What types of jobs will I have with a BSN versus an MSN in Nursing Informatics?

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    I am back in school and currently enrolled in a BSN program. I found out that I can get a concentration in Nursing Informatics with my BSN by taking about 4 courses on informatics and/or get my Masters in Nursing Informatics after I get my BSN. I have several questions about this field though before I decide my next step. My battle is to go with either Nursing Informatics or Nursing Education.

    First, my experience and why this even appeals to me. I have been an RN for 14 years. I have worked in almost every area except Mother/baby and Skilled Nursing. I have always been very computer savvy and have always been the "go to" person regarding issues with computers, programs and training. I worked as a consultant for about 6 months as a trainer for physicians and nurses in the outpatient area of a large tertiary medical center on EPIC (I am not EPIC certified, this was in the old days before EPIC was so huge). I worked with the programmers in developing and "tweaking" the program to better serve the end user. I absolutely loved doing this. I am currently a Case Manager for a large insurance company and I work within several applications at one time. I have done training of new staff on the current systems we use for clinical documentation as well as clinical research.

    I have looked at jobs on job boards and at my current employer who I absolutely love. I don't want to leave this company but I will. The entry level type jobs I'm seeing are for analysts which sounds awful to me. I don't want to sit around and analyze a bunch of data. I also see positions for Project Managers which looks like I need about 10 years of experience. I want to work with medical professionals and help develop systems that work for them and make their jobs eaiser while allowing information to be easily accessible for quality patient care. I enjoy training and development and thought Nursing Informatics would be a great fit for me.

    What type of experience will I need to do what I want to do and is a BSN enough or should I go on for my MSN?
    Would this "concentration" in informatics be enough to get my foot in the door?
    Should I get my bachelors in computer science instead of a BSN?
    Is a Project Manager position what I'm looking for?
    What type of experience is desirable for this field?
    What types of jobs can I qualify for based on my experience and degree?

    I know what I want to do, I just don't know how it works when I walk out with a degree in Nursing Informatics.

    Thanks for any input.

    Maureen
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    Quote from mersekrn
    I worked as a consultant for about 6 months as a trainer for physicians and nurses in the outpatient area of a large tertiary medical center on EPIC (I am not EPIC certified, this was in the old days before EPIC was so huge). I worked with the programmers in developing and "tweaking" the program to better serve the end user. I absolutely loved doing this....

    I have done training of new staff on the current systems we use for clinical documentation as well as clinical research.

    I have looked at jobs on job boards and at my current employer who I absolutely love. I don't want to leave this company but I will. The entry level type jobs I'm seeing are for analysts which sounds awful to me. I don't want to sit around and analyze a bunch of data.

    Maureen
    In the past I have held positions with the word analyst in the job title and I don't sit on my desk analyzing a bunch of data. What you described as what you loved doing is what I typically did as an analyst...train other clinicians on the system, tweak the program to make it better for users, collect requirement for users, etc. Might be best to actually to talk with someone about the job because most job descriptions tend to be vague and ambiguous. You could actually be missing out on some fun analyst jobs because of your misconception about the job title.

    Quote from mersekrn
    I want to work with medical professionals and help develop systems that work for them and make their jobs eaiser while allowing information to be easily accessible for quality patient care.
    This sounds like an analyst position to me!

    Quote from mersekrn
    What type of experience will I need to do what I want to do and is a BSN enough or should I go on for my MSN?
    Would this "concentration" in informatics be enough to get my foot in the door?
    Should I get my bachelors in computer science instead of a BSN?
    Is a Project Manager position what I'm looking for?
    What type of experience is desirable for this field?
    What types of jobs can I qualify for based on my experience and degree?

    I know what I want to do, I just don't know how it works when I walk out with a degree in Nursing Informatics.

    Thanks for any input.

    Maureen

    You seem to have the experience already for an informatics position; it seems all you have to do is tweak your resume to showcase your 'informatics' experience, and then apply for informatics positions. However, you might first have to get acquainted with job titles because most job titles vary by employer, and their descriptions tend to be ambiguous.

    I would look for jobs with keywords like, clinical analyst, clinical implementation, clinical application, or even epic analyst, cerner analyst, etc.

    Again, your definition of analyst is not really what you think it is out in the "informatics world."

    Given your past experience helping out with Epic an in training, I would say that it comes to updating a resume, and applying for jobs. You don't need a bachelors in computer science for these jobs.

    And a project manager might not be the job you're looking for right now as project managers tend to direct how a project is implemented; that comes with experience, which at the moment you don't seem to have. And is not nursing experience, but experience in working in the implementation of a system from start to finish.

    What type of experience is desirable? Your past experience training others in applications, and your past experience working with developers to tweak the application. This is type of experience is invaluable and crucial when looking for jobs.

    When I'm an interviewing an 'entry level' ANALYST, those with your type of past experience tend to get hired because they give concrete answers on how they were involved with informatics, or what they like about the job.

    And what jobs you qualify for?
    Don't want to beat a dead horse, but to repeat myself, job titles vary with employers, but the most generic one would be, clinical analyst, application analyst, and many others. Since you worked with epic in the past, type in the epic application you worked with in a job search engine and see what comes up.


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