Should I learn SQL programming before applying for Analyst job?

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    I graduated with my BSN 2 years ago and have been a floor RN on a tele floor since. I also signed up to be a "Super User" when EPIC was being implemented in our hospital. During my Super User time, I fell in love with the relationship between computers and nursing and I want to be a part of the process to help with the continuing development of EPIC. I am currently working on my MSN in Nursing Informatics. I want to get off the floor and into an analyst type role at my hospital. I am setting up a time to shadow a Clinical Analyst at my hospital, but I'm trying to see what else I can do to help get hired for an analyst position. Would it be beneficial to start learning SQL or other types of programming in the meantime? Thank you for your responses!

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  2. 4 Comments...

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    My cousin is the CTO (chief technology officer) at a major hospital here in Seattle. Her and I were just discussing the qualifications for analysts the other day, as she was encouraging me to move into that area of nursing when I graduate next year. I have 7 years experience at a big software company (guess which one??). It's as a program manager, not software programming. She said with a nursing degree, some familiarity with software, and project management experience, I should have a fairly easy time finding an analyst job. She said that they want people who can bridge the software/nursing world, but specific software experience wasn't so important - that training generally comes on the job.

    The big bummer for me is that I can't work as an analyst at her hospital, as she doesn't want any appearance of nepotism.
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    Would it be beneficial to start learning SQL or other types of programming in the meantime? Thank you for your responses!

    Yes, it would be beneficial to learn SQL, but it really depends on the software your hospital uses; some vendors close the reporting piece (which uses SQL) and they only make it available to the database/reports person; other vendors give access to the database to those who ask.


    For one of my jobs, I was able to troubleshoot SQL reports, or write my own for clients; for another vendor, I was denied access to the reports because I was not the reports analyst.


    If you have the time to learn SQL, it is definitely a nice skill to have; even if you don't use it, it helps to know it as it makes it easier to communicate your requirements with your reports analyst, and it could also help you troubleshoot specific problems---again, depending on the vendor you use.

    As far as programming...maybe if you have the time to take a class, but SQL would be my first priority.


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    Quote from ikarus7401
    If you have the time to learn SQL, it is definitely a nice skill to have; even if you don't use it, it helps to know it as it makes it easier to communicate your requirements with your reports analyst, and it could also help you troubleshoot specific problems---again, depending on the vendor you use.
    I doubt there is an expectation to know SQL as as nurse informaticist, sure nice to have. But overall try to understand how DB's work, implemented, designed, so you can have a useful exchange with your programmers. Nothing was worse that when a non IT person would dictate requirements to the moon and not understand the feasibility, or more accurately non feasibility.
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    Quote from eleectrosaurus
    I doubt there is an expectation to know SQL as as nurse informaticist, sure nice to have. But overall try to understand how DB's work, implemented, designed, so you can have a useful exchange with your programmers. Nothing was worse that when a non IT person would dictate requirements to the moon and not understand the feasibility, or more accurately non feasibility.
    To be more specific, probably best to say, take an introduction to database class. That's the class that teaches you as eleectrosaurus says, how databases work, how they are implemented, designed, etc, and they also give you an introduction to SQL. Then again, most colleges don't allow you to take an SQL course without first taking the intro to DB class. And even if you try to teach yourself SQL via a book, most books tend to have a nice intro to databases.


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