If you have earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), you've already shown your commitment to a career in the nursing field. And if you have a head for data and analysis and want to remain in direct patient care, you may want to consider pursuing a Master of Science in Health Informatics (MHI) as well.
What is health informatics, and how can it help you improve patient care and outcomes? Here is a brief look at why informatics could take your career to a level you never thought possible.
Informatics – The Basics
Health informatics is basically the use of data to improve patient care. It allows patient information to move seamlessly — not only with health systems but between integrated care teams and directly with patients.
Nurses and other medical professionals use these data in many different ways. A nurse can take information on patient falls, for example, and use it to help keep those incidents from recurring. Nurses also use informatics to look at different types of treatment and whether or not they are effective. Nurses can also help develop clinical-decision support tools using data to bring best practices and personalized medicine directly to the point of care.
Nurses who enter the field of informatics can continue to work closely with patients while helping implement systems that will improve the level of care. They develop information technology systems and implement those systems, educating doctors and other nurses how to use them.
If you have the drive and commitment to pursue an advanced degree in health informatics, you can help shape the future of your profession.
High Satisfaction Levels
According to a 2017 survey conducted by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS), job satisfaction levels among nurses who enter the informatics field is high. More than half of survey respondents said they were either satisfied or highly satisfied with their jobs. About 80% of respondents said they were satisfied or highly satisfied with their decision to pursue a career in informatics.
Informatics has gained full acceptance in the medical community as a growing and valued component of patient care. It has a major impact on patient safety and improving outcomes. Nurses who can combine their clinical expertise with their analytical expertise are in extremely high demand — and that should continue to be the case for years to come.
What to Expect
If you have a BSN, you already have a track record of hard work. Obtaining an MHI will require a lot of effort as well. Nurses who earn an MHI degree position themselves for a wider range of career opportunities with higher earning potential. Through an MHI program, you will learn how to identify and collect data, as well as how to process and manage that data. You will gain the skills needed to interpret the data in ways that enhance care delivery. Providing better patient care often leads to higher job satisfaction for nurses. In addition, you will learn how data visualization, artificial intelligence and other components of informatics are changing the healthcare landscape.
An online MHI program provides the flexibility and convenience working nurses need. You can study in a way that allows you to maintain your work schedule. This is a rigorous program, but one that will be well worth the effort in the long run.
Learn more about NKU's online Master of Science in Health Informatics program.
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