Is there a shortage or glut of nurses in informatics? - page 2

I really don't know what or who to believe. I just heard an acquaintance say that there is a glut of IT workers (this includes the growing community of health IT workers), yet I thought I read... Read More

  1. by   rninformatics
    Greetings and Welcome Maxidred!

    EMR = Electronic Medical Record
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Medical_Record


    Quote from maxidred
    What exactly is an EMR?

    I am currently taking my prerequisites for an RN Associates degree. I have alway been interested in IT. I did some classes in oracle years ago. I am currently working as a secretary in a hospital while my Union helps me pay for my nursing education. A nurse executive told me about the field of Nursing Informatics and told me I should look into after I finished my associates.

    I am blessed to have discovered this website. Thank you all for all the information you have provided.
  2. by   rickparrott
    I am interested in Clinical Informatics also. I have a background in the mainstream IT field as a technical support specialist, network administrator and IT manager. (Why change careers? OUTSOURCING!)

    I am currently finishing up the Army LPN program and will be returning to San Antonio. I have already started on my RN/ADN program. Should be complete by the end of 2009.

    I want to leverage my IT experience and I know I can bring a lot of knowledge to the Health IT field, but how do I break in?

    Is it Nursing Informatics? Clinical Informatics? or Medical Informatics? Do I need to be an RN or is an LVN good enough to start? It seems to me that the definition of "Informatics" is very fluid and/or undefined!

    HELP!
  3. by   SuesquatchRN
    Yes.



    Volunteer to work on something with the IT staff when you get there.
  4. by   rninformatics
    Greetings Rickparrott,

    The International Medical Informatics Association defined NI in 1998
    The American Nurses Association originally defined Nursing Informatics in 2001
    So the "definition" of nursing informatics is specific and defined. There is also healthcare, dental, medical and clincal "Informatics" ...........think about the area of practice or the scientific discipline (example nursing) and then combine that with "informatics" Depending on the role it may be nursing, medical or clinical informatics. Do your research to learn the differences........and similarities.

    You do not have to be an RN to practice in the specialty of NI ......if you want to pursue an MSN degree on the other hand, yes you need an RN. Are there more opportunities for RNs as apposed to LPNs/LVNs in the specialty of NI? Yes. There are also opportunities in medical, clinical informatics and the other subspecialties of Informatics.
    I can also tell you that this specialty is not just about having a strong background in IT but also having a strong background in clinical nursing practice and being able to combine the two to improve patient care, nursing practice and healthcare delivery.

    Decide first what exactly it is you want to do or how specifically you think you can bring "knowledge to the Health IT field". Are you interested in training users to use HIT?

    Quote from rickparrott
    I am interested in Clinical Informatics also. I have a background in the mainstream IT field as a technical support specialist, network administrator and IT manager. (Why change careers? OUTSOURCING!)

    I am currently finishing up the Army LPN program and will be returning to San Antonio. I have already started on my RN/ADN program. Should be complete by the end of 2009.

    I want to leverage my IT experience and I know I can bring a lot of knowledge to the Health IT field, but how do I break in?

    Is it Nursing Informatics? Clinical Informatics? or Medical Informatics? Do I need to be an RN or is an LVN good enough to start? It seems to me that the definition of "Informatics" is very fluid and/or undefined!

    HELP!
    Last edit by rninformatics on Dec 4, '08 : Reason: cause
  5. by   rickparrott
    Actually, I would love to train customers in the HIT field.

    I do understand that I will need to gain clinical experience to balance out my IT background, but I do not plan to wait several years to gain that experience.

    And yes, I do have a lot of knowledge to bring to the table. I have been working for over 30 years, the last 15 in Information Technology.

    I do appreciate you helping me out!

    Thanks!
  6. by   perseus29
    Quote from rickparrott
    Actually, I would love to train customers in the HIT field.

    I do understand that I will need to gain clinical experience to balance out my IT background, but I do not plan to wait several years to gain that experience.

    And yes, I do have a lot of knowledge to bring to the table. I have been working for over 30 years, the last 15 in Information Technology.

    I do appreciate you helping me out!

    Thanks!
    My first degree was nursing, then it was computer science; i was working for an IT company, and when i was interviewing for clinical it positions, even though i had been a nurse for 5 years, and been doing IT for 2, i always got turned down by interviewers because they would tell me that i had never implemented a project at a hospital; crazy. Of course, i kept on applying and applying, til i finally got a job, so yea, you don't need years of clinical experience, but if you can get yourself on a project at a hospital---maybe as a superuser---then that would give you tons of credibility when interviewing.
    As i have said in many of my posts, i know many people that got into the informatics field with zero clinical background, but you do have to create your opportunities in this field because many of the people in the field do want that clinical background, but I've worked with many hospitals that have people in the team that have zero clinical background, or they recruited nurses that had zero IT background.
    Good luck!
  7. by   S-Rank
    Hi everyone,
    I wanted to know in which clinical area would you recommend to get experience to specialize in nursing informatics
  8. by   rninformatics
    Greetings S-Rank,

    I dont think there is any one particular practice area that will give you more experience than another. Through clinical experience you obtain the fundamentals of how nursing is practiced and how healthcare works. Through clinical practice you learn how to work as a team playing, how to work independently; you learn problem solving, critical thinking, thinking outside the box, leadership skills, change management, how to communicate, prioritization and much more. Nursing practice teaches you these skills and more.......... on a level far above and beyond studying theory and (in my humble opinion) because of the sometimes life and death nature of our work environment at a more complex level than a few other professions. Lets face it, as a nurse if you f___ up it could very well mean the end of someone's life ..............right? A nurse who has gone beyond the novice level of clinical practice (no matter his/her clinical specialty area) is the foundation of a potentially excellent informaticist.


    Quote from S-Rank
    Hi everyone,
    I wanted to know in which clinical area would you recommend to get experience to specialize in nursing informatics
    Last edit by rninformatics on Dec 16, '08 : Reason: cause
  9. by   Atheos
    Quote from vlntrnurs
    To become an informatics nurse, you need IT and clinical nursing experience.
    Question...

    I am workign on my RN right now.

    I don't have 'formal' IT experience and no IT degree but I can spit out optimized SQL queries in my sleep, program in several languages and traverse secured networks with my eyes closed.

    Not to mention all the mundane stuff.

    Is the formal experience as necessary or required as the actual skill?

    Never really was interested in informatics before (due mainly to ignorance of the field) but it is looking more and more interesting.

    I am really wondering if I should work on some kind of Comp. Sci or Eng. degree simultaneously with my RN so that I will have a second degree by the time I have a few years experience as an RN.
  10. by   rninformatics
    Greetings Stanley-RN2B,

    Yes the formal experience of having practiced as a clinician is usually a position requirement and one that increases your credibility and your ability to practice as an informaticist ............but it does all depend on the specific position/role.
    I definately know that the skill of query writing is a valuable one in several roles within this specialty.
    Programming is done by programmers for vendors and not usually in IT departments in hospitals, physciains offices or other healthcare organizations. So if you want to write code for a vendor then thats the way to go.
    I think in addition to clinical credentials an IT degree would increase your marketability.
    Getting an aditional CS, IT, Eng degree should be connected to exactly what it is you want to do and in which direction you want to take your career. Good Luck!

    Quote from Stanley-RN2B
    Question...

    I am workign on my RN right now.

    Is the formal experience as necessary or required as the actual skill?

    Never really was interested in informatics before (due mainly to ignorance of the field) but it is looking more and more interesting.

    I am really wondering if I should work on some kind of Comp. Sci or Eng. degree simultaneously with my RN so that I will have a second degree by the time I have a few years experience as an RN.
  11. by   SuesquatchRN
    Stan, I TODAY faxed my application for the www.wxcelsior.edu RN-MSN in informatics.

    Really, the degree for you to get is the BSN so that you can get advanced practice certs with less of a problem, or even become a practitioner should you so desire. In my not so humble opinion, of course.

  12. by   perseus29
    Quote from S-Rank
    Hi everyone,
    I wanted to know in which clinical area would you recommend to get experience to specialize in nursing informatics
    I don't think a clinical area matters, unless you know of a specific job that requires you to be skilled in a certain area, and your goal is to get that specific job.

    As for myself, I worked all areas of medical surgical units, and the job I got was implementing an operating room application; I had zero experience in that area, except for maybe understanding some of the post op flow, but ironically enough I got turned down for all the jobs that involved applications in the regular floors that I was experienced on.

    Of course, there were times when i was on a job search and it would say something like, labor and delivery experience preferred, or emergency department clinical experience required, etc, but not all jobs required specific clinical experience. What you will see the most though is, clinical experience preferred or clinical experience or hospital workflow understanding a plus....

    Hence, I would choose to work in a clinical area that you're interested in, and not worry too much about selecting the best clinical experience for informatics.
  13. by   SuesquatchRN
    Quote from S-Rank
    Hi everyone,
    I wanted to know in which clinical area would you recommend to get experience to specialize in nursing informatics
    As Perseus said, clinical experience, period.

    Mine was mostly LTC, simply because, as an LPN, that's what was most easily available.



    As an LPN, if you aren't in a rural area you might have to get in sideways - offer to become a super-user, learn the system inside-out and see if you can get in that way.

    Good luck.

close