I am also delighted to report that US News & World Report still considers informatics be one of its "ahead of the curve" careers. There is a Web page devoted to it, where I recently posted a comment.
Of course, educating such a diverse group can also be a real joy. Most of these individuals are very smart and highly motivated. I learn a great deal from them, and they require me to keep a step ahead in my knowledge.
Because of all this, I think of informatics education as a "final common pathway" for many individuals who bring diverse backgrounds, interests, and talents to the field. Such individuals will be uniquely qualified to develop, implement, and lead health IT, especially in the coming years.
It is hard to fathom this education not taking place at the graduate level. I recognize there are growing numbers of community college and undergraduate programs in informatics, but I tend to view these as one of the many pathways leading to that final common one. Most of the associate and baccalaureate programs in informatics are really IT programs with some health-related content added. This does not mean they cannot be of value to individuals or make contributions in health care settings, but such individuals are not likely to "practice" informatics as we normally define it.
I suspect that the informatics profession and its education will become more standardized in the coming years, especially as we see certification of individuals, with the commensurate accreditation of programs.