First off, yes, OR experience counts just like any other. In fact, in my department we have had difficulty finding someone with expertise in that area and would welcome it. Some of the biggest informatics challenges come from periop or procedural areas, especially with regard to transition of care. Second, the government funding mentioned is ARRA, or Meaningful Use. It's far more complicated than hiring an RN to submit paperwork. There are certified EMR platforms that must be implemented, workflows that have to be designed to gather data in exactly the required way, and reporting structures that must be put in place. My team has been working on this in our facility for 3 years and only just attested for the first time 2 weeks ago. Now we begin the uphill battle to continue to meet the criteria, which only gets more intense at each stage. If you really think you want to do informatics, learn all you can about it before you make the leap. It's not for everyone, but I have never loved a job like I love this one. I am a clinical informatics specialist, formerly a cardiac ICU RN.
Quote from overtonis
Received phone call today from recruiter. We ended up talking about impact of approved healthcare package by Obama Administration and what that means for nursing informatics. He told me it really will open up things and millions is being allocated into this area specifically. What hospitals and other facilities can do is hire RN and just submit those cost (salary) to federal government and they will be reimbursed for it. Now he used few words I was not familiar with like the type of form the facility will fill out. I thought this could be beneficial info for those considering getting into computer IT side at their facility. Note: I am not saying get your Masters degree. Rather I think if you have your BSN and have interest in computers....you should be meet with your manager and start laying groundwork for working on the side as tester or in some other role that gives you some exposure in this are as its clear its going to be one of the better growth areas for nursing over next 10 years.