Career Advice

  1. This is sort of a follow up to a question in another thread, but I wanted to give more background so I thought i'd start anew.

    I graduated with a BBA in MIS in 1999, started working in IT Consulting for 3 years before I was let go due to cutbacks etc. I didn't work for quite sometime and really let depression and all that good stuff get ahold of me for quite awhile. Now that I am done with my pity party, I am at a crossroads of how to further my career. I have debated giving up IT all together, but I really do enjoy it so I don't think in the long run I would be happy with that. From what I can tell, Healthcare seems to be one field that is still growing etc. One thought of mine was to get a Masters in Bio/Health/Clinical Informatics, however I don't feel that would necessarily distinguish me from all the other IT folks trying to get into healthcare. My other option would be to get my BSN or MSN in Nursing, gain experience, then switch back over.

    I have read in a few threads that it is not necessary to be a Nurse but I am sort of thinking that with the field being new and growing that if I were to get the experience now that I could be in the mix of things. Healthcare is not completely foreign too me b/c I debated between Pre-Med and IT initially, and IT won out.

    Thanks
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   rninformatics
    I understand your dilemma. I'd caution you entering nursing school unless one of your driving desires is to practice as a hands-on clinician. Getting your RN and going from a novice to an experienced clinician is...."more than a notion" as my grandmother use to say, LOL.

    The actual education involved and practice of nursing along with the stressors, challenges and rewards should not be taken lightly - if you go into nursing go into nursing for its own sake not in preparation to leave it.

    Angela


    Quote from senimoni
    This is sort of a follow up to a question in another thread, but I wanted to give more background so I thought i'd start anew.

    I graduated with a BBA in MIS in 1999, started working in IT Consulting for 3 years before I was let go due to cutbacks etc. I didn't work for quite sometime and really let depression and all that good stuff get ahold of me for quite awhile. Now that I am done with my pity party, I am at a crossroads of how to further my career. I have debated giving up IT all together, but I really do enjoy it so I don't think in the long run I would be happy with that. From what I can tell, Healthcare seems to be one field that is still growing etc. One thought of mine was to get a Masters in Bio/Health/Clinical Informatics, however I don't feel that would necessarily distinguish me from all the other IT folks trying to get into healthcare. My other option would be to get my BSN or MSN in Nursing, gain experience, then switch back over.

    I have read in a few threads that it is not necessary to be a Nurse but I am sort of thinking that with the field being new and growing that if I were to get the experience now that I could be in the mix of things. Healthcare is not completely foreign too me b/c I debated between Pre-Med and IT initially, and IT won out.

    Thanks
    Last edit by rninformatics on Jul 16, '04 : Reason: typo
  4. by   drivm1
    Hi to this forum. I am posting for the first time. I have followed some of the career advice thread below and am in a similar quandary with respect to placement. However, I took time out to raise a family, follow my husband in the army to Europe for 10 years to return 4 years ago. Am a PhD, MPH, RN (AD) with lots of academic research experience and Health Informatics/ QA/PI modeling. Am interested in going back to the hospital environment and have found no takers. My education appears to be a black mark against me in the nursing world as well......have not had any responses as I do not have a MSN...
    Am I the only one with the perception that special interest groups are using ideology to keep nurses in floor nursing at the lowest possible pay?

    Any ideas on career options without resorting to a refresher course at >$1600 and per diem med-surg? I would appreciate any help with this issue. You could also contact me offline at drivm1@optonline.net
  5. by   rninformatics
    You wrote you have been out of the USA and out of clinical practice for 10 yrs? When you wrote you wanted to go back to the hospital enviroment did you mean bedside nursing? If so a refresher course at minimum is needed.

    You wrote you have not had any "takers" and have past experience in " academic research and Health Informatics/ QA/PI modeling" how long ago and doing exactly what?. Perhaps potential employers are viewing your past experiences as primarily QA/PI statistical work and not informatics. I am surpised you've had no takers if this experience is recent. Perhaps you are not highlighting (in your resume) exactly what these past contributions were? Perhaps you are applying for positions that are more technically focused or more systems implementation and evaluation focused? I'd think your credentials and experience would make you a good candidate for an academic teaching position but understand there may be a problem there too if your MS is not in nursing. What is your Phd focus? Have you investigated positions in public health instead of acute care?
    Angela

    Quote from drivm1
    Hi to this forum. I am posting for the first time. I have followed some of the career advice thread below and am in a similar quandary with respect to placement. However, I took time out to raise a family, follow my husband in the army to Europe for 10 years to return 4 years ago. Am a PhD, MPH, RN (AD) with lots of academic research experience and Health Informatics/ QA/PI modeling. Am interested in going back to the hospital environment and have found no takers. My education appears to be a black mark against me in the nursing world as well......have not had any responses as I do not have a MSN...
    Any ideas on career options without resorting to a refresher course at >$1600 and per diem med-surg? I would appreciate any help with this issue. You could also contact me offline at drivm1@optonline.net
  6. by   senimoni
    I def don't take it lightly. I look at it as a challenge. I don't really see it any differently than CRNA's who need a year of ICU experience, in my case it may take 2 or 3 years but I think it will make me that much better of an "informacist" if you will. I wish I new someone who was a recruiter for a lot of these positions and could tell me whether NI trumps HI/CI/BI as far as ability to get IT job in healthcare or hospital.
  7. by   Mariah
    Senimoni - What a nurse with a nursing informatics background does in IT may be different than what an regular IT person does. There is some overlap in job responsibilities, particularly in the areas of system analysis and design and project management in the hospital. Of course, it depends a lot on the organization. I'm not sure what aspects of IT you particularly like but you want to be sure that a NI nurse does those things. IT could mean a lot of things, from doing system backups as a system administrator to architecting a new system as part of an R&D team. Otherwise, the nursing degree doesn't make sense. I found that my nursing education was more stressful and more difficult than my computer science education. It requires that you enjoy, thrive, and value direct physical patient care. But, it can be done. A nursing degree may give you an edge for an IT job in health care informatics, but it is on par with the right technology background as well (ie .NET, xml, etc) and it depends on what IT jobs you are looking for. Vendor versus hospital jobs also vary on priorities. For It health care positions, check out himss.org job bank to get an idea of job requirements.
  8. by   LuLuinNC
    Hi all,
    I am new to the forum..
    I got my BS in Computer Science and decided that i wanted to go back to school for B.S. in Nursing as Second Career.

    I've read a couple of entries regarding the area of Nurse Informatics.
    My question is: Can I just use my Nursing degree and my previous BS to get those positions? or do i have to go get a masters in Nurse informatics?

    I was also wondering about the whole field. Is it pretty diverse? or would someone simply be writing code for medical software?
  9. by   rninformatics
    Hi Lulu,

    In answer to your first question: No its not "necessary" to get a Masters in NI to practice in this specialty. Read more of the posts and you will see that many Informatics Nurses got their starts via on the job training - such as myself.
    This is a very diverse specialty. Few Informatics Nurses write code - thats more of a pure programmer job but what you will find are nurses in research and development who evaluate and test out the applications or provide input related to design spefications/development, etc.
    Please take a look at the subtopics on this forum to learn more about the subspecialties within NI and contact:

    North Carolina State Nurses Association Council on Nursing Informatics (CONI) (www.unc.edu/%7Edbailey1/CONI/)
    Area: North Carolina, USA
    Contact: Kay Lytle, Chair, klytle@unch.unc.edu
    Berit Jasion, Vice Chair, jasio001@mc.duke.edu
    Sally Kellum, Secretary, sally.kellum@med.va.gov
    Sheila Englebardt, Member at Large, senglebardt@nc.rr.com
    Ellie Callahan-Hunt, Member at Large, ellie@toolshed.com
    Established 1993


    thats your local NI organization above. Feel free to e-mail me if you have additional questions.
    Angela


    Quote from LuLuinNC
    Hi all,
    I am new to the forum..
    I got my BS in Computer Science and decided that i wanted to go back to school for B.S. in Nursing as Second Career.

    I've read a couple of entries regarding the area of Nurse Informatics.
    My question is: Can I just use my Nursing degree and my previous BS to get those positions? or do i have to go get a masters in Nurse informatics?

    I was also wondering about the whole field. Is it pretty diverse? or would someone simply be writing code for medical software?
    Last edit by rninformatics on Jul 22, '04
  10. by   senimoni
    Do you have in any more specific contacts similar to those above for the Ohio area, Columbus specifically.

    Thanks
  11. by   rninformatics
    Informatics Nurses From Ohio (INFO) (http://dlthede.net/INFO/INFO.htm)
    Area: Ohio, USA
    Contact: Cynthia Struk, President, cstruk@vnacleveland.org
    Linda Thede, Past President, lqthede@alltel.net
    Anna Mary Bowers, Vice President, ibgroovy@adelphia.net
    Julie McAfooes, Secretary, mcafooes@fitne.net
    Vida Svarcas, Treasurer, v.svarcas@csuohio.edu
    Carol Petrusky, Member at Large, cpetrusky0418@hotmail.com
    Membership $25 for two years, Established 1998


    Quote from senimoni
    Do you have in any more specific contacts similar to those above for the Ohio area, Columbus specifically.

    Thanks
  12. by   LuLuinNC
    Quote from rninformatics
    Hi Lulu,

    In answer to your first question: No its not "necessary" to get a Masters in NI to practice in this specialty. Read more of the posts and you will see that many Informatics Nurses got their starts via on the job training - such as myself.
    This is a very diverse specialty. Few Informatics Nurses write code - thats more of a pure programmer job but what you will find are nurses in research and development who evaluate and test out the applications or provide input related to design spefications/development, etc.
    Please take a look at the subtopics on this forum to learn more about the subspecialties within NI and contact:

    North Carolina State Nurses Association Council on Nursing Informatics (CONI) (www.unc.edu/%7Edbailey1/CONI/)
    Area: North Carolina, USA
    Contact: Kay Lytle, Chair, klytle@unch.unc.edu
    Berit Jasion, Vice Chair, jasio001@mc.duke.edu
    Sally Kellum, Secretary, sally.kellum@med.va.gov
    Sheila Englebardt, Member at Large, senglebardt@nc.rr.com
    Ellie Callahan-Hunt, Member at Large, ellie@toolshed.com
    Established 1993


    thats your local NI organization above. Feel free to e-mail me if you have additional questions.
    Angela
    Wow Angela!! You are Da Bomb!!!!
  13. by   rninformatics
    LOL, thanks LuLu
  14. by   ksmith1963
    Quote from rninformatics
    I understand your dilemma. I'd caution you entering nursing school unless one of your driving desires is to practice as a hands-on clinician. Getting your RN and going from a novice to an experienced clinician is...."more than a notion" as my grandmother use to say, LOL.

    The actual education involved and practice of nursing along with the stressors, challenges and rewards should not be taken lightly - if you go into nursing go into nursing for its own sake not in preparation to leave it.

    Angela
    Angela's advice is "right on"
    Get a copy of "What Color is Your Parachute" ( or other career and job seeking books). Take an inventory of "what you want to do when you grow up". Then look at the job postings in your career field and the requirements. Target your educational based on the ideal job.

    Go to your local hospital and ask to interview the CIO and or analysis (an informational interview - not a job interview) Ask what skills the CIO looks for when he's hiring.

    If you want a job in healthcare IT - join an organization like HIMSS http://www.himss.org

    Go to your local university/college talk to the healthcare IT instructors - you'll get a good idea of the skill set you need for your new career.

    Good luck.

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