1. Check out the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey: What is Nursing Informatics? | HIMSS.org
. Outlook is high growth- there is a serious shortage of 'qualified' talent, but a lot of applicants. Your experience and entry into an informatics program would make you more attractive to teaching hospitals that value the theoretical background. For 2015...MU, ACO, declining reimbursements and the aging population will continue to require we do more with fewer resources, and the industry needs data to be successful in those ventures. Once hospitals and clinics have implemented technology, the push will move to predictive analytics, process improvement, and improving communication and care efficiency across transitions in care...there's a lot of work to be done, and IS needs nurses to help guide it.
2. I started as an informatics trainer in 2008 at a metro teaching hospital while in an MSN program for $65,000. Since completing my MSN and gaining experience, my salary has far surpassed what I would be making as an APN with the same experience.
3. Depends what kind of consulting you'd like to do- it's a broad field.