Nursing Informatics Salary By State in 2013
What is the salary for nursing informatics in 2013?
In 2011 HIMSS released a survey according to which the average salary in Nursing Informatics was $98,702.
Ever since then many blogs, magazines, and even newspaper articles have touted this figure as if it was a reliable average salary for nursing informatics professionals.
I have been working in the field of Nursing Informatics for the last 8 years, I have gone through a lot of job offers, and I have also been on the other side of the table, interviewing candidates and knowing that the nursing informatics salary range differs for different roles, especially in hospitals.
In my experience, most salaries, in their median average, don’t come close to the 98k preached by HIMSS. To demonstrate this, I extracted data from several cities from salary.com, I then averaged these salaries and the result is the graph below, where we can see the nursing informatics salaries in 2013.
To see state by state salaries, click on the corresponding abbreviations:
Why The HIMSS Numbers Are Misleading
The first thing to take into account is that the 2011 HIMSS Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey included ONLY 660 participants. Of these 660 participants, 56% have a post-graduate degree, including a Master’s in Nursing or other field/specialty and a PhD in Nursing or other field/specialty.
According to the HIMSS, 40% of the participants worked for organizations with annual gross revenues between $11 – 200 million, while more than 39% of the respondents had had a work experience as Nurse Informaticist for 10 years or more.
From this information in the survey we can easily deduce that nurses with a post-graduate degree, who worked in a nursing informatics role for around 10 years in a mid- to large-sized organization with annual gross revenues in the millions of dollars, have an average salary of $98,702.
On the other hand, what we can also deduce is that not all nurses have a post-graduate degree, that not all nurses have the 10+ work experience in the field, that not all nurses work for an organization with a revenue between $11 – 200 million, and then ultimately not all nurses will make it to an average salary of $98,702.
Also, one important thing that HIMSS forgets to mention is the geographical location of the 660 participants in the survey. Of course that in terms of salary, somebody in New York City will earn more than somebody in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Of course that the difference in salary is most likely dictated by the standard of living. So, question is, were all the 660 coming from NYC or Palo Alto? It looks like it to me.
More Nursing Informatics Salary 2013 Range Averages
Let’s take a look at the picture above, which shows nursing informatics salaries for NY as of Feb. 2013.
I’m comparing averages from indeed.com and simplyhired.com. These averages change daily and I specifically included them to show how difficult it is to come up with a “standard” nursing informatics average salary.
As of February 2013, we can see that the averages vary greatly from one site to another and that’s because the salaries are based on real salaries advertised by employers. The information is extracted from job posting with similar keywords.
But to translate this in real terms, let’s imagine the following scenario: an employer is looking for an an entry level analyst and decides to offer him/her a salary range in the $50,000, while another employer is looking for a nursing informatics director and offers him/her a salary of $120,000. Do the average between the two and you’ll reach $85,000. That’s how we get to crunch the numbers in these charts.
A More Realistic Look At Nursing Informatics Salaries
Personally, I like to use salary.com because the salaries listed there tend to pretty much reflect reality. Salary.com was (and still is) my point of reference when being offered different positions.
Let’s not forget though that we are still looking at salary averages and they may change based on the job role, location, degree, years of experience, demand for a specific skill, and experience a candidate brings to the role.
In my opinion, the salaries we see for the different cities in the graph above offer a better picture of the variation in salaries you may encounter when looking for a job. From personal experience I can say that smaller hospitals pay a lot less than bigger hospitals, and if you work in a small city or rural area, salaries will lower for sure than if you work in a larger hospital or bigger city.
Now, if you worked as a consultant, then your salary could be a lot higher than the average, specially if you take into account traveling expenses and per-diem rates these road warriors get. The same can be said for managers and directors in nursing informatics, since such positions tend to require a post-graduate degree.
On the other hand, if you are a nurse entering nursing informatics and you are offered a salary that doesn’t hover near the $98,000 advertised by HIMSS, don’t be disillusioned because that number is not really an accurate representation of what nursing informatics professionals are getting paid on average in the real world.
Like most nursing jobs, salary ranges for nursing informatics positions can vary a lot and you should pay attention when you do your research on the salary for the position and job title you apply for.