Just found Nursing Informatics

  1. hello everyone

    please bear with me as this may seem like a foolish question but i have to ask it since i dont know the answer. the question is this - i am an rn with an associate degree - and i am looking to move into the nursing informatics specialty, are there any bachelor degree programs for nursing informatics. i have found alot of programs for the master degree level. just seems as if the only way to get to the nursing informatics programs is to get a bsn first, which is something i dont want to do. i want to move up and out of clinical nursing. if anyone has any information they would like to pass on i would appreciate hearing from them. before anyone ask me, yes i have been to the ania website and know what i am getting into.

    i have also looked at the amia website, but maybe i am overlooking some information on the websites. i was kinda tired when i read them.

    thanks for everyones time in advance.
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  2. 5 Comments

  3. by   rninformatics
    [quote]originally posted by cqc_cqb
    [b]hello everyone

    i am an rn with an associate degree - and i am looking to move into the nursing informatics specialty, are there any bachelor degree programs for nursing informatics? .


    there are bsn completion programs at institutions that would allow you to incorporate informatics course work - example excelsior university, university of phoenix. you also need to know that a bsn is not required to practice in the specialty of nursing informatics nor is it required to sit for the ana/ancc cert exam.
    another alternative to a bsn, since your goal is to move out of "clinical nursing" might be pursuing a bachelors degree in is/it. the trend in informatics is similiar to what we see throughout healthcare. by that i mean, don't limit yourself to "nursing" informatics but think more interdisciplinary - healthcare informatics. you'd have your foundational clinical knowledge in the nursing sciences and add to that informatics skills.

    i understand what it is you want to leave but i'm not sure exactly where (what setting, doing what?) within the specialty of informatics you want to practice and what you want to do.

    you wrote that "i know what i'm getting into" but i wonder..... since you also wrote "just found nursing informatics".

    have you had an informational interview with a clinical informaticist ? (remember, don't limit your exploration to nursing),
    have you seen what a project manager, systems analyst, systems designer, applications specialist, informatics coordinator, etc does in the course of a day? the above would be a good starting point to you learning more about this specialty area. also locate your local nursing informatics organization, join and pick the brains of its members. you'll see they all don't necessarily work in "nursing informatics" per say.

    what is it exactly that you want to do in ni? if you find clinical practice tiring and consuming you aint seen nothing yet. healthcare, medical and nursing informaticists can often put in 12-16 hour days, are routinely expected to work until the project (whatever that may be) is completed and take 24 hour call.
    Last edit by rninformatics on Aug 20, '03
  4. by   Cqc_Cqb
    Hi Angela

    First of all thanks for responding to my post I appreciate it. I am going to attempt to respond to some of the issues you brought up. How would I add informatics skills to my nursing foundation, is that what the ANA /ANCC certification exams are for? Also are the entry level positions in informaticsfor persons with a Bachelors Degree, whether in Nursing or IS /IT?

    I am currently working in an Adult ICU, and as of yet I am not sure what area of informatics I want to practice in. Because I have just found out about the specialty so havent had time yet to find out what types of areas are avaible. If you have any suggestion or tips I would appreciate hearing about them. As far as knowing what I am getting into in informatics, I guess I should have said that I know that it is a combination of computer science and information management and nursing.

    As for the informational interview with a clinical informaticist, no I havent done that yet. Neither have I located my local nursing informatics organization, so I could pick their brains. That is a great idea and that is why I came in here to ask questions so people could give me ideas I hadnt thought of yet.

    I dont find the hours of nursing tiring, I find that I am starting to get burned out in nursing. I had been an LPN for 13 years in ICU or ED before going back to school and getting my Associate Degree. I just need a change from clinical nursing, also I want to continue to move up the educational ladder.

    Now I have a question for you if you dont mind Angela. I see you have a BSN - what does the BC mean behind your RN. Also how did you move into the informatics area, and what area do you work in now? What type of education did you do in order to become board certified as an informatics nurse.

    Once again thank for your time in answering my post.

    Walter Harris RN
  5. by   Mariah
    I, like Angela, also work in nursing informatics, but with a vendor in R&D. Within the vendor area, nursing informatics people work in all kinds of areas depending on their background, their education, and just plain luck at being at the right place at the right time. There are some nurses here that have informatics like degrees and some do not. We have nurses working in the sales organization that deal with customer sales. We have nurses who help train and install systems at a customer site. We have nurses responsible for develping training materials, including computerized based training. We have some that have progressed to management levels. We have some, like myself, that work in R&D. Most of these nurses have started out in the field organization doing training and installation of new products. For these positions, they look for someone with a good clinical background, preferably in their products. Such as monitors, infusion pumps, information systems, etc. A nursing informatics degree is nice, but doesn't give one a big edge in these positions. Applying for these positions are highly competitive. They have all kinds of nursing degrees and others. Not necessarily IT degrees or nursing informatics degrees. For others, they have been hired directly into the position. For example, I have a MS in computer science and hired into an engineering position. For product manager (a key marketing position), a MBA is highly desirable. If a nurse has a technical degree, then she has the opportunity to work as an engineer, either for R&D, quality assurance, or technical support. This is highly technical work and one needs to be sure that is what they want. If you are interested in informatics, you might want to investigate positions with some of the vendor products you work with in the ICU such as the monitors, infusion pumps, etc. They might have positions on monster.com or might be listed with the coorporate web page.
  6. by   rninformatics
    Originally posted by Cqc_Cqb
    How would I add informatics skills to my nursing foundation, is that what the ANA /ANCC certification exams are for?
    You'd add informatics skills either through taking classes or OJT (on the job experience/training). The ANA/ANCC Certification in Nursing Informatics is similiar to any other nursing certification( example it provides validation of your clinical expertise in a given specialty. Per ANCC - certification provides "tangible recognition of professional achievement in a defined functional or clinical area of nursing." One of the prerequisits to sitting for the NI cert exam is 2000 hours of previous practice or academic credit/course work. Go to the ANA/ANCC website for exact details on the prerequisits. So no, people do not take this exam to obtain informatics skills but already have the skills and want validation on a national level.


    "Also are the entry level positions in informaticsfor persons with a Bachelors Degree, whether in Nursing or IS /IT?"

    Both, there are entry level positions that require clinical backgrounds i.e. the person could hold a degree in microbiology, pharmacy, laboratory scienes, nursing or IT/IS. It all depends on what the organization is looking for.

    "I see you have a BSN - what does the BC mean behind your RN. Also how did you move into the informatics area, and what area do you work in now? What type of education did you do in order to become board certified as an informatics nurse."


    I was originally an Associates degree RN , practiced clinically for 18 years when in 1996 I transitioned from direct hands on care to I.S.

    I held a BSN both when I made the transition and when I sat for the exam . I sat for the NI cert exam after practicing 2 years in the specialty.

    I've held several roles within healthcare informatics, primarily in systems implementation/installation- Informatics Coordinator, Clinical Analyst, Clinical Applications Specialist, Nursing Informatics Consultant and Research Informatics Nurse. My current role is Project Manager, Clinical Information Systems for a pediatric hospital.

    http://www.girlgeeks.org/innergeek/g...k_alewis.shtml

    http://nursing.about.com/library/weekly/aa070401a.htm

    http://www.ania.org/networking/ni-story5.htm


    I am currently in graduate school pursuing a Masters in Nursing with a major in Clinical Systems Management (class of 04!!!). The "BC" behind my name stands for 'Board Certified' - the credential one is awarded upon successfully passing the NI certification exam.

    Since you are currently located in an acute care facility why don't you contact your IS dept. See if there is a clinical analyst in the department that you can speak with - pick his or her brain, find out if they have plans for any new systems installations and see if there might not be a spot for you on the team as a super user. It would be a voluntary (read that as a part-time non- paying role) but a valuable chance for you to get some experience under your belt and see what is involved in hospital IT/IS.

    GOOD LUCK!
    Last edit by rninformatics on Aug 20, '03
  7. by   Cqc_Cqb
    Thanks Angela and Mariah

    I have decided to get a Bachelors in IT / IS and at the same time get in contact with my local NI group and find out what they can teach me about informatics in general. Now this is just from my point of view but it seems as if getting into informatics is a hit or miss situation. There seem to be so many avenues for a person to pursue that they could get confused on what they really want to do. But that is why I am going to join a group and learn from then what is going on and how to get in and do what is best for me. Once I get my Bachelors I am hoping to get certified and move on from there. At the moment though I am just trying to find a good school to attend. Once again I thank you ladies for your input, and would like to hear any other advice you have at any time.

    Walter Harris RN

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