From Nursing to Tech: How to Pivot Your Career

Learn These Skills To Get Your First Healthcare Tech Job

You might be surprised to learn how that you have several skills that transfer easily. Learn about these skills and how to find your first healthcare tech gig.

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  • Specializes in Workforce Development, Education, Advancement. Has 25 years experience.
Learn These Skills To Get Your First Healthcare Tech Job

Technology is everywhere. While healthcare was a bit slow on the uptake of some technological advancements, COVID-19 and staffing shortages have catapulted the tech industry firmly into the center of all healthcare specialties.

You may use tech to schedule patients, conduct online visits, and manage caseloads. There are so many other ways tech is helping the healthcare industry. Examples include hybrid healthcare training programs, new monitoring devices that notify you when a patient's vital signs change, and smart alerts in the patient's electronic medical records. All of these tech advancements need healthcare professionals to ensure the design and implementation of the software work for those who use it daily.

Tech applications must have engineers, designers, and project managers to be successful. While you can retrain to hold these jobs, you already have a unique soft and hard skill set that transfers well into the tech industry. You just don't know it!

So, how can you find these opportunities and launch an exciting tech career? We thought you'd never ask! Before we dive into a few ways to launch your healthcare tech career, let's dive a bit deeper into the current healthcare tech landscape. 

What's Tech Got to Do With It?

It's no secret that computers are more intelligent and reliable than humans. However, computers will never be able to completely take over the role of nurses. But they can do many things to lessen your workload and keep your patients safe. Here are just a few:

More than 10 million mobile health apps were on the market in 2021. These apps can increase patient compliance, improve overall services, and increase access to qualified healthcare professionals. 

Artificial intelligence can help diagnose complex medical conditions and minimize the risk of misdiagnosis. 

Remote care or telehealth provides access to care when a patient needs it and saves the healthcare industry time and money. 

Virtual reality, mixed reality, and augmented reality might be the answer to healthcare training in the future. These technologies create simulated experiences that can be used during medical school, nursing school, and other training programs to immerse the learner into complex situations they might not experience otherwise. 

How to Break Into Tech as a Nurse

Your skills are in demand beyond the bedside. For example, you have firsthand knowledge about healthcare that most people don't know. And you have many other skills that prove helpful in tech companies. Here are just a few:

Communication - You're competent at communicating complex information in simple terms. Technology companies love folks who possess stellar written and verbal communication skills.

Teamwork -You know how to work on a team and pull your weight. This skill can come in handy when working on projects that use an interdisciplinary team.

Juggling Competing Priorities - No one knows better than a nurse how to have ten things on your to-do list, with eight needed to be done first! Unfortunately, competing priorities are a daily occurrence in tech, and knowing how to quickly and succinctly prioritize your work is a skill most employers will love about you. 

Attention to Detail - It's your job to dot all the I's and cross all the t's! Tech is all about the details, so knowing how to be detail-oriented and pick a needle out of hay stay (so to speak) is a skill most tech companies want. 

Process Knowledge - You understand the importance of a well-written process. You also know it's critical to continually improve upon all processes so that every person on the team can be as productive as possible. Tech companies use Standard Operating Processes as their operations bible, so being able to write, rewrite and assess processes is a great skill to have. 

Possible Roles

Knowing what type of roles to look for will help you break into tech quickly. Here are a few job titles you can search for. 

Consultant

Some technology companies don't need full-time nurses on staff for daily operations. However, depending on the product, they may need a nurse to guide product development. You can search for consultant roles or open a consulting business and market yourself specifically to healthcare tech companies.

Care or Case Managers

Telehealth applications in the population health space often need primary care managers to oversee patient care. Many nurses in these roles often work remotely, while others work in an office or a mix of the two. 

Operations

Tech companies that deliver care services will have operations managers and directors. Many look for staff with healthcare experience that translates well to the type of care provided. These roles are often great fits for nurses and other healthcare professionals with clinical expertise. 

Where to Find Tech Jobs

You can often find tech jobs on standard job boards like LinkedIn or Indeed. However, many tech companies post directly to specific boards in the tech industry. A few to look at include Otta and BuiltIn. 

Do you work for a tech company? If so, tell us about your role and how you found it. Or, if you're looking for a job at a tech company, let us know what kind of job you're looking for so we can help you find the position of your dreams!


References

1. Key Features of mHealth Apps & Trends in Use

Melissa is a registered nurse with over 23 years of experience. She loves workforce development, training, and operations. Challenging the status quo and accomplishing stretch goals keeps her getting up in the mornings. She is a lover of all things apple - pie, cider, streusel, and more! When she isn't doing nerdy work things, she is outside with her husband and dogs hiking or exploring local parks.

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