Do you need to have a nursing license?

  1. I'm a British registered nurse and have been looking at moving over to the States for a while now. I've just started working in EPR implementation and am Epic Certified. And I am loving my job. (First time in a long time!) My project is not due to finish for a while but being the planner that I am, I'm already looking at my options after the project ends.

    What i'd love to know is how important is it to maintain active nursing registration in informatics jobs in the US? Because UK nursing education is very different to US nursing education, i'd have to make a significant financial investment into topping up my theory/practical hours in certain areas in order to get a license.

    I'm trying to weigh up the cost of doing that and assess whether it is worth it as when i've been looking at Epic consultant jobs they don't always mention needing to be licensed. So maybe it's not a requirement?

    Do you get paid more if you have an active nursing license? Or is it an insurance requirement for hospitals that their clinicians are registered and therefore accountable to professional bodies?

    Any advice and setting me straight on this is gratefully appreciated!
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    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 41; Likes: 22

    7 Comments

  3. by   Rose_Queen
    Need for a license is going to depend on the employer. Some will state nurse informatics, meaning one must have a nursing license. Others may not have such a requirement. Be sure to read job postings carefully when it comes to required experience/certifications/licenses.
  4. by   ikarus7401
    Hello, British registered nurse.

    For most epic analyst jobs in the USA, what they are looking for is that you're Epic certified.
    There might be some jobs that will want you to maybe have an active nursing nursing license, but most employers are so desperate for epic certified analysts, that it is rare for them to make this a requirement, specially if you have implementation experience and you got your epic certification.

    So what you have noticed about consulting jobs not requiring a nursing license is spot on. I'll dare say, 99% of the times is not a requirement.

    And about getting paid more if you have a license...really, it comes down to your negotiation skills. But there is no guaranteed that says that you will get paid more if you have a nursing license. You will have to negotiate for that.
  5. by   Informatics Queen
    I work in a Clinical Informatics department in a hospital that consists primarily of nurses, however we have some staff that aren't nurses. They do however have clinical experience as MD's, EMT's, RT's, and other areas. We service a multitude of clinicians that aren't all nurses, so their experience outside nursing is valuable. So, in my experience clinical experience is a plus. You may be able to pursue an Analyst role at Epic with your certification and experience. In my experience, nursing degrees have never helped me get more money.

    Best Wishes
  6. by   Rocknurse
    Hello British Nurse. I am also a British nurse and I live and work in the USA. I am a nurse informatacist and I was required to have a nursing license for my job role, however there are lots of other people in my department who are not nurses and are just analysts. I have to say that our roles are interchangeable. We have all kinds of people with different backgrounds...some RNs, some MDs, some RTs, some pharmacists, and some that have an IT background. However, your future job prospects will be much more secure with an RN degree, so if you can it's definitely worth getting. Big corporate healthcare is kind of a shaky existence and it's much easier to find a job if you have an RN degree than if you don't. However, there is a huge need for analysts as Epic is the big thing here and it's about to grow at an exponential rate. I would advise you to make enquiries into your visa first before thinking about location or jobs. Everything is based on your ability to get a visa. I came over with a company called O'Grady Peyton International but I'm not sure if they deal with informatics nurses. I think they're more clinical. however, they paid for my visa and placed me in a job, and even organized my accommodation. Worth looking into.
  7. by   HandmadeRN
    Quote from ikarus7401
    most employers are so desperate for epic certified analysts, that it is rare for them to make this a requirement, specially if you have implementation experience and you got your epic certification.

    Thank you Ikarus7401, do you think employers would be desperate enough to give me a work permit based on my epic certification lol?
  8. by   HandmadeRN
    Hi Rocknurse, good to meet another British informatics nurse!

    I agree the visa is the hardest part to be honest and I don't think I could get a work visa without relying on my nursing skills. I've looked at OGP a few times and I enquired about informatics positions last year but I don't think they regularly have jobs for that specialty. I'm also thinking that if i post my CV to the HIMSS job section then I could be approached directly be interested employers there...

    I'm really feeling indecisive about it all to be honest, if I were to move, I potentially would have to go back to being clinical in order to secure visa sponsorship and it would interrupt my career progression in informatics. It's also been a while since i've been clinical and I don't particularly have a desire to return to it.

    Actually out of interest what's been your experience with US employers valuing your British Education (I presume you trained in the UK?!). I'm tempted to do a master's in informatics but US courses are much more expensive than here in the UK. However if a MSc in the UK doesn't carry any weight in the US for nurse informatics then I wonder if there would be any point in doing it.

    Thank you!
  9. by   Rocknurse
    Quote from HandmadeRN
    Hi Rocknurse, good to meet another British informatics nurse!

    I agree the visa is the hardest part to be honest and I don't think I could get a work visa without relying on my nursing skills. I've looked at OGP a few times and I enquired about informatics positions last year but I don't think they regularly have jobs for that specialty. I'm also thinking that if i post my CV to the HIMSS job section then I could be approached directly be interested employers there...

    I'm really feeling indecisive about it all to be honest, if I were to move, I potentially would have to go back to being clinical in order to secure visa sponsorship and it would interrupt my career progression in informatics. It's also been a while since i've been clinical and I don't particularly have a desire to return to it.

    Actually out of interest what's been your experience with US employers valuing your British Education (I presume you trained in the UK?!). I'm tempted to do a master's in informatics but US courses are much more expensive than here in the UK. However if a MSc in the UK doesn't carry any weight in the US for nurse informatics then I wonder if there would be any point in doing it.

    Thank you!
    Good morning!

    Yes, you would most likely have to go back to clinical in order to be sponsored but that's not such a terrible thing because once you're here you'll be able to look for jobs as soon as your contract is over. There are lots of analyst positions and I get headhunting emails on a weekly basis looking for Cupid analysts (cardiology in Epic...that's what I do).

    Honestly the whole visa thing is such a minefield that if you can have a company take care of that for you, you'd be better off. OGP worked out for me and now look at me! There are lots of people here wanting to get into informatics so I'm not sure if they'd consider hiring from abroad, but then again there seems to be a need.

    No, they won't really consider your UK education all that much except for making aure you're eligible to sit for the NCLEX. They don't understand UK education and they can't translate so you'd have to get your transcript reviewed and evaluated. If you came over as a nurse and passed your NCLEX then they would understand that. It would be worth doing that, and OGP will help you with it. They had me get mine evaluated at the time. I had to go to a state I didn't want at first but it was a good experience and I remember it fondly. In the end I ended up on the opposite side of the country. I did my bachelor's and am doing my master's over here. It's easier in that sense because it outs you on an equal footing right away. Yes it's expensive. It really comes down to the question: how much do you want to be in the USA? There are tons of opportunities here but you have to play the game, and that means US degrees. The minimum I recommend is a BSN. I came over as a diploma nurse and took the NCLEX and then did an RN to BSN program. The BSN opened many doors. Good luck with it all!

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