Greetings and welcome to our comprehensive guide on Informatics Nurse Certification!
In this article, we’ll highlight the three common Nurse Informatics certifications.
By the end of the article, you’ll know the available options for Nurse Informatics certification and what is required to earn your certification.
Here are the certifications we’ll talk about:
- Informatics Nursing certification (RN-BS)
- Certified Associate in Healthcare Information and Management System (CAHIMS)
- Informatics Nursing certification (RN-BS)
- Certified Professional in Healthcare Information for Management System (CPHIMS)
Let’s get started!
Informatics Nursing Certification (RN-BS)
The most popular Nursing Informatics certificate is the Nursing Informatics Certification by ANCC.
The certification program tests entry-level competency in Nursing Informatics.
Once a candidate passes the ANCC Nursing Informatics Certification exam, they earn the Registered Nurse-Board Certified (RN-BS) credential.
The ANCC certification is widely accepted by employers in the healthcare industry.
Now, let’s give you some background information about the certifying agency, ANCC.
An Overview of the Certifying Agency
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is an American Nurses Association (ANA) affiliate.
The organization’s goal is to promote healthcare and nursing excellence worldwide.
They strive towards this goal by developing internationally recognized accreditations.
The ANCC certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) or the Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC).
ANCC offers a wide range of Nurse Practitioners certifications and Clinical Nurse Specialist Certifications besides Nursing Informatics Certification.
Its certification exams for these credentialing programs are offered in domestic and international test centers.
Eligibility Requirement for RN-BC Certification
To become an ANCC Certified Nursing Informatics, you must meet the organization’s eligibility requirement.
- Be an active Registered Nurse with a current RN license
- Hold a bachelor’s degree or a higher education qualification from an accredited institution
- Have an equivalent of two years of full-time experience as a Registered Nurse
- Obtain 30 hours of continuing education in Nursing Informatics within the last three years
- Meet one of the following requirements:
- Complete not less than 2,000 practice hours in Informatics Nursing within the last three years
- Obtain at least 1,000 practice hours in Informatics Nursing within the last three years and 12 hours of semester credits in a graduate-level Nursing Informatics course.
- Complete a graduate program with not less than 200 hours of supervised practicum
Clearly, to be eligible for this certification program, one must have experience in the industry as a Registered Nurse and in Informatics Nursing.
Suffice to say that becoming a Nurse Informatics takes years.
But the good news is that the practice hours and the required experience in Health Informatics give you time to consider if it’s truly the path you want to take.
RN-BC Certification Exam Structure and Cost
Let’s start with the cost.
American Nurses Association (ANA) members pay $295.
The same certification costs American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA) members $340.
Non-members pay $395.
This certification exam is computer-based and is taken at a Prometric testing center.
Once a candidate enrolls for the exam, they get an “Authorization to Test Notice”, which expires after 90 days.
RNs also get the course outline, reference list, and sample questions to better revise and adequately prepare for the certification exam.
Candidates are required to schedule and take their examinations within the 90-day window.
One cannot schedule the exam before receiving the notice or after the 90 days expires.
Suppose the period elapses without taking the exam.
One has one chance to request an additional 90 days’ extension.
On the exam day, candidates are required to present a state identification, a driver’s license, a passport, or a U.S. Military identification.
The RN-BC exam takes 3.5 hours to complete.
The exam consists of 175 questions, 25 of which are not scored.
If one fails the exam on the first attempt, they can retest after 60 days.
Candidates can retake the exam not more than three times within a year.
RN-BC Recertification Information
RN-BC certification expires after five years.
And so, Registered Nurses board-certified must meet the recertification continuing education requirements to maintain the certification.
ANCC requires Nursing Informatics to submit their recertification request not less than a year before the certification expiry date.
Informatics Nurses must also enter proof of their professional development activities in their ANCC account.
The recertification costs vary depending on one’s membership.
American Nurses Association (ANA) members pay $250.
American Nurses Informatics Association (ANIA) members part with $295.
If you are a non-member, your recertification cost is on the higher side.
You’ll pay $350.
Once a Nurse has submitted all the requirements and paid, they’ll get a confirmation of receipt.
There are two options here.
The application can be approved and followed by a new certificate or rejected, in which case the Informatics Nurse will be emailed for additional documents or further clarification.
Certified Associate in Healthcare Information and Management System (CAHIMS)
CAHIMS certification is offered by the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS).
The organization offers CAHIMS and CPHIMS certifications.
CAHIMS certification is for Nurses in their early careers who want to transition to Nursing Informatics.
CPHIMS is an advanced certification designed for Nurse Informatics with years of experience in the Nursing Informatics industry.
An Overview of the Certifying Agency
HIMSS is a non-profit organization with a mission to better healthcare through information technology.
The organization is known for its input in matters related to information technology in research, media, education, and events.
HIMSS offers a certification exam for both CAHIMS and CPHIMS.
The two certification tests candidates on healthcare information and management systems in different depths.
Eligibility Requirement for CAHIMS Certification
To qualify for a CAHIMS certification, one must have a high school diploma, a GED, or the equivalent.
Additionally, the candidate must have a minimum of 45 hours of continuing education in healthcare information technology, informatics, digital health, or any other related topic.
CAHIMS Certification Exam Structure and Cost
The CAHIMS exam is conducted at the Pearson VUE test center.
Other times, candidates can take the exam during specific HIMSS events.
The process of taking the exam involves applying for the examination through the HIMSS student portal.
Once the application has been approved, one receives a receipt of authorization to test.
From there, the next step is to make a reservation for the examination.
CAHIMS candidates must produce two identification documents to take the exam, a government identification card, and the identification number issued by Pearson VUE in the exam confirmation notice.
The CAHIMS certification test consists of 115 questions.
Fifteen of these questions are pretests and, therefore, not scored.
The test takes 2 hours to complete and covers management and leadership, healthcare information and systems management, clinical informatics, and healthcare and technology environment.
The exam-takers are provided with an on-screen calculator.
As such, personal calculators are not allowed.
The exam results are displayed on the screen immediately after the candidate completes the test.
If one passes the exam, one can expect to get their certification within eight weeks.
In the unfortunate event that one fails, there’s room to retake the exam as many times as possible.
The candidate has to pay the full examination fee every time they retake the exam.
There is also a 90-days waiting period after a failed attempt.
Suppose the 90 days window elapses and one has not taken the exam.
They’ll have to make a full application and pay the exam fee again.
So, how much is the CAHIMS examination fee?
HIMSS regular, corporate, and student members pay $259.
HIMSS individual organization affiliate member exam fee is $199.
Non-members can expect to pay $359.
CAHIMS Recertification Information
The CAHIMS Nursing Informatics certification is valid for three years.
Certificate holders must meet one of the following recertification requirements within this period.
- Forty-five hours of continuing education – with this option, Nurse Informatics are required to submit the continuing education credits, complete a CAHIMS certification renewal application, and pay the required renewal fee
- Pass the CAHIMS exam – when retaking the exam for recertification purposes, candidates are not required to pay the recertification fee
HIMSS requires Nurse Informatics to start the certification renewal process 30 days before the cert expiry.
But one can start the process as early as 6 months before certificate expiry.
So, what happens if a candidate doesn’t renew their certification?
Well, they can no longer use the CAHIMS credential in their line of work.
Certified Professional in Healthcare Information for Management System (CPHIMS)
CPHIMS is yet another certification offered by the HMISS.
The certification is awarded to Nurses and health information professionals who’ve met CPHMIS eligibility requirements.
This certification demonstrates that the cert holders have met the international standards and have knowledge of healthcare and information systems.
CPHIMS is an excellent achievement in Healthcare Informatics.
Eligibility Requirement for CPHIMS Certification
When it comes to eligibility requirements, there are different levels of education.
Depending on one’s level of education, the accompanying years of experience will vary.
That said, let’s look into the requirements.
To be eligible for the CPHIMS certification, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and five years of experience in information and management systems.
Three of those years should be in a healthcare environment.
Healthcare professionals with a graduate degree should have an additional three years of experience in information and management systems.
Two of those years should be in a healthcare setting.
Lastly, one is eligible if they have 10 years of experience in information and management.
In this case, eight of the ten years should be in a healthcare setting.
CPHIMS Certification Exam Structure and Cost
The CPHIMS exam is taken at Pearson VUE testing centers.
Candidates can also enroll to take the exam during special administrations.
CPHIMS candidates must schedule the examination immediately after they receive authorization to test confirmation email.
The exam costs $429 for HIMSS members, $399 for HIMSS organization’s affiliate members, and $549 for non-members.
The CPHIMS certification exam has 115 questions.
Only 100 questions are scored; the remaining fifteen are pretests.
Just like with the CAHIMS, the exam covers four content areas, clinical informatics, healthcare and technology environment, healthcare information and systems management, and management and leadership.
The exam testing regulations are pretty serious, and candidates cannot enter the exam room with any material except wallet, medication, or keys.
In the exam room, they are provided with scratch paper and an on-screen calculator.
The exam takes 2hours.
Exam takers get their results immediately after they are done.
The certification takes a little longer.
HIMSS sends the certification eight weeks from the time one passes the exam.
Suppose a candidate fails the exam the first time.
There is an unlimited opportunity to resit the exam until one passes.
In all the attempts, one must wait for 90 days before retake and also pay the full examination fee with each attempt.
Since one can access the score immediately after they are done with the exam, one can apply for a retake immediately online.
They can also submit their application later by submitting the re-application form and the scores.
Failing to retake the exam within 90 days renders one’s CPHIMS application void.
One must start the certification registration process again.
CPHIMS Recertification Information
The CPHIMS certification expires after three years.
So, to maintain the certification, CPHIMS certified healthcare professionals must meet one of the two recertification requirements.
One can opt to take the recertification exam or complete 45 hours of continuing professional education.
HIMSS requires candidates to start the process 30 days before the certification expiry date or as early as six months before expiration.
There are three renowned Nursing Informatics Certifications.
Nursing Informatics Certification from ANCC and CAHIMS and CPHIMS from HIMSS.
These are highly regarded certifications for both Nurses and other Health Informatics professions.
However, when looking into which one to sign up for, first confirm with your potential employer their preferred certification.
You can also go through Nurse Informatics job descriptions to determine which one is the most widely accepted and settle for that.
How do you get Clinical Informatics certified?
You first apply through the American Board of Preventative Medicine or the American Board of Pathology to take the Clinical Informatics board certification exam. From there, take time to prepare for the exam. You’ll earn your Clinical Informatics Certification once you take the exam and pass.
How to get Nursing Informatics certification?
– Earn a BSN from an accredited college university
– Pass the NCLEX-RN exam to get state licensure
– Consider enrolling in a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program – MSN is not a requirement, however, it will give you an edge
– Seek employment as RN to gain experience
– Obtain Informatics Nurse Certification
Is a degree in Nursing Informatics worth it?
Yes. A master’s degree in Nursing Informatics equips you with nursing and information science training to help healthcare facilities manage and improve patient care. Since most healthcare technological needs are expanding, more opportunities are opening up for Nurse Informatics. It gives you room to advance your career and potentially earn more.
Is Nursing Informatics in demand?
Yes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there’ll be a 32% increase in employment in Health Informatics careers between 2020 and 2030. In total, 51,800 Health Informatics job opportunities will open up annually. The Bureau asserts that these opportunities are linked to the increased technology adoption in healthcare.
What is RN-BC?
RN-BC means a Registered Nurse who has earned board certification from a certifying agency in a particular specialty. This means a Registered Nurse has met the standard of excellence in that specialty. Board certification shows that a Registered Nurse is committed to ongoing education and adopting the best practices.
What is the certification process for Nursing Informatics?
– Meet the Nursing Informatics eligibility requirements
– Enroll for the certification with the certifying organization of your choice
– Receive an Authorization to Test Notice
– Schedule an appointment to take the test within the stipulated period
– Pass the exam and earn your Nursing Informatics Certification
Where to take the Nursing Informatics Certification test?
You can take the Nursing Informatics certification with American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Both offer a computer-based test at a designated testing center. ANCC and HIMSS have different requirements to be eligible for the Informatics Nursing Certification exam.
Which agencies grant Nursing Informatics Certification?
– The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC)
Once you’ve passed the ANCC certification exam, you earn the credential of Registered Nurse-board certified (RN-BS).
– Health Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS).
HIMSS has two certifications, CAHIMS and CPHIMS.
CAHIMS is for entry-level Health Informatics professionals, and CPHIMS is for experienced ones.
How long does it take to be in Nursing Informatics?
Becoming a Nurse in Informatics takes between 5 and 7 years. The process starts with getting a nursing education. A BSN takes four years. An ADN holder must get a degree. From there, one must gain experience for at least two years. The next step is earning the Nursing Informatics Certification.
What are some advantages of getting certified in Nursing Informatics?
– Use your knowledge and skills to develop healthcare systems that help improve patient outcomes
– Potential to earn above-average compensation
– Work flexible hours with the potential of working from home
– Join one of the most rapidly growing specializations in the healthcare industry
Is it hard to get a Nursing Informatics certification?
Becoming a Nurse in Informatics is not hard. The best way to go about it is to gain your bachelor’s degree and become a Registered Nurse. Gain two years of experience before diving into certification. You can also work in Nursing Informatics programs prior to your certification to gain experience.
Can you become a certified Nurse in Informatics without clinical experience?
Nursing Informatics Certifications require candidates to have clinical experience. ANCC certification program has a specified number of practice hours in Informatics Nursing. HIMSS certification also requires applicants to meet specific years of experience in a healthcare setting. Bottom line? You need the experience to qualify for an Informatics Nurse Certification.