By its very definition, nursing informatics combines information science, computer science and health care into one neat package. It is used by nurses as they obtain, store, retrieve and use healthcare information. Nurses trained in health informatics must be experts on computer usage as well as knowledgeable on clinical guidelines, medical terminologies and health information systems. Nursing informatics jobs are available to only the most highly trained and specialized nurses because of its complicated nature and its interdependent internal processes.
The field of medical informatics started in the early 1950s in the United States. This was a direct result of the “age of computers” and the field has since grown it its scope. The International Medical Informatics Association is the governing body in charge of assuring that it follows set guidelines and processes.
Nursing informatics is just one part of the large field of medical informatics and nurses specializing in it work primarily in a hospital or healthcare environment. However, there is a growing need for them with healthcare vendors, suppliers and healthcare consulting agencies. As a nurse informatics specialist, a person will need to be skilled in numerous computer processes and be able to write user-friendly computer programs. These nurses will also be called upon to look at existing computer systems, assist in training programs and implement new healthcare computer systems. They also may be asked to conduct demonstrations and give presentations to potential customers. The outlook for growth is excellent and many informatics specialists become managers of huge medical information systems.
Nursing informatics is a relatively new field and is expanding its scope daily. It has succeeded as a direct result of the explosive growth of computer technology in the past few decades. It is an exciting career choice and many nurses are choosing it as a specialty. They understand the need for medical informatics in today’s ever-changing world and know how important it is to have an extensive background in computer processes along with a strong nursing background. Nursing informatics jobs are in high demand and only the most qualified will have a chance to get one of them. Determining it as a specialty early in a training program is important consideration for all nursing students.