handbook: Medical and health services managers.” BLS.gov. https://www.bls.gov/ooh/management/medical-and-health-services-managers.htm (accessed February 4, 2017).
- Rouse, M. ”Definition: Health informatics.” SearchHealthIT.TechTarget.com. http://searchhealthit.techtarget.com/definition/health-informatics (accessed April 5, 2017).