Quote from Purple_Scrubs
I And although I am good with software, computer hardware baffles me completely.
Would a MSN in informatics be enough training for someone with my background to be successful, or do most come into the field with a working knowledge of computer science already? Is it possible to combine NI with nursing education (which was what I had planned on getting my master's in until this recent debaucle)? Are work from home (all or part) positions in this field few and far between, or is this fairly common? Thanks!
I'll reply based on my experience in the field. Unless you're doing hardware programming or interface programming, or maybe assembly language programming, or hardcore database setup, you don't have to worry about computer hardware. Most informatics jobs involve software support or configuration or requirements analysis. My job is not to go around and assemble computers or build databases, although I could if i had to, but mainly is to configure applications, train users, gather user requirements, provide telephone support to users, etc.
So from that perspective, you seem to be well qualified for the profession (in terms of being good with software). However, that is not to say others don't do that, but of all the hospitals I currently work with, many have their own tech support group which deals with hardware issues, and these are the people that mainly have technical background and no clinical background.
As far as the degree----that degree is good enough I suppose. I've seen plenty of candidates apply for jobs that have zero technical experience, but they show initiative in their interviews that they have participated in other computer projects, and some hospitals will say, we can train that person. IT experience is not necessary.
However, the NI field right now is a bit more competitive lets say than it was 10 years ago, so right now you actually see some people applying to jobs, and these people have informatics degrees. Something that was not seen 10 years ago, so maybe the degree gives you a bit of an advantage.
Nonetheless, I'm a firm believer that you could get a job if you take the initiative to look for one right now, and market yourself well for the job. Just know that they will ask you in the interview---why do you think you're qualified for this position? Or some question along those lines. The simple response of, I'm good with computers, or I like computers, won't cut it.
And working from home is possible, but depends on hospitals. There are networks of hospitals that let you work remotely after being in the position for 6 months, and there are other hospitals that don't even know what working remotely means. Hell, I'll say that the older the group running the IT department, the less chances of working remotely.
Also, some vendors have positions where your work is remote, although of course, you need the experience and good reputation for those roles. And I have seen people be so good at what they do that when they quit, the hospital goes as far as offer them remote work so that they can still be part of the group.
And as far as combining NI with nursing education----not sure that that is really asking, but you could become a software trainer. There are hospitals that hire for that specific role.
But yes, you could be applying for jobs right now! No joke.