Graduating soon from MSN Informatics program
- 0Apr 4, '12 by informaticsRN2BHello to all,
I am graduating from a MSN informatics program soon and I am very nervous about it. I have learned alot from the courses but when I read job descriptions on jobs i am interested in such as clinical systems analyst, business analyst, database analyst, ect... I feel like I am not or wasn't prepared for these jobs. I guess I am asking what can I do to prepare myself for a job in this field? I am buying resources in addition to the text books I already have to try to get more familiar with certain jobs that are an interest to me. I do not know what else to do. However, I am excited and look forward to working in this field of nursing.
If anyone has any suggestions, comments or ideas, please feel free to share them with me.
- 1Apr 10, '12 by ikarus7401Quote from informaticsRN2BHello to all,
I am graduating from a MSN informatics program soon and I am very nervous about it. I have learned alot from the courses but when I read job descriptions on jobs i am interested in such as clinical systems analyst, business analyst, database analyst, ect... I feel like I am not or wasn't prepared for these jobs. I guess I am asking what can I do to prepare myself for a job in this field?
I'm of the strong opinion that no informatics program out there will prepare you fully for a job, specially if you have no prior experience in the field.
Matter of fact, look back at your nursing school experience. You go through a few rotations of clinicals, but are those clinicals enough to prepare you for your nursing job?
When I got my computer science degree, there was one class (software engineering and design) that no matter how I studied, I could never do well on the exams, as the theory didn't make any sense to me.
Lo and behold, first job I ever get in IT, was working with a group who had to redesign software specs, configure testing environments, do user surveys, etc. A lot of the stuff that was covered in that class was actually what my first job in IT was about.
However, I was trained on the spot for the position, and after being on the job for 3 months, I went back and looked at my exams that I barely passed while in school, and I had to laugh because the tests were so basic, but yet, just reading the book never made the concepts any easier.
In other words, you could go out and read all the books out there on nursing informatics, and none of them will prepare you for the job. Think about it. Most likely you will be hired to work on a specific application, and that application, is proprietary, and like most of us, you will learn that application on the job.
Also, think about nursing school---when you graduated, did you go out and read every book on all the specialties out there to be ready for your first job? I sure didn't, and again, my first job was baptism by fire, and that's what also happened with my first "informatics" job: trained for the job, and baptism by fire, although I already had IT experience.
My recommendation would be to apply as many jobs as you can because what I have noticed when interviewing entry level candidates who have no experience in the field is that they lack a lot of confidence.
And that's why if I were in your shoes, I would apply to any job I can find, so that you get experienced interviewing, because guaranteed, your school didn't prepare you well for that.
When I was doing a computer science degree, I was working as a nurse, and I interviewed for a lot of technical jobs, even though compared to my fellow classmates, my background looked terrible.
Nonetheless, I was determined to apply as many jobs as possible, and get better at interviewing, because back then, I truly believed I didn't have the technical background to get a job in IT.
But even though I started with some horrible interviews, at the end, I was so good at them, that I actually had a couple of job offers, while my better prepared technical friends, were struggling to find a job.
So apply, interview, apply, interview, and eventually something will land.
- 0Apr 10, '12 by mariafhAre you looking for an analyst position within a hospital or with a vendor? Working as an analyst for a vendor requires a slightly different skill set, more closely aligned with system development, than an analyst within the hospital. If you are looking for a vendor position, then you need more exposure to the software development process. There are books, etc that have this more technical approach. Such as the System Analysis and Design by Whitten and Bentley which is the textbook used in these type of technical non-HIT classes. Although expensive, the older editions are more cost effective and still are good options. Yes, reading a lot of books won't give you the knowledge you need, though. As mentioned previously, lots of education is obtained on the job. I learned much more on the job than in school. But much of what I learned on the job was based upon and built upon what was learned in school. But the most challenging part is getting that job in the first place. Depending on your school experiences and whether you want a hospital position or vendor position, you may or may not be able to go directly into an analyst role. But if you can get a job within the same department/organization that is close to it, you can use that position to expand your knowledge base and use that position as a springboard into your desired position down the road.
- 1Apr 10, '12 by ikarus7401Quote from JustinAllenPersonally, I like to tell people to get involved with informatics even before they do a master's course.Ikarus,
Don't mean to derail this thread as it's a good one...but would you suggest working in the nursing informatics field while going through a Masters course...or stay on the clinical side.
You don't need a master's to get a job in nursing informatics, but if you're already doing one, then get involved with informatics while doing your masters, if you can, of course.
Hospitals have a tendency to prefer candidates with previous experience in the field.
For example, assume person A worked as a superuser in a hospital using picis. Hospital xyz is looking for an entry level Picis analyst. Person B has a master's degree but no experience at all, not even as a superuser with any application. Hospital xyz will most likely lean to hiring person A. (Simple example, not concrete evidence of anything).
Also, person A will do a lot better in the interview because of that past experience.
Vendors on the other hand are not as picky. I participated in the recruitment process for a major vendor, and their instructions were, 'clinical background is nice, but we can train anybody in any clinical workflow.'
Clinicians hate to hear that, but go to any major vendor and do a survey of the number of clinicians going out and implementing software as compared to the number of clinicians doing the same. Yes, nice to have clinicians doing it, but some vendors are known for going out and recruiting students of any major and training them to implement their applications.
And just my personal story, when I was trying to get my first job in 'informatics', many hospitals turned me down because they said, 'you have IT experience and nursing experience, but you never implemented a project at a hospital.'
A vendor came along and said, you have the perfect skills we need, and they hired me in a matter of a week.
7 years later, and I still see hospitals turning down candidates because they don't have a clinical background or 'hospital' experience.
Even though I'm a clinician, my mentality is different because I was trained by a vendor to train non-clinicians and many of these non-clinicians turned out to be great 'learners' of clinical workflows, and they are out there doing an incredible job.