Workforce Development

Chief Nursing Informatics Officer Job Description

Chief nursing informatics officer on the job

As the chief nursing informatics officer (CNIO) role varies within healthcare organizations, it is essential to have a standardized job description that can be referenced for needed competencies regardless of specific job title. This document provides recommendations for a C-suite level CNIO or equivalent job description including qualifications and experience, key responsibilities and reporting structure.

HIMSS nursing informatics members were asked to complete a survey in regards to their job description at their current organization. The survey was then used as a reference to create the standardized job descriptions document. The final document was then open for discussion amongst nursing informatics members, including the Nursing Informatics Committee, ensuring the document aligns with the role of a CNIO in present day.

In conjunction with the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey, members of the committee reigned in results with utmost consideration as CNIOs continue to play a crucial role in healthcare. Knowing that there are many career paths within nursing informatics, it is important that CNIOs are represented this nurse executive title grows. Broadly speaking, over two-thirds (68%) of the 1,359 survey respondents who have a career in nursing informatics work for a hospital or multi-facility health system. More than half (53%) work at a Magnet-designated hospital, and 41% work at a HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6/7 Hospital. This may correlate to the increased value of informatics in health system achievements. The majority of the remaining respondents work for a vendor/payer, government or military, or in an academic setting. Ambulatory nurse informaticists are on the rise, with 6% of respondents reporting the ambulatory environment as their primary work place. In 2020, the survey formally captured workforce data from a global audience with 94 respondents reporting they work primarily outside of the U.S.

Yet, as seen in the survey, the role of chief nursing informatics officer/senior nursing informatics officer correlates with the data as the profession continues to be on the rise with 41% of respondents reporting that their organization had the formal role. In 2020, 10% of respondents reported holding the title of manager of clinical informatics as compared with just 1% in 2017.

With this information in mind, this standardized CNIO job description will help leverage the competencies needed regardless of specific job title in the healthcare industry.

Originally published July 7, 2015; updated December 9, 2020