What's wrong with me? - page 2

I have 15 years experience as a business analyst, project manager, doing implementations, writing specs, QA Testing etc, and now 4 1/2 years experience has a nurse in both hospital and MD office. Recently I have interviewed... Read More

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    I had a very difficult time getting my big break into the informatics field, so I appreciate your concern. I went on 2nd and 3rd interviews without success. I have 2 A.S. degrees in Computer Programming & Internet Programming; my BSN; and working toward my Masters in Health Informatics. I was a nurse on the floor for 3 1/2 years where I served on the Informatics Committee and also worked as a Super User during upgrades. The field is tough to get into without experience. However, I started expanding my search location and eventually obtained a position as a systems analyst and worked on ambulatory care implementations. Being open and eager helped. I don't think there is a magic answer to how to break into informatics; except polish your resume, go in with an encouraging attitude, and STRESS every accomplishment---now matter how small. I began stressing how much I worked with the physicians and nurses during upgrades, don't lie but toot your own horn. These interviews are very competitive so there is no room for being modest. GOOD LUCK!

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    Re salary - if I am seriously interested in a job, I try (diplomatically) to avoid naming a number, until I receive a job offer. It's worked for me in the past - I've even managed (a few times) to negotiate a few extra thousand after the job offer. is it possible they might just say that you were in the bal park and they were looking to pay less?
    I have an MS in Nursing/Healthcare Informatics and found that my degree was a disadvantage at one hospital - I couldn't even get a position as a superuser (I have over 10 years experience, equally split between clinical and administrative roles). My take on that was that since their IT department didn't have a Master's prepared nurse already, some people were a little intimidated by my degree. Perhaps your wealth of experience is seen the same way.
    I feel your pain - I was in your shoes until a few months ago. Good luck!
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    You may also be able to broaden your opportunities if you look beyond the hospital environment, especially if you also have a background/education in more IT/Tech areas. Healthcare system vendors are always looking for people to be business analyst, software quality, marketing, system development who also have a healthcare background. These are not the positions out in the field that is doing on site customer installations/training, but the positions within the vendor R&D organization with minimal travel (unless you are in marketing). These positions are not listed as nursing jobs, but as IT/system development/etc jobs. They are listed on the vendor web sites or on big job web sites. There are also some head hunters specializing in this. Within the healthcare institutions, competition for these jobs are fierce with many of the candidates have numerous years of nursing experience. But, vendors are looking for a slightly different skill set, experience, and background, appropriate to the positions they provide.

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