New RN with an informatics goal

  1. Hi all! I am a new RN, graduated with a BSN last May and in my 5th month working on a Med-Surg unit (first health care job). As much as I appreciate the opportunity working here, I can't stand bedside and am already looking for new jobs once I hit 1 year here. I like technology. Even as a new nurse, I find myself figuring out the EHR naturally and even teaching the older staff how to navigate/edit things. Long story short: I am hoping to become an informatics Nurse. My question is, what's the best route for a new Nurse to get into this field?

    This is my plan: Finish up 1 year in Med-Surg. Apply for a clinical trials RN position and get some years of experience with data collection and data entry. (I feel this would be good for me as there is relatively less patient contact and I am generally interested in research and quality improvement/medical advancement). Then apply for an informatics position, and apply for to Masters in Health Informatics programs after landing a job.

    Another route I was thinking was get a job in clinical data analytics if any allow an RN with 1 years acute care experience. See if this job lets me get into data analytics (if not, go for IT courses online/locally). And then apply for informatics and some years experiences. I haven't looked into how enjoyable clinical data analytics is, but I am the type of person who doesn't mind working in an office and doing busy work.

    I have expressed interest at my job in regards to becoming a Super User but management is very slow to make things happen. And I do respect my unit manager, so perhaps even if I find a new job, I may (or may not) switch to per diem to help my burnt out coworkers once in a while.

    Anyway, any advice on which route I should pick or what I should do differently? Every thing is much appreciated!
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    About JPure

    Joined: Feb '18; Posts: 3; Likes: 1
    Specialty: 1 year(s) of experience

    3 Comments

  3. by   Murse901
    It's unfortunate that you're only 5 months into your nursing career and are already burnt out by bedside nursing. Perhaps switching to a different specialty (ED, telemetry, ICU, etc) might help?

    To be honest, you just need more clinical nursing experience. A year on the floor isn't going to cut it. It's great that you have a passion for technology and that you're able to quickly learn how to use your organization's EHR, but that's just not going to be enough. You need to have a strong clinical background to be able to match up the needs of your end users with the technology that you have available. You need a bare minimum of 2-3 years of real clinical experience -- not time as a data analyst -- to effectively work in a nursing informatics role.

    Further, when you apply for informatics jobs, you're typically going to be up against nurses with 5, 10, 20 years' experience under their belt. Without that experience, you're just not going to be competitive.

    Again, I'd highly recommend looking at working in other clinical areas. The workflow of a Med/Surg nurse is very different from that of an ED or ICU nurse, and you may just need to move around to find the right fit.
  4. by   JPure
    Quote from Murse901
    You need a bare minimum of 2-3 years of real clinical experience -- not time as a data analyst -- to effectively work in a nursing informatics role.

    Again, I'd highly recommend looking at working in other clinical areas. The workflow of a Med/Surg nurse is very different from that of an ED or ICU nurse, and you may just need to move around to find the right fit.
    Thanks for your reply! I will gain more experience before applying for a position. Do you think ambulatory surgery or clinical trials would be considered sufficient clinical experience? Those are two areas I would be more interested in than ED or telemetry (especially in my hospital).
  5. by   mbruhn
    Hello! I completely understand your eagerness to move on and grow in the nursing world. I am like you in that way! I started in a Neuro-Trauma ICU as a New Grad (people told me not to), and began my Masters degree within my first year of nursing (people told me not to). I just couldn't wait the suggested two or three years. I graduate next month with my Masters Degree in Nursing Informatics and couldn't be happier with my decision. Some of those I graduated with are unhappy, burnt out in positions they hate, or too scared to branch out.

    I agree with Murse901 that it would be important to gain more clinical experience. I personally think the ICU is a great place, but I might be biased. If you're a fast learner, which it seems like you are, you'd probably enjoy it! You learn an incredible amount in the ICU in a short amount of time. Then you could find a hospital that might have an Informatics Nurse position that you could shadow to see how you like it. There are opportunities to do Clinical Trial Analytics as well, but again, it would be best to have more longevity to aid you in that area, as it can be quite autonomous.

    Anyway, best of luck to you. You will find your way - don't let anyone tell you what is right for you. We all have our own journey to take!

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