Bedside Oncology Nurse to Informatics

  1. Hey all,
    I was hoping some could answer a few concerns. I have been reading the forums pretty thoroughly and have noticed quite a bit of info regarding become an "Analyst". Some say that a degree besides BSN isn't needed then some swear on the MSN.

    First, I am 24 years old and have been a RN in Oncology for 2.5 years in a small hospital. Received my BSN through Ohio University within the past year.

    Now, my questions are this. Is it possible to land a job in informatics if I do the MSN programs without experience. The reason why I say this is that my hospital has literally NO room for analyst/superuser/informatics teachings or "intern". So, experience chances are practically a lost cause. I would love to enter this field, but I feel I'm stuck between two rocks even if I get my MSN.

    Any advice would be helpful! PM if necessary.
  2. Visit Lovenox profile page

    About Lovenox

    Joined: Jun '13; Posts: 2
    Registered Nurse; from US


  3. by   stitcher75
    Hi, Lovenox, I've been looking at Health Informatics as an option if my fibromyalgia prohibits nursing. I have a pretty extensive background in data management. There are online programs at the University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC.) These programs range from post-baccalaureate certificates to Research Masters degrees. Check it out, your BSN should be sufficient (I know health informatics and nursing informatics are different, but it'd be a start. UIC has a strong medical college. They may offer Nursing Informatics, too.)

    * disclaimer: I got my B.S. at UIC. I know it's a good school, but I may be a bit biased.
  4. by   ikarus7401
    Quote from Lovenox
    Some say that a degree besides BSN isn't needed then some swear on the MSN.
    There are LPN's working in informatics who don't have a BSN so clearly, you don't need a BSN, nor do you need an MSN to be working in the informatics field. If so, then how do you explain LPN's working in analysts roles in informatics? I'll even go further and say that I know of a couple of CNA's working as analysts in this field. How is that even possible?

    Now, the reality of the situation nowadays is that many people are going for their master's degree so many believe that their chances increase by getting a master's in the field, but really, what also really helps is having experience in the field.

    So you might have a candidate that comes out with a master's in informatics and their whole experience in the field might be their practicum. While you have another candidate who has been active in informatics for 2 years, and has no master's degree. Who do you hire? What I have seen is that hiring managers/directors go for the experienced candidate. But also the experienced candidate has the advantage of doing better in the interview so that's also another factor.

    Obviously, if you have a master's and experience in the field, you really have to screw up an interview not to be hired or maybe your competition had even better credentials! Nonetheless, there are plenty of people out there withour master's still getting jobs in the field. Is really up to you which route you want to go through.

    And indeed, there are those out there who claim that if you don't have a masters in informatics, you're not really an informatics nurse or that you don't have the right to call yourself an informatics nurse. So yea, you hear a bit of everything out there!

    Quote from Lovenox
    Is it possible to land a job in informatics if I do the MSN programs without experience.
    Of course it is possible. However, the situation you might be in is that your resume might be weak as all you might have on it is your master's with maybe your practicum experience, while your competition might have a resume that has a lot of informatics experience on it. Also, consider that when interviewing. And that's why I insist, get involved in informatics any way you can.

    I understand you say your hospital has "literally NO room for analysts/superuser/informatics teachings or 'intern'", but you can get creative and get involved in other ways.

    For example, in your unit whenever you have a new colleague, you can volunteer to teach them the ropes on how to use the electronic system. Sure, they got trained by the informatics team, but who is out on the floor using the system? You are. So a new colleague comes, you can designate yourself as the go to person for helping them with the system. You do that enough times, and soon you will be seen as the computer geek of the unit and that might get you noticed with the informatics department.

    Another idea...people encounter the same error or problem when charting, you can create your own flier and post it in the break room. One candidate we interviewed had done this. She was the go to person for all the nurses in a unit as she was the savvy computer person and since she noticed many had the same problem, she went ahead and posted her own "workarounds" in her unit. Clever. That got her the job as her "proactiveness" impressed the hiring manager.

    And there is always the so called user meetings that you can attend.

    The idea is that you can carve out your own experience, out of your own involvement and then you can put that in your resume even though is no official experience. Sooner or later though, your efforts might be recognized and also, doesn't hurt to friend some of the analysts in your informatics department.

    But really, 'the hospital having no room for analysts or superusers' shouldn't really prevent you from getting involved. You just have to be creative and also persistent! Have you tried any of the above?
    Last edit by ikarus7401 on Jan 29, '14 : Reason: spelling