The field of nurse informatics offers a wide variety of jobs for RNs with experience in health care and supplemental training in information technology. Managers, directors, specialists, educators and generalists all have a place in the exciting hybrid field of nurse informatics. Here are some job titles and their descriptions.
Clinical Content Manager
This position requires someone who can develop and implement policies and procedures for managing the database content and structure of a medical information system. Adherence to standards and plans is important as patient data must be kept private and secure. Change management can also be a significant part of this role. The Clinical Content Manager must also be comfortable in training others to use the system and champion the implementation of new software when needed.
The nurse informaticist implements and follows the best practices and procedures. If problems in the software are found, this person should offer corrective solutions and be able to explain and illustrate them. Requirements for this position include the abilities to increase efficiency in the use of the computerized system and offer assistance in training other members of the nursing staff. Ongoing review of the system and how it is used can offer opportunities for improvement.
Clinical Education Nurse
Effective training of the individual users of the software is crucial to the successful implementation of any IT system. The Clinical Education Nurse bears responsibility for this task as well as collaborating with teams of users and doctors. Policies and practices must be defined and implemented as part of the total education package. Training plans are developed with input from end users and put into practice by the Clinical Education Nurse. Updates to the training program are added when the software is upgraded or changed.
Systems Director Nursing Informatics
This position is one of Leadership and Change Management. Requirements include the ability to promote collaboration and remove isolated pockets of knowledge for the betterment of the entire system. Since humans all tend to resist change this role is important to encourage cooperation and teamwork. The responsibility for the selection and implementation of new information systems lies with this job along with the development of processes and tools to help nurses perform better.
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Registered Nurse Informatics
The informatics RN gathers and describes current software issues or shortcomings to IT. Involvement in defining needed enhancements to an existing system or reporting problems with the software is also included in this role. As well as working regular nursing shifts, the nurse informatics will provide assistance and support to other nurses in training and help to create written documentation of the system. Upgrades to existing systems may require testing and the person holding this job may be called on to do that.
Implementing a new installation of clinical software is a monumental job, and the Project Manager bears a responsibility for the success or failure of the initiative. Management of the projectís scope and schedule, resolution of issues as they arise, and ongoing troubleshooting fill the Project Managerís days. Providing updates to upper management regarding the progress of the project as well as time management reporting are also important functions.
Job descriptions for nurse informatics can seem to blur together, but each job is defined by the facility or company that is doing the hiring. Software development companies, research institutes, colleges and universities, hospitals and clinics, and pharmaceutical companies will each describe the job according to their present requirements and structure.