how much bedside experience is necessary before moving to informatics?

  1. 0
    Hi all,

    I'm a 2nd degree new grad who just started in the ED. Informatics is where I'd like to end up, and I'm wondering how long I should remain in the ED before I begin job hunting. I've heard 1-2 years of bedside experience is ideal from some, yet an IT manager at a big name hospital said he would hire me straight out of school without any actual "nursing" experience.

    I'd love to hear from those of you in the field --- at what point in your nursing career did you make the transition? How much does/doesn't your bedside experience impact your current job functions?

    Thanks in advance.
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  3. 7 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I believe there was somebody who posted here recently who said they were also hired out of nursing school, with zero bedside experience.

    While working, I personally met one person with that same situation, but the difference was that he had a programming degree and the hospital offered him an interface job, which is really more on the IT/programming side of the hospital.

    As far as experience, you get all types of opinions. I have worked with vendors who specialize in hiring people without any healthcare background and they train them on healthcare and their applications and I have many friends who are doing quite well without any experience as a nurse or even experience in healthcare.

    Then you will meet nursing directors or nursing managers working in informatics who will tell you that without nursing experience, you can't get a job as you will not do well in your job, and thus, you need a minimum of at least 2 years of bedside nursing to be able to function in the field.

    Obviously, since I have seen how those without nursing experience do just as well if not better than those with nursing experience, I personally tend to be more open minded about nurses who don't have much nursing experience. But nowadays you have so many people going into the field, and if you come in with 3 months of nursing experience, while another candidate comes in with the same credentials with 3 years of nursing experience, then you're not going to do so well in that type of hiring environment.

    But obviously, if you know somebody who said they will hire you with no experience, I would go and get that job because many candidates have been looking for jobs and they can't get a break or it takes them a while to get in the field.
  5. 1
    I interviewed for a position on Monday and the manager said he was comfortable hiring someone with zero experience because all the training would happen on the job.
    born2circulateRN likes this.
  6. 0
    thank you both for your feedback! i'm looking into a couple of opportunities now, and trying to tweak my resume. will search the forums for some tips on that, given i have little IT experience to speak of aside from being generally tech savvy.
  7. 0
    Do you know employers there who would hire a bsn grad like me to get into informatics? And maybe sponsor me?
  8. 0
    They can train you on the computer but they cannot train you to be a nurse. And how can you build end user documentation without having used it in the past and know and understand what needs to be documented? I have been a nurse for 18 years and just now transitioning into the Clinical IT role. And I have no idea how someone without experience could ever do it properly. I have seen it not work with an outsider coming in. Must have that end user experience.
  9. 0
    Quote from HeatherD
    I have been a nurse for 18 years and just now transitioning into the Clinical IT role. And I have no idea how someone without experience could ever do it properly. I have seen it not work with an outsider coming in. Must have that end user experience.
    It is not that difficult to teach a non-clinical person on what nurses do or what they document. Vendors do this all the time and matter of fact, one of my job roles used to be precisely that---give a class to non-clinicians on how to use a system. Believe it or not, there are many people out there who can pick the information up and some geniuses, do better than nurses.

    But if so called outsiders were incapable of building a clinical system, then many vendors would have gone out of business long ago, since many of their implementation analysts are not even nurses. Shocking!
  10. 0
    To be certified, they want you to have your bachelors and masters.

    Most companies just want at least 2 years in nursing.


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