Applying for Online College

  1. 0
    I am applying at Western Governer's University for a BS in Health Informatics. The degree includes certification exams for:
    • CIW Web Foundations Associate
    • CompTIA A+
    • CompTIA Project+
    • Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Database Administration Fundamentals
    • AHIMA Certified Coding Associate (CCA)
    I am currently working as a Clinical Information Specialist with no prior IT background. I have an ADN Nursing degree as an RN. I feel that this degree will be very beneficial to my career and possibly advancements in the future.

    I'm planning to talk to an advisor today and ask about transcripts and how current classes have to be, testing centers, etc. Is there anything specific to this degree that I should be asking about?
  2. 11 Comments so far...

  3. 1
    I have a question for you related to your degree choice and what your future career goals are. Are you looking to work as a PC tech or in programming as this course seems concentrated in those areas.
    As I look at the certificate exams I am wondering where or how you will be utilizing the AHIMA coding certificate. Are you planning on working in medical records coding charts?
    tvccrn likes this.
  4. 0
    I was wondering the same thing after looking at what they offer. While those certificates are nice, they seem more along the lines of a PC tech. Have you considered any other online programs?
  5. 0
    I am also considering WGU, but I am thinking that their RN-BSN completion program will allow me more flexibility in my future. I am currently working as a clinical applications analyst, building and supporting Epic's OpTime and Anesthesia modules. My thinking is that the BSN will open more doors in the future. If I do decide to specialize in informatics, I would prefer to do it at the graduate level.
  6. 0
    These certifications are only a part of the program, there is a lot more to the program. This is the guidebook for this program. I live in a small rural area and have no intention of moving, I'm close to my family here and what my kids to grow up here. Getting my BSN in Nursing does not improve my wages and all the surrounding hospitals are small CAHs, so even if I were to change places of employment it wouldn't change that much. I'm working in the IT department now and plan to stay here. I haven't found much else for online programs, I am open to suggestions!
  7. 0
    nkochrn,
    I guess what all the previous replies to your orginal post were asking was what are your career goals. Frequently we find that studens confusion informatics with medical records and we wanted clarification as to what what your concentration and career goals were. I've heard a lot of good things about Western Governors State University - Washington.

    Good Luck!
    Last edit by rninformatics on Jan 31, '12 : Reason: typos
  8. 0
    To better understand your career track Circulator,RN what are your future career goals?
    What is your next career role? Do you ultimately want to be a manager, director? If so of what? Do you want to teach nursing OR nursing informatics? Do you want to be a project manager, a CIO or CNIO, what?
    Also think about broadening your degree to perhaps clinical or healthcare informatics? Why a BSN as apposed to a bridge masters program? What about an MSN/MBA? There are a lot of options out there.
  9. 0
    Thank you for the great questions, rninformatics. I've written, and re-written this email six times, attempting to answer them. I honestly am not sure what I want to wind up doing. I enjoyed the rush of running a trauma room, but I also enjoy the autonomy and creative problem-solving of my current position. If I continue with the informatics track, which I believe that I will, I would like to work as a CNIO eventually. In the short-term, I am interested in working as an analyst, possibly as a consultant. I have had to think very carefully about these possibilities lately. I interviewed for a position as an analyst in a much larger health system (22 hospitals larger than my current system), and I have also been approached by a consulting firm to serve as a principal trainer on a go-live. I am carefully weighing both of these options.

    I love the idea of a dual MSN/MBA. I've been considering completing a BSN and going on to an MBA. My best friend's mother is a Hopkins grad, and she's mentioned several times the informatics program there, as well. That would require a Bachelor's degree of some sort. Are you familiar with the bridge masters programs? Are graduates regarded in the same way as people who have followed a more traditional path?

    Thank you again for your insightful questions. You really struck at the heart of my current dilemma, whether intentional or not.

    Warmest regards,
    Circulator, RN
  10. 2
    you are to be commended for your introspection and serious consideration of your own future goals. many are not as diligent as you.
    i'm going to share some things i wish someone had advised me of when i was making future career goals. think about which path will give you both opportunities and marketability. by that i mean which degree and future roles will add to your marketability and hire ability as a professional. which degree and future roles will pave the way to your next and next job role?
    i don't know of anyone who has been asked "was your degree a bridge program or traditional" questions related to advance degrees are limited to accreditation and school/institution's reputation. if you obtain your degree from an accredited school no problems and it does not have to be from a hopkins or duke (both well respected and excellent institutions, if one can afford them). any degree is a considerable financial and time investment and you want to get as much bang for your buck as possible.

    choose the program who's class content focuses on the areas you are looking for - informatics and leadership. choose your next job role(s) that will sharpen both those skills and other skill sets that will be needed for your ultimate cnio role. both the analyst role at a larger hospital and a consulting role would/could do this. remember with consulting there is the potential to be associated with only one vendor product - and this may be okay for 1 or 2 years to get the experience but think about it.
    remember to think big picture and broad as opposed to one vendor or one type of application - unless you want to work for a vendor. with your critical care/ed background - have you looked at roles working for ed vendors? another option.

    you want your skill set to cross vendor products and platforms to capitalize on marketability, hire ability and leadership.

    another point about working consulting - its harder than folks think related to the time commitment and travel requirements - so think about that and going to school at the same time. talk to me before you take the consulting role - i want to make sure you understand about "being on the bench" and what those ramifications can be.
    make sure you look at degree programs that also give you the most flexibility i.e. distance education so you can participate no matter where you live.
    good luck!




    Quote from circulator, rn
    thank you for the great questions, rninformatics. i've written, and re-written this email six times, attempting to answer them. i honestly am not sure what i want to wind up doing. i enjoyed the rush of running a trauma room, but i also enjoy the autonomy and creative problem-solving of my current position. if i continue with the informatics track, which i believe that i will, i would like to work as a cnio eventually. in the short-term, i am interested in working as an analyst, possibly as a consultant. i have had to think very carefully about these possibilities lately. i interviewed for a position as an analyst in a much larger health system (22 hospitals larger than my current system), and i have also been approached by a consulting firm to serve as a principal trainer on a go-live. i am carefully weighing both of these options.

    i love the idea of a dual msn/mba. i've been considering completing a bsn and going on to an mba. my best friend's mother is a hopkins grad, and she's mentioned several times the informatics program there, as well. that would require a bachelor's degree of some sort. are you familiar with the bridge masters programs? are graduates regarded in the same way as people who have followed a more traditional path?

    thank you again for your insightful questions. you really struck at the heart of my current dilemma, whether intentional or not.

    warmest regards,
    circulator, rn
    Last edit by rninformatics on Feb 1, '12 : Reason: multiple typos
    Info(RN)matics and helper117 like this.
  11. 0
    This is very sensible and sound advice!

    Quote from rninformatics
    Choose your next job role(s) that will sharpen both those skills and other skill sets that will be needed for your ultimate CNIO role - both the analyst role at a larger hospital and a consulting role would/could do this.

    Remember, with consulting, there is the potential to be associated with only one vendor product - and this may be okay for 1 or 2 years to get the experience, but think about it.

    Remember to think about the 'big picture' and broadly as opposed to just one vendor or one type of application - unless of course, you want to work for a specific vendor.

    You would want your skill set to cross vendor products and platforms to capitalize on marketability, hire-ability, and leadership.


    What are some of the ways we can go about acquiring and building a skill-set that crosses multiple vendor products and platforms?

    Given the following scenario:
    - MSN-prepared, ANCC-certified, self-taught, clinical analyst in the suburbs of New York City with two years experience in end-user training, and building, maintenance, troubleshooting, and issue-management using GUI tools for Cerner's applications for the Surgery Department and the Emergency Department.

    - Not interested in relocation or travel-intensive roles since family is a priority

    What are some of the best approaches towards the goals of professional role development, career advancement, and better pay when there is no further scope for growth with the current employer?

    Last edit by Info(RN)matics on Jan 18


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