What is Nursing Informatics?

Nursing informatics professionals

We're often asked to explain what nursing informatics is. While it's difficult to quickly summarize this complex field, at its core, nursing informatics takes the clinical and the technical languages of health and translates them into one. It also promotes meaningful, user-friendly and patient-centric innovation while driving improved outcomes for patients and enhanced clinical workflows for healthcare staff.

What is Nursing Informatics Definition?

The definition provided by the American Nurses Association (ANA) and recommended by HIMSS has become widely referenced in response to the question, “What is nursing informatics?”

Nursing informatics "is the specialty that integrates nursing science with multiple information and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage and communicate data, information, knowledge and wisdom in nursing practice."

As a global advisor and thought leader in healthcare information and technology, HIMSS has focused on the nursing informatics field for decades. Understanding the integral role this specialty plays today in the healthcare workforce, we’ve worked to amplify awareness by convening the experts and conducting extensive research on the topic.

What are Nursing Informatics Roles and Requirements?

If you’re looking to venture into the field of nursing informatics, there are a variety of different skills and qualifications that can help ensure your success:

  • A bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN), at minimum
  • A master’s degree and certifications, particularly for executive roles (chief nursing informatics officer)
  • Experience and/or strong understand of working in a clinical setting 
  • Strong technical skills; ability to quickly adapt to emerging technologies and innovation
  • Strong project management skills
  • An affinity for obtaining, analyzing and strategizing about data
  • Understanding of medical economics
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Leadership experience

Here’s a few of the many nursing informatics job titles in use today:

  • Nurse informaticist
  • Nursing informatics specialist
  • Nursing informatics clinician
  • Clinical nurse informatics specialist
  • Perioperative informatics nurse

RELATED: Two Journeys to the Path of Nursing Informatics

The field of nursing informatics has helped drive healthcare’s application of technologies such as EMRs and computerized provider order entry. Nursing informatics professionals work with a diverse group of stakeholders across the care continuum, ultimately helping to bridge the gap between clinical and technical perspectives. Their number one priority is maintaining focus on patient safety.

The role of nursing informaticist was included in the top 10 highest paying nursing professions in the U.S. The HIMSS Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey, led by the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Committee, unveiled a multitude of findings about the profession:

  • Hospitals were cited as the most common employer for nursing informatics roles (42%)
  • Most respondents reported having education beyond a bachelor’s degree (57% had a master’s or doctoral degree)
  • Systems implementation is of significant focus for all roles; 40% defined it as a top responsibility
  • Many reported making over 100k per year (46%)
  • The majority of respondents were either satisfied or highly satisfied with their role (80%)

RELATED: Guide to Value: Developing an Engaged Nursing Informatics Culture

Overall, results of the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey indicated that most nursing informatics professionals are burning bright with potential rather than burning out. After all, these findings confirm that many make higher wages than the average nursing professional, they enjoy the work they do, and many of them plan to keep doing it in the future (41% had plans for further education in the field).

What is Nursing Informatics Value?

Watch Danielle Siarri, MSN, RN, talk with HIMSSTV about global innovation and how technology is improving care coordination.

Nursing informatics specialists are the translators that have evolved into health tech innovators who establish businesses, manage medical economics, create technology and amplify the voice of end-user clinicians,” said Danielle Siarri, MSN, RN, a HIMSS member and social media ambassador, global nursing expert and the lead publisher at InnoNurse. “Healthcare and technology were separate entities that have now fused into one language which evolves daily.”

Nursing informatics professionals are unique, hybrid heroes of healthcare. As advocates for impactful innovation, their work keeps patients safe and at the center. Through their contributions and guidance, workflows are improved for healthcare staff and best practices followed in the effective management of information structures, processes and technology.

Through consistent leadership and hard work, the dynamic language and energy of health information and technology continues to grow and evolve along with the nursing informatics profession.


The HIMSS Nursing Informatics Committee is helping unite the languages of healthcare, nursing, information and technology into one. #Nurses4HIT

Join Them in Their Mission

Originally published May 14, 2019, updated June 28, 2019