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Is MSN informatics worth it?

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Has 3 years experience.

Nursing is my only degree. I am currently in a MSN Informatics program. Taking my first class. I thought I had done enough research but now I am seeing and reading negative things, especially with the current school I am in. It's all online.

I'm not sure anymore. I am not a super user. I dont have any special computer skills LOL. I am currently in the very first class which is one of the MSN core class so, not yet the actual informatics course.

I am starting to doubt myself because I read things like its too competitive, theres no job market, you need to have IT experience on top of nursing experience, where you got your degree matters... all that stuff.

I actually like the idea of me being a nurse informaticist, but the negative things so far has me feeling that even after I get this online degree, it will not have prepared me for the job...

Should I drop while its still early?

I would do more research. My sister started an online MSN informatics. She said the quality of it was terrible. She quit, although it was paid for by her employer. But she was only a year or two from retirement.

Nursing is shooting itself in the foot with online degrees, but I digress

SympleebrwnRN, MSN, RN

Has 3 years experience.

Hi @EternalFeather!

Is a degree in nursing informatics worth it? Well, It all depends on what you're trying to achieve and what your interests are. I personally did not think it was worth it but allow me to put things into context. I went to NYU for my MS in Nursing Informatics and paid a WHOLE lot of money. I absolutely do not believe that a NI degree is worth the amount that NYU was charging especially since a NI career won't guarantee you much more money than you would make as an RN.

Ultimately, I don't think you shouldn't let other peoples' opinions influence your decisions. I would recommend that before you go diving deep into NI career, that you do a LinkedIn search or reach out to the NI program that you're interested in attending to see if you can find a Nurse Informaticist that would be willing to let you shadow for a few days or so. This would give you a better perspective on the "day-in-the-life" of a nurse informaticist.

When I was shadowing my NI preceptor for my program, I was bored out of my mind! A nursing informaticist job is busy and can be very challenging at times but it wasn't the kind of challenge that I was looking for.

If I could do it over again, I would have listened to my gut and searched for a degree that was more aligned with my personality and interests.

Good luck!

Kharis, BSN, RN, EMT-P

Specializes in Neuro, ED, Cardiac, Clinical Informatics. Has 16 years experience.

Maybe check other school programs? For me, it came down to class offerings and what I wanted out of the degree. I want to be marketable - no matter what. That meant considering Healthcare Informatics rather than just Nursing Informatics and comparing degree programs between the two. There's a difference!

Also, I met with the Director of Clinical Informatics where I currently work and told her of my career aspirations. She was able to outline how to get "from here to there" including things I can work on now, on my unit, in my organization and how make myself stand out as a candidate to be placed on her team when I'm ready. I value that input. It feels like I have a plan - in addition to completing grad school - and I feel a little more secure in moving forward. I know I can reach out to her for advice and she will be my Sponsor for the Capstone Project required in a couple years.

I have shadowed with several people so I have a better understanding of what I am getting myself into: Facility Analysts (entry level), Senior Analysts (MS required), and Quality (dream job).

Is there someone in your organization you can reach out to and have a conversation with before you jettison the hard work you've already started?

On 7/21/2019 at 8:28 AM, Oldmahubbard said:

I would do more research. My sister started an online MSN informatics. She said the quality of it was terrible. She quit, although it was paid for by her employer. But she was only a year or two from retirement.

Nursing is shooting itself in the foot with online degrees, but I digress

I agree. Future RNs are better off with a CS or MIS masters.

Hey @EternalFeather, Just curious what did you end up doing? I am also looking to get my MSN in Nurse Informatics and I am very interested in this field. I have been working as a bedside nurse and just like you I do not have any prior IT/Computer experience. The negative stuff that you mentioned has been really bothering me and I am not sure anymore about this degree. I would really love to know about your experience and to hear from someone with similar experience. Thank you.

Just now, Karu said:

Hey @EternalFeather, Just curious what did you end up doing? I am also looking to get my MSN in Nurse Informatics and I am very interested in this field. I have been working as a bedside nurse and just like you I do not have any prior IT/Computer experience. The negative stuff that you mentioned has been really bothering me and I am not sure anymore about this degree. I would really love to know about your experience and to hear from someone with similar experience. Thank you.

To many RNs are attending for profit institutions and paying a lot of money for a little return. Look at reputable schools like the following:

https://sps.cuny.edu/academics/graduate/master-science-nursing-informatics

https://nursing.nyu.edu/academic-programs/masters-ms/informatics

https://www.nursing.pitt.edu/degree-programs/master-science-nursing-MSN/nursing-informatics-online

https://nursing.vanderbilt.edu/MSN/ni/index.php

https://www.sc.edu/study/colleges_schools/nursing/academic_programs/masters_programs/nursing_informatics.php

https://nursing.rutgers.edu/academics-admissions/graduate/masters/nursinginformatics/

https://www.nursing.umaryland.edu/academics/grad/nursing-informatics/careers/

I will be graduating from my BSN Nursing Program as of May 22nd after completing a 1-year program. That is going to be my second degree. The first one in Computer Science and the second one in BSN. I am looking at CUNY's online Nursing Informatics program once I get my nursing license and current registration. The program is reputable through an actual university, and more importantly, a public university which means low tuition and a better standard of education compared to for-profit institutions. Also, The scholarships!

The Online MS in Nursing Program Scholarship

The Online MS in Nursing Program Scholarship provides financial, academic, and career support to workers in the healthcare system pursuing an advanced nursing degree at the CUNY School of Professional Studies. Recipients of the scholarship will receive funding towards tuition in the semester for which they apply. Award amounts may vary based on financial need but are expected to be $1,320 for the semester.

TheInformaticsNurse

Specializes in Nursing Informatics, Med-Surg, ICU. Has 15 years experience.

Hi, @EternalFeather!  I'm a Clinical Informatics Manager and I didn't have a master's degree in Nursing Informatics when I landed my first Nursing Informatics job back in 2010.  I had a BSN at that time, as well as experience being a Super User for 2 EMR implementations, prior to applying for my first NI job.

The answer to whether an MSN in Nursing Informatics is worth it depends on many factors, such as whether this specialty is something that is aligned with your interests, strengths, and long-term goals, as well as on the quality of program that you've enrolled in.  I've met many nurses who think that just having the graduate degree is a guarantee that they'll have a competitive edge over those who don't when it comes to getting their first NI jobs.  The reality is that many practicing Informatics Nurse did not get their jobs because they had a graduate degree in Nursing Informatics but because they had formal Informatics or Informatics-related experience, or were able to show that they had the drive and aptitude to use their unique combination of skills (clinical and non-clinical) in an Informatics role.  Some of them did go on to get an MS NI degree eventually, but it was more to augment their skills rather than to get their first NI job. 

This is not to say that someone with a graduate degree in NI but no experience will never get an NI job, because there are so many factors that go into hiring staff.  But often they have to face more challenges during the job hunting process.  This is because, in general, hiring managers/teams often put more value in someone who has had experience in an Informatics role (official or as part of their clinical job - such as being a Super User, SME, Informatics Council member, etc.) rather than someone who has a graduate degree but no experience, all or most other things being equal.

I hope this somewhat long answer helps.  🙂  If you're interested, I've written an (even longer) blog post about ways that nurses can transition into a Nursing Informatics role.  Here is the link to the blog post:  https://theinformaticsnurse.com/2011/06/05/twelve-ways-to-transition-to-nursing-informatics/

I wish you the best in your journey!

 

On 9/21/2020 at 7:18 PM, TheInformaticsNurse said:

Hi, @EternalFeather!  I'm a Clinical Informatics Manager and I didn't have a master's degree in Nursing Informatics when I landed my first Nursing Informatics job back in 2010.  I had a BSN at that time, as well as experience being a Super User for 2 EMR implementations, prior to applying for my first NI job.

The answer to whether an MSN in Nursing Informatics is worth it depends on many factors, such as whether this specialty is something that is aligned with your interests, strengths, and long-term goals, as well as on the quality of program that you've enrolled in.  I've met many nurses who think that just having the graduate degree is a guarantee that they'll have a competitive edge over those who don't when it comes to getting their first NI jobs.  The reality is that many practicing Informatics Nurse did not get their jobs because they had a graduate degree in Nursing Informatics but because they had formal Informatics or Informatics-related experience, or were able to show that they had the drive and aptitude to use their unique combination of skills (clinical and non-clinical) in an Informatics role.  Some of them did go on to get an MS NI degree eventually, but it was more to augment their skills rather than to get their first NI job. 

This is not to say that someone with a graduate degree in NI but no experience will never get an NI job, because there are so many factors that go into hiring staff.  But often they have to face more challenges during the job hunting process.  This is because, in general, hiring managers/teams often put more value in someone who has had experience in an Informatics role (official or as part of their clinical job - such as being a Super User, SME, Informatics Council member, etc.) rather than someone who has a graduate degree but no experience, all or most other things being equal.

I hope this somewhat long answer helps.  🙂  If you're interested, I've written an (even longer) blog post about ways that nurses can transition into a Nursing Informatics role.  Here is the link to the blog post:  https://theinformaticsnurse.com/2011/06/05/twelve-ways-to-transition-to-nursing-informatics/

I wish you the best in your journey!

 

Things are different than in 2010.