Am I making the right decision? ICU---> RN informatics

  1. 0
    hi, i have been a rn for 2 years in my mids 20'. i have experience in medsurg, icu, and pacu. i'm currently an icu rn.

    just recently just been offer a position to be a nurse informatics (non-clinical). the hospital is willing to train me and match my current salary (minus inh)
    . this area of nurse in totally new to me and i'm very curious about it and what it may hold. i'm excited about this new opportunity, but i can not shake this feeling of uncertainty "if i am making the right decision".

    up until now i always thought that i would become a super icu rn and obtain my master in a nursing. but i have no interested in any of the msn (educator, practitioner, ...) until i learned about informatics.

    negative:
    -work 5 days a week 8 hours a day.
    -salary base, no room to work extra money (this is a biggie for me, i have a lot of financial obligation to my parents)
    -away from bedside and critical thinking
    -bringing work home

    positive:
    -something new
    -my body no longer deteriorate (arthritis at 20' with lower back pain!)
    -less stress
    -possibly great opportunities in the future
    -combine my interest (technologies) with my passion (nursing)
    -i can see myself doing this into my 40' and 50'

    am i making the right decision?
  2. 10 Comments so far...

  3. 0
    I am an L&D nurse, 15 yrs experience and I am facing same decision. I agree with your pro's and con's list.
    I recently google'd some informatics job listings and was shocked to find that they appear to want IT people who incidently have a nursing license rather than a good nurse who can do informatics. At least that is the impression i got.

    I would love to hear from anyone in the field ... any feedback.

    I start classes to work towards my MSN Nursing Informatics end of this month. Feeling a little overwhelmed and worried that I would have to work in an IT department (huge pay cut) for a number of years to make the degree pay off.
  4. 0
    I am in a rural hospital and worked on the floor for 6 1/2 years before joining the IT department with no prior IT experience. I sorta got a raise and a pay cut when I started. I went from a base pay of $20.25/hr to $22/hr and after 90 days got a raise and now make $23/hr. I did lose my $5/hr night shift differential, so I was actually making $25.25/hr before, but the extra 4 hours a week helped to make up for that a little. I'd check into the wages you make to see for sure that you'd be taking a pay cut.

    The biggest reason I decided to take this job was for the hours. I have 2 young children and to be able to be at home every night with them and have every weekend and holiday off has been worth the WORLD to me! Not only have I been able to get my kids into a regular routine, I think it's really helped my husband and I's relationship. It really helps that we are able to spend more time together and were taking care of our kids together and not taking turns doing the parenting every other night.
  5. 0
    Hi, Have you checked out nursing-informatics.com ? What a wonderful site. All about the field.
  6. 0
    Only you can decide if you are making "the right decision". I think your pros and cons are very subjective and did you validate all of them with your potential new manager. Such as working only 5 days a week and 8 hrs a day. Roles in informatics are frequently not just 9-5 or 8hrs/day, why would you think this role would be without "critical thinking"????. How and what work would you be bringing home?
    Many informatics nurses pick up a shift a pay period or a shift every other weekend or 1xmonth is that a possiblity?
    Good Luck
  7. 0
    I guess I dont understand your statement that you "googled some informatics job listings and was shocked to find that they appear to want IT people who incidently have a nursing license rather than a good nurse who can do informatics" What in reading a job listing gave you that impression. As one who has practiced in this field of over 14 years and who has also been a hiring manager within this specialty I am curious as to how you came to your conclusions related to pay and your perceptions related to having to work in an IT department??? Some informatics nurses report to IT and some to nursing and some times they report to PI it all depends and salaries are dependent on experience, geographical location, department reporting structure, seniority, education and more.





    Quote from dirnoh
    I am an L&D nurse, 15 yrs experience and I am facing same decision. I agree with your pro's and con's list.
    I recently google'd some informatics job listings and was shocked to find that they appear to want IT people who incidently have a nursing license rather than a good nurse who can do informatics. At least that is the impression i got.

    I would love to hear from anyone in the field ... any feedback.

    I start classes to work towards my MSN Nursing Informatics end of this month. Feeling a little overwhelmed and worried that I would have to work in an IT department (huge pay cut) for a number of years to make the degree pay off.
  8. 0
    I was recently describing my role and the specialty of nursing informatics to a non nurse relative who commented that: "Sounds like your role has a lot of autonomy" That is one of the biggest reason I made the transition from clinical nursing to nursing and then clincial informatics - there is a great deal of autonomy in what I do on a daily basis. More so than in nursing. Also I did take a salary cut when I initially made the transition and the majority of other professions if you work hard and continue to advance your salary increases. If you dont work hard, excell at what you do and stay in a non leadership position your salary will increase and a slower rate and in smaller amounts.


    Quote from nkochrn
    I am in a rural hospital and worked on the floor for 6 1/2 years before joining the IT department with no prior IT experience. I sorta got a raise and a pay cut when I started. I went from a base pay of $20.25/hr to $22/hr and after 90 days got a raise and now make $23/hr. I did lose my $5/hr night shift differential, so I was actually making $25.25/hr before, but the extra 4 hours a week helped to make up for that a little. I'd check into the wages you make to see for sure that you'd be taking a pay cut.

    The biggest reason I decided to take this job was for the hours. I have 2 young children and to be able to be at home every night with them and have every weekend and holiday off has been worth the WORLD to me! Not only have I been able to get my kids into a regular routine, I think it's really helped my husband and I's relationship. It really helps that we are able to spend more time together and were taking care of our kids together and not taking turns doing the parenting every other night.
  9. 1
    Quote from jbdang

    negative:
    -work 5 days a week 8 hours a day.
    once you get experience in the field, maybe you'll be lucky to work for an employer that lets you work remotely too.

    also, if you prove yourself to be autonomous and you excel in your role, you might even have the power to say, sorry, not coming in today, but i'll be working from home. try doing that working as a bedside nurse. and yes, sometimes you might have to work a saturday night to roll out a project, but you also get a comp day off.

    Quote from jbdang

    negative:
    -salary base, no room to work extra money (this is a biggie for me, i have a lot of financial obligation to my parents)
    how about working weekends in a local hospital to collect some extra money? or maybe you can do 4 hour shifts as a prn nurse in a local hospital? when i started in it, i also wanted to pay my college loans as soon as possible, so i signed up with a local hospital and i told them, if you have a 4 hour shift that you need to fill, call me up. worked great for me for a couple of years. and when i really needed money, i would even do a weekend shift. looking back, not sure what i was smoking back then!

    Quote from jbdang

    negative:
    -away from bedside and critical thinking

    personally, don't miss bedside nursing at all, but it is hard to tell from your post what you're passionate about; however, if you're somebody that needs to be with patients all the times, then informatics might not be the right choice for you. but if you can do without bedside nursing, then it could be the right decision for you...

    and you might be surprised at how much critical thinking you used in informatics.

    Quote from jbdang

    negative:
    -bringing work home

    i rarely do this, but it is really how good and efficient you're at your job; for the most part, you have to draw the line and say, going home, can't do this anymore; but there are other times when you have a deadline and you definitely have to bring the work home, but many other times, you might have a short day as there is not much going on. kind of like nursing. you might have a busy day one day, but the next day, all the patients are behaving and you have a lot of time to socialize with your colleagues. peaks and valleys, just like anything else.





    i am an l&d nurse, 15 yrs experience and i am facing same decision. i agree with your pro's and con's list.
    i recently google'd some informatics job listings and was shocked to find that they appear to want it people who incidently have a nursing license rather than a good nurse who can do informatics. at least that is the impression i got.


    i would love to hear from anyone in the field ... any feedback.


    honestly, not sure how you were looking for jobs, or what job descriptions you were looking at, but there are plenty of jobs who want somebody with clinical experience and somewhat decent it skills.

    if your assumption was correct, then not many nurses would be in the field as most nurses, don't have it skills, unless they started as programmers/engineers, and then did a career switch to nursing.

    the opposite is true though...many it people with no clinical experience want to get into the informatics field, and many complain that they can't get a job because they don't have any clinical experience.

    and as far as being in debt for so many years...it really depends on how good you're in your role.

    i know of colleagues that started at the lowest position, and within 1 year, they got promoted because they excelled at what they did; 2 years later, they were making a lot more money than me because they got a new "managerial" position or they went into consulting.

    by the same token others just do what they need to do to survive and obviously all they do is complain that they don't get paid well enough.
    rninformatics likes this.
  10. 1
    i've gone from working 13 years in a combination of ob and case management to working in nursing informatics. don't think that you will automatically take a pay cut. the experience that you have gathered over 2 years of bedside nursing is very valuable to it and your pay should reflect that.

    i have the benefit of working part time in-house and i also work remotely from home as needed. i don't work full-time hours generally, but that is my choice. i work more hours when we are rolling out a project. it is very flexible which fits better into my schedule.

    you are right in saying that it is easier on the body....but don't negate the fact that once in it, it is hard to sit for such long periods of time staring at a computer! as a bedside nurse, you are used to being on the go for most of your shift. sitting for 8 hours a day is hard to get used to!

    your comment about not using critical thinking is not really accurate however. you will definitely still use that skill, although in a different way. the opportunities for challenge are around every corner and i encounter them on a regular basis.

    give it a shot and see what you think, would be my best advice. you are still very young and can always change your mind if you don't like it.....nurses do that all the time! i wish you the best of luck! :spin:

    rninformatics likes this.
  11. 0
    Thank you all for you input and valuable experience.

    So its been 1 week and i meet all my teammate and things are going pretty good. We haven't done any work yet, but meeting to get the feel for everyone and the plan.

    As for salary I am getting compensate better than what i was making working 3 days 12 shift per week. I confirm with the hospital that i can work weekend in ICU to maintain my clinical skills

    A part of me is telling me that this would be a great experience to venture off into non-clinical nursing. It will give me a better understanding of educational nursing, administrative nursing... since i will be working with them very closely. One thing you pin point it out that i did not realize before was the autonomy of the position . I know have a saying in that the new system will be like and what will be best for nurses on the floor.

    One thing that concern me is Once the system goes life and all the staff been train on the new system and everything is running at a smooth pace, than what....what will happen to me, there is no longer an immediate need for me and i dough that the hospital will keep me around if there is nothing to do?!

    I am fairly young and Only had 2 year of nursing under my felt and i felt that I have accomplish a lot in the past two year and in fact i think i might have moves from one area to another TOO FAST! A co-worker told me that sometime its not a matter of how much you have done it how many years you have spent in that specialty. Moving from one area to another in such a short amount of time will not insure my future employer that i am well committed to the job.

    If i had to go back to bedside nursing i would go back to ICU in a heart beat, but i feel that i have only have littler over a year of ICU nursing for me to go back to bedside it would be hard to be hire as an ICU RN.... these are all my concern that i have been having for the last few weeks.


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