I am new to this site yet not to the forums. I am currently in the computer business, almost finished my associates in Network Information Systems and have some certifications in the field such as CompTIA A+, i-Net+, Net+ and CIW Associate from ProSoft. I am currently working on Cisco Cert CCNA when I realized I want to get into Nursing. My problem is where do I need to start? I contacted the college I am attending and inquired about there Nursing program. I keep reading about all these pre-req?? Are these like gen-ed courses? Also I am wondering if anyone has any ideas on how I could go from working with computers to working in a hospital while I work on my Nursing degree. I am in the dark, looking for some answers to get into this field and be able to have a smooth transition from network/computer work to Nursing. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Nov 18, '01
"Based on my limited understanding of nursing informatics, I believe it is something I would love to do. A couple schools in my area offer a degree in Health Care Information Sciences; I assume that's what I'd need."
To know if this is the appropriate degree one would have to know what exactly in Nursing Informatics they want to do and what courses comprise this degree program .
Is this particularly degree out of the school of Information Sciences/IT or the School of Nursing (SON) or a combination?
"As Nurse Recruiter at my facility, I've attended job fairs in the area that are inundated with graduating seniors with I.S. degrees. At the last job fair I attended for our large 7-hospital system, we must have taken 300 resumes from people looking for I.S. jobs (not a single nurse was there). We have ONE I.S. opening in the system."
Some of the over supply verses demand you are seeing also has to do with experience. The IT industry is looking for experienced staff not necessarily new graduates. Within the IT industry (lets exclude IS/IT in healthcare for now) varing and different skill sets and specialized knowledge are in demand.
The IS dept of a hospital is but one area that a Nurse Informaticist could practice. Other settings would also include the Nursing dept in a hospital as a trainer or project manager ; for a vendor in research, development, marketing, sales, design, implementation, training etc. Openings in IS depts are varied and may or may not include the skill sets that a Nurse Informaticist has. They can range from Network Admin, PC tech to programmer. These people have highly technical skill sets that are taught in the traditional Information Systems and Computer Science programs. A NI may or may not have them. The hospital may not need application analysts as their current information systems products do not require analysts but programmers, etc.
Clinical Information Systems and NI programs require foundational knowledge in systems life cycle and principles of Computer Science along with an undestanding of how healthcare works and how the clinician's process work flow occurs. NI have an understanding of how data is transformed into knowledge and murch more. But think 'clinical' or think about the knowledge specific to the domain of healthcare even. The NI would understand why access to a pt's electronic medical record should not be the same for both a ward clerk and a nurse. That would be one of the differences between a NI and a generic IS/IT degree holder. The later does not know how healthcare works, has no previous experience with patient confidentiality or the data/information needs of the clinician/staff.
"Do you think the flood on the market of kids graduating with I.S. degrees is going to affect the need for Nursing Informatics people? Or due to it's specialty nature, it won't be a factor?"
I think the above answers this question ,they are two seperate and very distinct areas.
Last edit by rninformatics on Dec 22, '01