Informatics Nurse Certification
The Informatics Nursing examination was developed by the American Nurses Association (ANA) in 1994, and it is presently maintained and administered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), a subsidiary of the ANA. The examination is regularly revised to reflect evolving practices in the discipline. A Content Expert Panel (CEP) of specialists in the field of informatics nursing maintains and regularly revises an outline listing the competence areas necessary to excel in the field. Certified nurses then write the individual questions which test candidates' skills in those content areas. New questions are trialed in each version of the examination, and major updates and revisions are made approximately every three years.
Function of the Test
Candidates who pass the Informatics Nursing examination are awarded the RN-BC (Registered Nurse-Board Certified) credential from the ANCC. In order to take the examination, candidates must already hold an RN license; they must hold at least a bachelor's degree in nursing or a related field; they must have practiced the equivalent of two years full-time as a registered nurse; and they must have completed thirty hours of education in informatics nursing within the last three years. Candidates also must meet a practice hour requirement which may be fulfilled in several possible ways, including through completing a graduate program in informatics nursing.
The Informatics Nursing examination must be completed as part of a certification application for the RN-BC credential. As of 2014, the fee to apply is $270 for members of the American Nurses Association and $395 for non-members. Candidates may apply to take the examination year-round, and if the application is accepted, the candidate has a 90-day window in which to schedule and take the examination.
The Informatics Nursing examination is computer-based, and it is offered at Prometric testing centers. ANCC examinations primarily use a multiple choice question format, but examinations sometimes incorporate other question formats such as drag-and-drop, hot spot, and multiple responses. The examination has a time limit of 3.5 hours.
Candidates who do not pass the examination may take it again 60 days after the previous test date. However, candidates may only test three times in any 12-month period. Candidates must submit a retest application in order to schedule another examination.
Test takers with disabilities may receive special accommodations from the ANCC. The ANCC requires candidates to submit a report regarding his or her request on official letterhead from his or her qualified healthcare professional. The ANCC requires information such as a specific diagnosis, support for the validity of that diagnosis, a description of functional limitations due to the diagnosis, and specific recommendations for required accommodations.
|Sections of the Informatics Nursing Test|
|Informatics Nursing Test Subject Areas||# of Questions||Percent|
|Information Management and Knowledge Generation||56||37.33%|
|System Life Cycle||33||22.00%|
The Informatics Nursing Exam is a computer based exam that takes place through the Prometrix Testing System. Paper, calculators, drinks and snacks, cell phones, and electronics are not allowed in the testing center. Candidates are expected to arrive at least 15 minutes before the testing period to be sure that everyone is checked in before the test is supposed to start. The testing period is four hours, which includes check-in, practice session, and instructions. Candidates will be able to see their results before leaving the exam center.
The Informatics Nursing Examination is a test made up from 150 questions that have to do with four major domains: Information Management and Knowledge Generation; Professional Practice; System Life Cycle; and Information Technology. In addition to the 150 questions, there will be 25 unscored, pretest questions mixed in. The time allotted for the entire exam period is four hours. Upon completion, there will be a brief survey.
- Sample Informatics Nurse Certification Questions:
- According to systems theory (von Bertalanffy), the element of a system that comprises actions that take place in order to transform input is:
- A. Throughput.
- B. Output.
- C. Evaluation.
- D. Feedback.
- The data representation method that can be used across multiple platforms to represent text for most languages, including Asian, is:
- A. Binary code.
- B. Hexadecimal code.
- C. Unicode Standard code.
- D. Extended binary coded decimal interchange code.
- Detecting anomalies, identifying relationships, classifying, regressing, and summarizing are steps to:
- A. Data aggregation.
- B. Data representation.
- C. Data fusion.
- D. Data mining.
- For ease of reading, when highlighting text on the screen, the best method is to:
- A. Italicize.
- B. Underline.
- C. Bold.
- D. Place text on a colored background.
- In order to participate in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Medicare incentive program for adoption of electronic health records, those applying must demonstrate that they:
- A. Use certified EHR systems that have demonstrated they can store and share patient data securely, maintaining privacy
- B. Have a 5-year plan in place for transition to the EHR.
- C. Will begin participation by 2014.
- D. Participate in a Regional Health Improvement Plan (RHIP).
- Simulations that rely on verbal, print, video, or audio descriptions are classified as:
- A. Functional.
- B. Process.
- C. Low fidelity.
- D. High fidelity.
The Informatics Nursing examination consists of 175 questions. 150 of these questions are scored, while 25 are unscored pretest questions which are being evaluated for inclusion on future versions of the examination. The examination is a criterion-referenced assessment, which means that the "passing score" is not determined by the number of questions answered correctly. Rather, when the examination is scored, the difficulty level and importance of every individual question is taken into account, such that answering an easy and important question incorrectly harms the final score more than answering a difficult or less important question incorrectly. Through this method, candidates' raw scores are statistically converted to a scaled score out of 500 points. Candidates must score 350 points or higher to pass the examination.
Candidates receive an immediate copy of their test results upon completing the examination. Candidates are informed of their pass/fail status, and candidates who fail the examination are provided with a diagnostic report to highlight content areas in which their knowledge require improvement. For candidates who pass the examination, the physical RN-BC certificate is delivered by mail approximately eight weeks later.
The Informatics Nursing examination will change significantly effective October 25th, 2014. Prior to that date, the examination is divided into four domains of practice, including Information Management and Knowledge Generation (37.33%), Professional Practice (26.67%), System Life Cycle (22%), and Information Technology (14%). As of October 25th, 2014, the examination will be divided into three domains of practice, including Foundations of Practice (47.33%), System Design Life Cycle (26%), and Data Management and Health Care Technology (26.67%).
Answers to Sample Questions
1:A; 2:C; 3:D; 4:B; 5:A; 6:C;
- The Evolution of Definitions for Nursing Informatics April 22 2014
- ANCC Certification General Testing and Renewal Handbook April 20 2014
- ANCC: Informatics Nursing April 20 2014
- Informatics Nursing Certification Eligibility Criteria April 22 2014
- Prometric: ANCC April 20 2014]
- Nursing Test Handbook 25 June 2014
- Informatics Nursing Exam Content Outline 25 June 2014
- Informatics Nursing Board Certification Test Content Outline - effective date: May 7, 2012 April 20 2014
- Informatics Nursing Board Certification Test Content Outline - Effective Date: 10/25/2014 April 20 2014