What is Nursing Informatics?

June 19, 2017 / By Jacee Robison, RN, MS

When I tell people that I am a Nurse Informaticist, confusion and curiosity usually ensues. Nursing informatics, as defined by the American Nursing Association (ANA), is “a specialty that integrates nursing science, computer science and information science to manage and communicate data, information and knowledge in nursing practice.” Simply put, a Nurse Informaticist draws upon clinical experiences and knowledge to transform data into information, information into knowledge and knowledge into evidence based practice; the goal is to guide clinicians to the best possible outcomes for patients.

Nursing informatics is a relatively new specialty that is rapidly expanding. Getting an advanced degree in Nursing Informatics can bring you opportunities that were previously unavailable and assist you in advancing your career goals. A master’s program gives you a practical foundation that can be applied to any work area that you are interested in. There are many settings that welcome Nurse Informaticists, such as hospitals, industry, education, policy-making, research, and administration.     

I started working at 3M in the Healthcare Data Dictionary (HDD) team before I completed my master’s studies in Nursing informatics at the University of Utah, and I definitely feel that the program gave me the skills necessary for my career at 3M. I am able to put into practice the principles I learned in school. My current role in the HDD team focuses on applying clinical terminology standards, ontology and natural language processing (NLP) to patient data. I will be able to help our customers improve healthcare outcomes by utilizing what I’ve learned in my Nursing Informatics master’s program  to analyze data, share results, and implement user-friendly solutions. So, if you’re up for a challenge and you’re interested in further developing your skills, consider an advanced degree in Nursing Informatics.       

Want to learn more about Nursing Informatics? Check out these helpful links:

American Nursing Informatics Association

American Medical Informatics Association

University of Utah Nursing Informatics

Jacee Robison, MS, RN, is a Nurse Informaticist with the Clinical Terminology group at 3M Health Information Systems