Building upon research that began in 2004, the HIMSS 2020 Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey continues to show that nurse informaticists play a crucial role in healthcare. As we celebrate the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, it is a unique opportunity to recognize the increasing importance of the nurse informaticist.
Specifically, they are the driving force behind the development, implementation and optimization of electronic medical/health records, nursing clinical documentation, point-of-care clinical decision support and computerized practitioner order entry.
Over two-thirds (68%) of the 1,359 survey respondents work for a hospital or multifacility 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.
This year saw an uptick in the percentage of respondents (66%) who have a master’s degree in nursing (24%), nursing informatics (27%), or some other field (11%). In comparison, 59% of respondents reported having a post-graduate degree in any field in 2017. This may correlate to the increased percentage of survey respondents in leadership roles.
The role of Chief Nursing Informatics Officer/Senior Nursing Informatics Officer 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. The percent of director-level respondents increased as well to 11% as compared with 7% in 2017. Still, the majority of respondents (24%) stated their title was nursing informatics specialist, a small increase over 2017’s 20%. This year also showed a significant change in reporting structure, with more nurse informaticists reporting to Nursing (40%), Quality (12%) and Operations (9%) over the historical trend of reporting to IT (48%).
Updated May 15, 2020