What is the Average Salary for Nursing Informatics jobs in 2012?

Nursing Informatics salaries, while they have been steadily increasing over the past few years, are quite variable, depending on the job or role, the demand for a specific skill set, the location, and the years of experience a certain candidate brings to the table.

The 2011 HIMSS Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey brought up a very exciting compensation and benefit information.  The survey noted that the average salary of the 2011 respondents is $ 98,702 (paragraph 4, page 2).

I always advice caution when reading average reports from a survey.  This is not to say that the HIMSS survey is incorrect.  I just want you to remember that the above-mentioned salary is the average amount, as reported by the survey respondents.

So, we need to look more closely as to the make-up of the survey respondents.  Based on the information available in the report, here is an overview of what the average survey respondent is like:

  • Have been a nurse informaticist for 10 years or more (more than 39% of respondents)
  • More than half have a post-graduate degree (56%) and 15% are taking an Informatics course
  • Almost 40% of them worked for organizations with annual gross revenues between $11 – 200 Million

What can we infer from these numbers?  We can deduce that nurses who have worked in a nursing informatics role for around 10 years, with a post-graduate degree, and who work for mid- to large-sized organizations who have gross revenues in the millions of dollars, have an average salary of $98,702.

On the flip side, this could means that, on average, nurses who are just starting out on their Nursing Informatics career, without a post-graduate degree, and who do not work for organizations that have annual gross revenues between $11 – 200 Million, might not be getting an average salary of $98,702.

Again, because we are talking of averages, there may be some exceptions to this statement, depending on some of the variables that I mentioned earlier:  the job or role, the demand for a specific skill set, the location, and the years of experience a certain candidate brings to the table.

To give you an idea of what an entry-level Informatics Nurse salary might look like, I went and did some salary comparison exercises using SimplyHired.com.  Please note that these exercises are here solely as references, and by no means limits or guarantees the salary that you can eventually negotiate.

Here is a comparison of EHR (Electronic Health Record) Analyst salaries:

EHR Analyst Comparative Salary in 4 U.S. Cities

Note that for the sake of the quick comparison, I have picked 4 major cities to represent the 4 U.S. regions:  New York for Northeast, San Francisco for West, Chicago for Midwest, and Miami for South.  Also, I picked a generic entry-level job title of “EHR Analyst” – these jobs may or may not require a Nursing degree, and those that do may pay a little bit more than the averages noted here.

Comparing Nursing Informatics salaries from the same website yields the following result:

Nursing Informatics Specialist Comparative Salary in 4 U.S. Cities

What do these two quick comparative searches tell us?  It shows that the salary range for EHR Analysts and Nursing Informatics Specialists are indeed variable based on location.  And while it may appear that New York and San Francisco trump other areas in terms of dollar amount, please note that a big caveat to this is that these two cities are also on the very top of the list of 10 U.S. cities with the most expensive cost of living, according to Kiplinger magazine.

The bottom line then is that because, like most Nursing jobs, salary ranges for Nursing Informatics jobs can be very variable, care must be taken when researching on what jobs to apply for and accept, based on your individual situation and career goals.