Need info on future of NI

  1. Hello All.....
    I am interested in the changes occuring in information and computing that are gradually changing our health care environment. I am planning to obtain an undergraduate IST degree while continuing to work (part time) as a Trauma/ER RN. I am currently 6 credits into a MSN/FNP program.
    I have two questions for any of you NI veterans kind enough to share your expertise and knowledge.

    #1] How does a MSN in NI differ from a BS in IST? I understand the nursing aspects of the MSN. I am principally interested in the comparison of IST knowledge inherent in both types of programs.

    #2] For those of you with your finger on the pulse of the current IST/NI environment within nursing/healthcare; What, in your opinion, are the immediate (3-5 yrs) and intermediate (5-10 yrs) NI/IST needs or changes that will be priorities moving forward as health care adapts to electrons from paper & pencil?

    I am interested in staying within nursing in a NI role but quite frankly, I could just as easily move from nursing to IST after 18 yrs in ER's and enjoy the same stress and long hours minus the bad handwriting.
    Thank you in advance for your responses. I look forward to your posts.

    ERN
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   rninformatics
    Quote from ERN
    #1] How does a MSN in NI differ from a BS in IST? I understand the nursing aspects of the MSN. I am principally interested in the comparison of IST knowledge inherent in both types of programs.

    #2] For those of you with your finger on the pulse of the current IST/NI environment within nursing/healthcare; What, in your opinion, are the immediate (3-5 yrs) and intermediate (5-10 yrs) NI/IST needs or changes that will be priorities moving forward as health care adapts to electrons from paper & pencil?

    I am interested in staying within nursing in a NI role but quite frankly, I could just as easily move from nursing to IST after 18 yrs in ER's and enjoy the same stress and long hours minus the bad handwriting.
    Thank you in advance for your responses. I look forward to your posts.

    ERN
    A graduate degree in IS, MIS, CS would differ from a MSN (with an NI major) by the degree focus. The IT degrees are focused specifically on the technology itself where as the MSN degree focuses on how the technology can be used to improve nursing practice and benefit patient care.

    The immediate priorities in today's healthcare informatics environment center around patient safety, confidentiality/security of patient information, standards, performance improvement, best practice and how the adoption and utilization of information systems technologies can be utilized to faciliate the above.

    You might find these two editorials at the website of the On-Line Journal in Nursing Informatics interesting -

    My Prediction for Nursing's Technological Future
    http://www.eaa-knowledge.com/ojni/ni/8_1/lewised.htm

    and

    The Fundamentals
    http://www.eaa-knowledge.com/ojni/ni/1002/lewis.htm

    Enjoy!
  4. by   Mariah
    I have both a MSN and a MSCS. As Angela states, the main difference is the focus. I can only talk about differences as the MS level. Note that masters in computer science, information systems, and information technology are not necessarily the same. It all depends on how the college describes them. At my MSCS school, they had both. One in the engineering school and the other in the business school. The engineering school students went mostly onto software engineering positions, designing and writing software in R&D. Those with the IS degree went off to IT departments or less technical engineer positions such as quality test engineers. A CS degree has a much stronger technological component with extensive programming experience. There are classes on databases, artificial intelligence, graphics, programming languages, robotics, and others. The MSCS degree is usually 30 credits. There is no practicum. There is either a project or a thesis. The MSN degree in informatics has a technical focus, but much less so. The MSN also has a lot of nursing foundation classes that all nurses are required such as nursing theory, statistics, research methodology, nursing trends, etc. This makes sense because their focus is how to use the technology for the benefit of health care. Also, their technology classes focus more on system analysis/design than programming and software architecture. They also usually require more credits - my program was 49. There is usually a couple of NI classes (in a sequence), some technical electives, nursing foundation classes, and practicums. A thesis or project is often required. What degree one wants to have depends on what you want to do. Working in an hospital IT or as a nursing informatics specialist, a NI degree would probably be more desired. Working for a vendor as an implementator, trainer, learning products, then a NI degree would also be more useful. Working in software development where you are expected to write software code, a technical degree is more desirable and from a vendor's perspective, is usual required. There is a certain desire in the nursing profession for nursing degrees (by nurses) and related degrees in another area are less desired (again, nurses). Note, this was not necessarily the opinions of non-nurses. A vendor will often pick the nurse with MBA over the MSN for a marketing position. So, I can't predict the future was to which degree would be better. I think it basically depends on which side of the fence you would be most happy working at. These positions either require a nursing degree or a technical degree. Rarely, both and depend much on what you do.
  5. by   ERN
    Thank you Angela for your reply.

    I have been looking for a formal program at the graduate level that can help me blend my nursing background with an IST type preparation to allow me the freedom to utilise both disciplines. I have reviewed many programs but none seem to have the ability to give me a strong preparation in both within the same program. I recently have looked at the new IST program offered by Penn State University. It looks very promising on paper.....I have an appointment next week for an informational meeting with the head of the IST dept.
    Again thanks for your input.

    ERN
  6. by   ERN
    Having both MSCS and MSN degrees certainly gives you flexibility!
    My desire is to have the flexibility to move with the healthcare arena and possibly to the more technical side of IT. I don't wish to put myself in a position where an MSN that serves well for nursing has little impact on the rest of the IT world. Like many nurses, I am looking to move away from the bedside, but don't wish to throw away my experience and knowledge base in nursing. On the other hand, I don't want to be locked into nursing by my education either........is it possible to have your cake and eat it too?

    I really appreciate your comments. They were very useful in helping me focus to further define my goals. I am discovering that as you stated in your post; computer science, information systems, and information technology degrees are not the same. And each program may differ markedly in their focus as to what is relevant and necessary content especially within IS and IT. It made me wonder how general the CS/IS/IT course work was within a MSN/NI degree where the primary focus is nursing.
    As I posted to Angela, I am looking into the IST program offered at Penn State University. They appear to have some flexibilty and are telling me that they work with all disciplines to make their degree more functional in the real world.

    Thanks again for the imput,
    ERN
  7. by   rninformatics
    Yes I've looked at Penn State's program and it does seem to have a strong IS/IT technical focus. Good Luck and let us know how it turns out.



    Quote from ERN
    Thank you Angela for your reply.

    I have been looking for a formal program at the graduate level that can help me blend my nursing background with an IST type preparation to allow me the freedom to utilise both disciplines. I have reviewed many programs but none seem to have the ability to give me a strong preparation in both within the same program. I recently have looked at the new IST program offered by Penn State University. It looks very promising on paper.....I have an appointment next week for an informational meeting with the head of the IST dept.
    Again thanks for your input.

    ERN
  8. by   rninformatics
    I think you will find the information systems/computer science portions of MSN/NI programs are extremly "general" as the focus of these programs is not the technology itself but how IS/IT tools can be used to improve/benefit clinical practice and patient care.
    If you look at the courses provided within the Informatics/Nursing Informatics/MSN programs at the University of Pheonix's, U of Maryland, U of Colorado and Excelsier you will find course work on data base design, decision support and maybe even a basic programming course or two (C, C+). These programs attempt to blend computer science, information systems, information technology with nursing science - and the management of the technology. But yes, make no mistake if the degree is a Masters of Science "in Nursing" then the major focus will be Nursing...
    It sounds like you have a good idea of where you want to take your career - Good Luck!


    Quote from ERN
    It made me wonder how general the CS/IS/IT course work was within a MSN/NI degree where the primary focus is nursing.

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