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New Survey Reveals Increasing Prominence of Nursing Informatics

Monday February 21, 2011
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The 2011 Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey highlights the role nurse informaticists play in the implementation of clinical applications such as clinical/nursing documentation and clinical information systems, computerized practitioner order entry and electronic records.

Respondents’ average salary, $98,702, increased by 17% when compared with a similar survey in 2007 and 42% from 2004. Only 3% of respondents indicated their salary is not augmented by benefits, such as medical/dental insurance and retirement savings plans.

Unlike in 2004 and 2007, financial resources were not the most oft-cited barrier to success. Lack of integration/interoperability was mentioned most frequently as a primary or secondary barrier, followed by financial resources.

For the first time since the survey was conducted in 2004, electronic records were among the two applications most frequently mentioned in the survey, which was conducted by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. Clinical/nursing documentation was the most frequently mentioned application.

Of the 660 nurse informaticists who responded to the survey (www.himss.org/ASP/topics_FocusDynamic.asp?faid=243), 48% worked at a hospital and another 20% worked at the corporate offices of a healthcare system. Less than half of respondents had at least 16 years of clinical experience. Meanwhile, 44% reported that at least part of their background was in critical care, followed by 43% who cited med/surg.

Of the respondents, 15% received specific nurse informatics training. More than half said they had a postgraduate degree, while 15% were pursing the opportunity to take an informatics course online or at their institution.

More than 39% of respondents have been a nurse informaticist for at least 10 years, an increase from 2004 and 2007 as the discipline becomes more established. Approximately 60% did not have individuals reporting to them, a similar percentage to 2004 and 2007. Among those with individuals reporting to them, 16% had three to five subordinates and 14% had at least 11. Systems implementation and systems development activities are the two primary job responsibilities, according to the survey.


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