Is becoming an informatics nurse specialist right for me?
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How to become an Informatics Nurse Specialist
To become an informatics nurse specialist, you typically need to follow these steps:
- Obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree from an accredited nursing program: You can become a registered nurse by completing a BSN program and passing the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN).
- Gain clinical experience as a registered nurse: Most informatics nurse specialists have several years of experience working in a clinical setting before transitioning into an informatics role.
- Obtain a Master's Degree in Nursing Informatics or a related field: This specialized degree program focuses on healthcare information technology, data management, and healthcare systems.
- Obtain professional certification: Earning certification for informatics nursing demonstrates your knowledge and expertise in healthcare information technology and may be required by some employers.
- Gain experience in healthcare information technology: You can gain experience in healthcare information technology by volunteering to work on technology-related projects, attending conferences and training sessions, and collaborating with IT specialists within your organization.
- Look for job opportunities in healthcare organizations or technology companies: Many hospitals and healthcare organizations employ informatics nurse specialists, as do technology companies that specialize in healthcare information technology.
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers a certification exam for nurses seeking to become informatics nurse specialists. The certification is called the ANCC Informatics Nursing Certification (RN-BC), and it is a nationally recognized credential that demonstrates knowledge and expertise in healthcare information technology.
To be eligible for the certification exam, nurses must meet the following requirements:
- Hold a current, active registered nurse license in the United States or its territories.
- Have a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in Nursing or a related field.
- Have completed a minimum of 2,000 hours of practice in nursing informatics within the last three years, or have completed a graduate-level nursing informatics program within the last three years.
- Have completed 30 hours of continuing education in nursing informatics within the last three years.
The ANCC Informatics Nursing Certification exam consists of 175 multiple-choice questions, and test-takers have four hours to complete the exam. The exam covers topics such as healthcare information technology, data management, and healthcare systems.