Am I qualified to become an Informatics Specialist

  1. Hello Everyone,

    I am a new RN with less than 1 yr clinical experience. However, I have BS in Computer Science and several years experience as a Systems Engineer for EDS's healthcare division. And I hold the PMI Project Management Professional (PMP) designation. My question is although I am a new nurse, will someone higher me as a informatics specialist??

    What certifications do I need?


    Please help!
  2. Visit RN_Wannabee profile page

    About RN_Wannabee, MSN

    Joined: Jun '06; Posts: 24; Likes: 1
    from US
    Specialty: 10 year(s) of experience

    8 Comments

  3. by   rninformatics
    "My question is although I am a new nurse, will someone higher me as a informatics specialist??"

    It all depends on what the hiring manager is looking for and what specifically the individual position requires. I can only give you a generic answer not knowing the specifics of what the position title of "informatics specialist" is.
    The title does not represent the exact same position responsibilities every where - I would hazard a guess that its different at each and every organization.

    If a candidate's resume containing similar skill sets and qualifications came across my desk I (as a hiring manager) definitely would be interested. I would have second thoughts though related to hiring you. My concern would be how well (if at all) the clinical staff would or would not perceive your lack of actual hands on clinical experience. To lead clinicians in an implementation you would need to be perceived as knowledgeable in not just the technical aspects of Informatics/Information Systems but also in the clinical aspects of Nursing and healthcare. Ideally you need to be viewed by your clinical peers as a respected clinician in addition to an experienced project manager, systems engineer and or computer scientist. You need to know how the AS400 works but you also need to know the realities of the workload of an RN who has a pt load of 8, needs to pass meds on 5 of those pts prior to 10am, prep one for surgery before 9am, is transfusing 2 pts and has a new admission coming in the middle of assisting another pt who is having emesis in the middle of breakfast! This is the same RN you are now expecting to competently use the new E-mar, electronic medical record and or the newly installed PYXIS machine. You need to understand how both worlds work and having less than a years experience as an RN is not enough
  4. by   West_Coast_Ken
    Quote from RN_Wannabee
    ...and several years experience as a Systems Engineer for EDS's healthcare division.
    Your experience should help a lot, but as was pointed out the area of Nurse Informatics is an emerging field with lots of different ideas depending on the geographic area and the size of the hospital. I've been poking around this area as I've got a lot of IT experience, too, but not sure I want to get stuck behing a screen and keyboard again.

    Best of luck to you.

    BTW, I was an Advanced SE with EDS's Corporate Systems once upon a time. :spin:
  5. by   RN_Wannabee
    Thanks for the reply! I really appreciate the input.
  6. by   labordude
    I agree with rninformatics to a point. While it is true that having the extra experience as a nurse will help you when going towards an informatics job, do not let it hinder you from applying for or getting involved in informatics related projects. I am facing the same problem as you, I have just under one year experience as a nurse, but well over 15 year experience in IT/CS in many aspects. Just as we need experienced nurses that are also tech savvy, we also need experienced tech savvy people who are nurses. Of course this goes beyond general tech savvy, but at least you can understand where I am going.

    Mike
  7. by   nurseannika
    I have been an RN for nearly two years. I worked in a University hospital for 18 months where we used computerized charting, and now i'm working in a elderly HMO-type clinic where we still use paper charts, but some of our records are online, i.e., ID care plans. I'm really interested in computers but I don't have any work experience other than using computerized charting at work. I am thinking about doing a Master's of Science in Nursing Informatics. What are my prospects for getting a job if I only have the nursing background, not much computers?
  8. by   rninformatics
    Quote from nurseannika
    What are my prospects for getting a job if I only have the nursing background, not much computers?
    It all depends on what position you will be applying for and what that hiring manager is looking for.
    Also take a look at my reply to the original post that started this thread/topic.
    I'd suggest you look for positions that require you have a clinical background and an organization that is willing to teach you the specific "tech" content. In interviews highlight the nursing skills you currently possess that translate into IT/IS/Informatics such as communication, problem solving, change management, assessment, planning and evaluation skills. Also, lets not forget the amazing work ethic that clinicians possess!

    It is easier to teach an experienced nurse the technical piece than it is to teach a technical person the nursing/clinical piece.
    Good Luck!
    Last edit by rninformatics on Apr 11, '07 : Reason: typos
  9. by   Mijourney
    How recent does one's clinical experience need to be to get into the field of nursing informatics? For example, a 25 year nurse may not have done direct patient care for five to ten years or longer.
  10. by   rninformatics
    I guess that would depend on what the hiring manager was looking for related to how effective a change agent the person would be, how strong a leader, how motivated and how knowledgable the candidate is about a particular area of practice etc, etc.

    Quote from Mijourney
    How recent does one's clinical experience need to be to get into the field of nursing informatics? For example, a 25 year nurse may not have done direct patient care for five to ten years or longer.
    Last edit by rninformatics on May 7, '07

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