I've been an L&D nurse for about 5 years now, and am starting to really dislike it, mostly because I don't want to do bedside nursing anymore. I used to work with computers (doing low-end graphic design/desktop publishing and digital output) and I'm considering a career path in nursing informatics, because I like the idea of information management, organization and research. Many people on this site have recommended becoming a super user, but how does one do that? My hospital is about to start converting to computerized patient charts, and the L&D department has asked for people who want to "be involved in the initiative" (more details weren't given), so I signed up my name.... Last year our department went from paper charting to a temporary computerized charting system (OBIX) but they never had any super users. I know this conversion is going to happen over the next year, but I don't know how much computer stuff we'll actually get to do. My brain tells me to wait it out and see, but I also feel like I can't handle another day in L&D and have even applied for case management positions, just to get out of L&D. So how else can I get to be a super user? Any suggestions? Thank you, anyone!
Mar 5, '13
My background is a system admin (yes, a big career change if I'm accepted into nursing school) with a focus on security.
A super user by definition is someone who has been given the authority (typically via specific user / login credentials) to have (usually) complete access to the system.
Typically a person with super user privileges has two login credentials -- regular user (sometimes with escalating privileges often referred to as "power user") and super user.
The idea is that you should only be logged into the system as super user to perform specific tasks requiring those privileges; and, then be logged in as a regular user to perform every day days not requiring super user rights.
In my experience, a super user should have an in-depth understanding and working knowledge of the operating system, the applications installed, and the network / hardware infrastructure.
Failure to have that knowledge on an very through level often leads to security holes, a compromised system (security and working).
Mar 5, '13
Thanks for your quick reply! I think I should have been more specific in my question....I know what a super user is, but I'm wondering how I can be one. I haven't seen any job postings for "super users" at nearby hospitals. Are they contract jobs? Or do you have to just be in the right place at the right time, i.e., happen to be moving to a computerized system at your hospital? Does that clarify what I mean? Also, I'll mention I have a BSN, but no Computer Science degree.
Mar 5, '13
Typically the job description is for a "system administrator" or "it administrator" and the like. For some areas, "Manager of IT" might be applicable as well.
I apologize that I don't know the answer to how hospitals advertise; while I worked other jobs since (though currently unemployed), when I was the Manager of IT at a visiting nurse association, the job was advertised through the paper.
What I recommend doing is calling up some local hospitals asking how they advertise for IT-based positions. Locate that source, then read up on their requirements.
Mar 5, '13
I've been a trainer for 5 years. A super user gets a little more in depth training, as well as the ability to audit training sessions to observe the program. Super users are current employees from specific units that are going live. You could find out if your facility is looking for certified or credentialed trainers during the early process of implementation. I know many nurses that were pulled from their units to be super users and did not want to go back to bedside nursing. In those cases, they joined the informatics department at their facility. Good luck.
Mar 9, '13
Easiest way to become a super user is to volunteer to be one. When I'm out on the floors implementing applications nurses come up and tell me that they would like to train others when the next deployment of an application happens, so I get their number and when we need help, I call them up. Funny enough, we never have enough volunteers though. So that's my suggestion to be one. STart where you work by asking your informatics department on how to become a super user/trainer/helper/tester/whatever! That's how many nurses start out---training or helping others in their own units.
Mar 12, '13
I agree with ikarus7401. I am a super user at my workplace. Just talk to someone from the informatics department and let them know you want to be a super user. I did the same. I wasn't called for a while even though they had new programs started and they needed super users. I called/emailed my NI director and I am back as a super user. It benefits me since I want to start my MSN in NI. Actively looking out for the best schools/program. Good luck in becoming a super user!
Mar 15, '13
I got my MS in Nursing (online) from UC Denver with a concentration in healthcare informatics. Send me a message if you have any questions about the program.
Mar 19, '13
Thanks InformaticsRN.MA!! I do have questions. But I cannot send messages yet. Once I can, I will Inbox/Message you. THANKS AGAIN!
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