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Nursing Informatics

Nursing informatics specialists develop, operate, and maintain information technology designed to transmit, store, and analyze data. Doctors, nurses, and other medical specialists rely heavily upon information technology to access medical records and other patient information.

Currently, nursing informatics specialists are developing digitalized patient charting systems. These systems reduce errors and enhance productivity by making it possible to transfer patient information recorded on charts to information systems storing medical records. Traditionally, nurses were required to transfer chart details to records by hand.

To ensure nurses are not overwhelmed by new technology, nursing informatics specialists must develop user-friendly information systems. Likewise, they're responsible for linking networks for multiple hospitals and medical clinics.

Working Conditions
Nurse informatics specialists are employed at companies that design information systems, consulting firms, colleges and universities, hospitals, and other medical clinics. They're known as informatics coordinators, informatics nurse specialists, and clinical analysts.

Nurse informatics specialists typically do not interact with patients. They usually design, troubleshoot, and maintain information systems and train nurses how to use them. Many hospitals and medical clinics are now hiring these specialists in an attempt to improve patient care and cut costs.

Career Training and Education
Many registered nurses make career transitions into nurse informatics. Organizations prefer hiring former nurses since these individuals understand how healthcare is delivered and can better design systems to improve patient care.

To make career transitions, registered nurses typically earn master's degrees in information technology or computer science.

Nurse informatics specialists should be creative, critical thinkers, and effective project managers. They must also be effective communicators and be able to resolve conflicts.

The American Nurses' Association Credentialing Center administers board certification and advanced training in nursing informatics. Two certifications are available: the Certified Professional in Health Information Technology (CPHIT) and the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information Management Systems (CPHIMS).
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