The Best-Paying U.S. States in Nursing Informatics (2020-21)

Nursing informatics sits at the intersection of nursing science and data and information science, with the intention of utilizing the data, information, and knowledge gleaned from emerging technologies to inform and evolve medical decision making and nursing practice.

According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, Inc (HIMSS), 68 percent of nursing informatics professionals use their blend of nursing and technology expertise at hospitals or multi-facility health systems. The rest of nursing informatics specialists work for the government or military, in ambulatory care, or in an academic setting. HIMSS also reports that the main responsibilities for nursing informatics professionals include systems implementation, systems optimization and utilization, systems development, quality initiatives and reporting, project management, change and control management, and informatics education.

In their 2020 Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey, HIMSS surveyed 1,279 nurse informatics specialists and learned the following about salaries for professionals blending nursing with data science:

  • 49 percent of nurse informatics specialists make more than $100,000
  • Level of educational attainment correlates with higher salaries, with 61 percent of PhD holders earning $100,000 or more
  • Years of experience also correlates to higher salaries; 71 percent of nursing informatics specialists with 11+ years of experience earn $100,000 or more
  • Nurse informatics specialists with certifications also have the chance to earn more, with 56 percent of certified professionals earning over $100,000; this is 17 percent more than those still pursuing, and 16 percent more than those not pursuing certification
  • The correlates of higher salaries are educational attainment, years of experience, and certification

Although the Bureau for Labor Statistics (BLS, 2020) does not track demand for this profession specifically, they predict that jobs in healthcare will grow by 15 percent nationally between 2019 and 2029, more than three times faster than predicted growth for all occupations (4 percent). When looking at nursing, BLS predicts that openings for LPN/LVNs will increase by 9 percent, RNs by 7 percent, and NPs by 45 percent in the same decade—all faster or much faster than the average.

In addition to growth within healthcare, the BLS (2020) predicts that computer and information technology positions should grow 11 percent in this same timeframe. With jobs in healthcare and information technology on the rise, the demand for nursing informatics specialists is expected to rise in the next decade.

With the predicted increase in demand and lucrative salaries, those considering a career in nursing informatics may be interested to know which states have the most generous salaries when it comes to this occupation.

Keep reading to learn about the 10 highest paying states for nursing informatics specialists or health informatics nurse specialists), including the cost of living information for context.

Please note that all salary figures are taken from Salary.com (Nov. 2020) and all state cost of living estimates are from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2020).

Alaska – Nurse Informatics Salaries

According to Salary.com (2020), Alaska is the highest paying state in the U.S. for nursing informatics. Based on data from Salary.Com, here are the average earning potentials in AK by percentile:

  • 10th percentile – $77,460
  • 25th percentile – $88,390
  • 50th percentile – $100,390
  • 75th percentile – $113,990
  • 90th percentile – $126,372

To put the salary in Alaska into perspective, it may be important to consider the cost of living in the state. The Missouri Economic Research and Information Center (MERIC 2020) determined that Alaska was the seventh most expensive region in the United States, which may influence the high salaries that can be found in this state. For every $100 that the average U.S. citizen pays for things like groceries, housing, utilities, transportation, and health, those living in Alaska pay $128.40. With a utilities index of 160.10, utilities are the most costly aspect of living in Alaska.

California – Nurse Informatics Salaries

Second on the list of best-paying states for nursing informatics is California (Salary.com 2020). Here are the pay rates by percentile in CA:

  • 10th percentile – $77,256
  • 25th percentile – $88,090
  • 50th percentile – $99,990
  • 75th percentile – $113,590
  • 90th percentile – $125,972

According to MERIC, California is the fourth most expensive region in the United States in terms of cost of living. The cost of living index for California is 142.70, with the CA housing index coming in at 203.40, more than double than 100 average for housing in the U.S.

New Jersey – Nurse Informatics Salaries

Third on the list of highest paying states for nursing informatics is New Jersey. Here are the average annual salaries in NJ by percentile:

  • 10th percentile – $76,447
  • 25th percentile – $87,190
  • 50th percentile – $98,990
  • 75th percentile – $112,390
  • 90th percentile – $124,590

New Jersey is the tenth most expensive state in the nation (MERIC 2020), with a cost of living index of 122.4. Although much more affordable than California, housing is also New Jersey’s most expensive aspect of living with a housing index of 159.6.

Massachusetts – Nurse Informatics Salaries

The fourth-highest paying state for nursing informatics is Massachusetts. Here is the breakdown of salaries by percentile in this state:

  • 10th percentile – $75,229
  • 25th percentile – $85,790
  • 50th percentile – $97,390
  • 75th percentile – $110,590
  • 90th percentile – $122,608

Massachusetts’ cost of living is the 6th most expensive in the nation. MERIC’s cost of living index for MA is 129.7. Housing is also where things get the most pricey in the state: MA’s housing index is 164.8

Connecticut – Nurse Informatics Salaries

The fifth-highest paying state in the U.S. for nursing informatics is Connecticut. The following is the range of average salaries that nursing informatics professional can make, organized by percentile:

  • 10th percentile – $74,729
  • 25th percentile – $85,290
  • 50th percentile – $96,890
  • 75th percentile – $109,990
  • 90th percentile – $121,917

Connecticut is MERIC’s ninth most expensive region in the nation. With an overall index of 124.2, housing and utilities are what drive the price of living up in the state. CT residents experience a housing index of 138.3 and a utilities index of 134.9.

New York – Nurse Informatics Salaries

New York provides the sixth-highest salaries for nursing informatics in the U.S. Here are the average annual salaries in NY by percentile:

  • 10th percentile – $74,120
  • 25th percentile – $84,590
  • 50th percentile – $96,090
  • 75th percentile – $109,090
  • 90th percentile – $120,920

Despite only having the 6th highest salaries, New York is the third most expensive place to live in the United States (MERIC 2020) New York’s cost of living index is 155.9. Although NY has a housing index of 268.1, there is a small bright spot in terms of affordability. Utilities come in at just below the national average with an index of 99.8.

Washington – Nurse Informatics Salaries

Offering the seventh-highest salaries in the U.S. for nursing informatics professionals is the state of Washington. Below is the range of salaries offered in Washington, organized by percentile:

  • 10th percentile – $73,811
  • 25th percentile – $84,190
  • 50th percentile – $95,590
  • 75th percentile – $108,590
  • 90th percentile – $120,426

Coming in at number 39 on MERIC’s (2020) cost of living index, Washington is a relatively expensive state in which to live. It has an overall index of 111.3 with cheaper utilities (90.1) and more expensive healthcare (119.9) than most other regions.

Rhode Island – Nurse Informatics Salaries

Rhode Island is offering nurse informatics professionals the eighth highest salaries in the nation. By percentile, the following is the range of salaries possible in RI:

  • 10th percentile – $72,802
  • 25th percentile – $83,090
  • 50th percentile – $94,390
  • 75th percentile – $107,190
  • 90th percentile – $118,844

Rhode Island is the second most affordable state on this list, but still the 11th-most expensive region in the country. RI’s MERIC cost of living index is 118.6, and like many of the states that came before, housing and utilities are the most expensive aspects of living in the state. RI’s housing index is 129.3 and their utilities index is 125.3.

Delaware – Nurse Informatics Salaries

The ninth most lucrative state for nursing informatics professionals is Delaware. The following list demonstrates earning potential in DE by percentile:

  • 10th percentile – $72,593
  • 25th percentile – $82,790
  • 50th percentile – $93,990
  • 75th percentile – $106,790
  • 90th percentile – $118,444

As the 18th most expensive region in the United States, nursing informatics specialists working in Delaware may find that their top-tier salaries go the furthest. According to MERIC, Delaware’s cost of living index is 107.7, and those living in Delaware actually spend less on utilities than the national average (utilities index = 96.0). The costliest aspect of living in Delaware is groceries, with an index of 123.0.

Hawaii – Nurse Informatics Salaries

The final state on our list of best-paying states for nursing informatics is Hawaii. Below is the breakdown of salaries in HI by percentile:

  • 10th percentile – $72,493
  • 25th percentile – $82,690
  • 50th percentile – $93,890
  • 75th percentile – $106,690
  • 90th percentile – $118,344

Hawaii is the most expensive region of the United States with a cost of living index of 197.6 – nearly double the national average (MERIC 2020). While those living in Hawaii can expect to pay nearly double for everything excluding health (118.7) and transport (146.6), housing is really where Hawaiians can expect a large part of their salary to end up. The housing index in Hawaii is 334.2 – more than triple the national average.

Important Mention: District of Columbia – Nurse Informatics Salaries

Although not a state, Washington DC is a region of the US where salaries for nurse informatics specialists are quite high. If DC were a state, it would offer salaries that are the third-highest in the United States. The following is the breakdown of salaries in DC by percentile:

  • 10th percentile – $76,856
  • 25th percentile – $87,690
  • 50th percentile – $99,590
  • 75th percentile – $113,090
  • 90th percentile – $125,381

According to MERIC, Washington DC is the second-most expensive region in the United States, with a cost of living index of 160.7. Although DC’s housing index of 278.5 is almost three times the national average, there is a bright spot in terms of savings on health. DC’s health index is only 93.0.

Becca Brewer
Becca Brewer Writer

Becca Brewer is the co-founder of Limitless: An Adventure to Build a Better Future on a Thriving Earth. Limitless exists to inspire people to join the millions across our planet who are already taking small and mighty steps to heal our earth in their everyday lives. You can follow the adventure on Instagram at @LimitlessEcoAdventure and join the project at Limitless.Eco. In her life before Limitless, Becca earned a master of education in human sexuality, where she connected with other graduate students earning dual degrees in social work, counseling, and sex therapy.