HIMSS survey: Nursing informatics on the rise

The field of nursing informatics continues to grow and more informaticists have post-graduate training, according to the 2014 Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey, released Tuesday at the Health Information and Management Systems Society's (HIMSS) annual conference.

Nurse informaticists are vital to information system development, implementation and optimization, according to the survey of more than 1,000 nursing informatics specialists. More than 70 percent of respondents have a title that specifies informatics, a twofold increase from the last survey. Interest in additional training within the field is also on the rise, according to the survey.

The survey also found:

  • Sixty percent of respondents have a post-graduate degree

  • Forty-three percent of respondents have a master's degree or Ph.D. in nursing, up from 36 percent in 2011

  • Two-thirds have a non-supervisory role, an increase from 61 percent in 2011 and 58 percent in 2007

  • One-fifth of respondents have one to five years of clinical bedside experience, compared to 12 percent in 2011, indicating a rise in demand

  • Salaries steadily increased; the 2014 average was $100,717 compared to $98,703 in 2011 and $83,675 in 2007

The number of respondents with post-graduate education indicates the informatics field is "rapidly maturing," Joyce Sensmeier, vice president of informatics for HIMSS, said in a statement. "System optimization/utilization was a new option in the 2014 survey and selected by 39 percent of respondents, suggesting that we may be moving beyond simply implementing systems towards leveraging their value."

For the first time since the survey began, the 2014 edition also asked respondents about both job and career choice satisfaction.  Fifty-seven percent of respondents said they were "satisfied" or "highly satisfied" with their current job, and 81 percent said they were "satisfied" or "highly satisfied" with their choice to pursue a career in informatics.

Respondents ranked insufficient administrative support and staffing resources as the main barriers to success in the field. "The rise of nurse informaticists with advanced degrees suggests that these professionals have significant knowledge and experience to bring to their positions and that administrative support roles have not been adjusted to support this shift," the statement said.

The role of chief nursing informatics officer or director of clinical informatics may be a major health IT staffing trend in 2014, FierceHealthIT previously reported.

To learn more:
- here's the survey (.pdf)
- read the statement