Advice for Accepting a Positon as Clinical Information Specialist

  1. 1
    A little Background Info:
    On Monday I interviewed for a position as a Clinical Information Specialist. This is a new position at my hospital and will be part of the IT department. I work in a rural 25 bed critical access hospital, so our IT dept currently consists of 2 people. We use HMS for documentation and the family practice office uses Practice Partner. I would be responsible for training the doctors and nurses both on using these programs, building new forms, and establishing meaninful use documentation. These are some of the big things, I'm sure there will be many other responsibilities also.

    My training will all be on the job, but I am very comfortable with using computers and am often asked by co-workers for help when they have trouble. I have worked the floor for 5 1/2 years as an RN which includes ER and OB experience. I was a super user for HMS when we went live with order entry. We have only been doing computerized documentation for about a year now and I've worked full time + during that year so have experience with using the system.

    Here's where I need advice:
    I was assured by IT that, "I don't know what you make now, but I'm sure it'll be more." However the HR dept. may have something different to say about that and will unfortunately probably be the person that gets the final say. I currently work night shift which means I get a $5 diff and my wages are 20.25/hr. This new position would be a 9-5 job, which means I will have to pay for more daycare for my 2 children (ages 2 and 3). I'm not currently in a position to take a $5 loss of pay.

    I've looked at the HIMSS website for the average pay, but am wondering if there's a more accurate way to find out what a reasonable pay for this actual position should be. I've tried some of the online resources, but don't think there is enough data in my area to find out. Would it be appropriate to contact the HR dept at surrounding hospitals to find out their starting wages for the position? I'm not sure if our HR dept. may have done this already either. When I talk to HR I'd like to have some info to back up why I feel I should recieve at least the 25.25/hr I make right now. A raise would be great, but the benefits of working a 9-5 position as opposed to a 4p-4a night shift are a big incentive, since it means being home with my family every night.
    rninformatics likes this.
  2. 3 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    Quote from Marissasmommy
    A little Background Info:


    Here's where I need advice:
    I was assured by IT that, "I don't know what you make now, but I'm sure it'll be more." However the HR dept. may have something different to say about that and will unfortunately probably be the person that gets the final say. I currently work night shift which means I get a $5 diff and my wages are 20.25/hr. This new position would be a 9-5 job, which means I will have to pay for more daycare for my 2 children (ages 2 and 3). I'm not currently in a position to take a $5 loss of pay.

    I've looked at the HIMSS website for the average pay, but am wondering if there's a more accurate way to find out what a reasonable pay for this actual position should be. I've tried some of the online resources, but don't think there is enough data in my area to find out. Would it be appropriate to contact the HR dept at surrounding hospitals to find out their starting wages for the position? I'm not sure if our HR dept. may have done this already either. When I talk to HR I'd like to have some info to back up why I feel I should recieve at least the 25.25/hr I make right now. A raise would be great, but the benefits of working a 9-5 position as opposed to a 4p-4a night shift are a big incentive, since it means being home with my family every night.
    A couple of people working in rural areas who read my blog actually commented and emailed me to tell me that their salary was in the 40's range. However, one person who emailed me said that they got to keep their current nursing salary with a bit of a raise, and no complains that they took a "salary demotion."

    Also, when I implemented systems in some rural areas, I know that hospitals hired nurses from the floor and they got to keep their salary also with a bit of a raise. So if they haven't given you an offer yet, and the IT director is telling you that it might be higher, why don't you wait for the offer to come, and if it's lower than what you expect, why not negotiate when that happens?

    Also, your fear is that HR will have something different to say. In your hospital, does HR determine the final salary of a person? In most hospitals that I have worked at, a specific department has a budget, and out of that budget, the department determines the salary. When I have helped with job interviews, I know IT/Informatics departments tell me, we can only offer this much as a salary as that's what the budget allows. They send that information to HR and in those hospitals HR is not setting the salary. So are you fully sure that it is the HR department that will set your salary?

    Finally, this job will open doors to bigger salaries in the future. The biggest mistake will be not taking it. Just my biased opinion, of course!
    rninformatics likes this.
  4. 0
    Marissasmommy,
    You wrote you checked the HIMSS website for salary ranges. Did you check the HIMSS most recent 2011 Nursing Informatics Workforce survey for salary data?
    Also see below for a few sources I used for another colleague who was looking for data on NI management salaries.

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    http://www.alliedhealthworld.com/nur...cs/salary.html


    The Healthcare Management and Information Systems Society conducted a survey in 2008 with salary information from people in the nursing informatics field. The result was that in the United States, in 2008, the median salary for these professionals was $96,000. Those in the Pacific Coast made the highest salaries at over $124,000 on average.


    Jul 28, 2010 ... The All Health Care Degrees website states an average salary of $80000 up to $145000 for senior positions in nursing informatics, as of 2010.

    http://medicalbillingandcodingsalary...ry-learn-more/

    While employers typically do not require applicants for nursing informatics positions, to be registered by the ANCC it is preferred and can give individuals a competitive edge. Some employers may even pay a higher nursing informatics salary to nurses who have taken the time to get certified in informatics.


    http://www.indeed.com/salary?q1=Nurs...tle%2C+WA&tm=1

    Average for NI Manager = 91K- No results for Nursing Informatics Supervisor
  5. 1
    rninformatics- I need to quit listening to a "certain" co-worker who was being very negative about the position and made me start to doubt what the IT supervisor said! (Which is basically due to the fact that her Daughter in law would have gotten the job, but wouldn't work part time, so HR said he couldn't hire her unless she was going to do full-time.) It makes sense that he should get the final say since it will be coming from the IT budget.

    He had said we would have to talk to HR and work out what the wages would be, he basically said that he would be more concerned with the wages of someone that was hired externally. I was under the impression that he just didn't want to know anything about my current wages, b/c that's all supposed to be so hush hush.

    I've never really had to deal with HR much, but hear people complain about our HR person ALL the time. I've never had a problem with her personally, although she seems to have an awful lot of authority for a person who's only degree is in massage therapy!

    The HIMSS workforce survey is what I looked at for averages.

    Thanks for the information! I will definitely wait to see what they offer me! I will hopefully know by tomorrow. It has been driving me crazy waiting to find out all week!
    rninformatics likes this.


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