Transitioning to informatics

  1. Hello AN community,
    Have any of you transitioned to informatics without a master's degree. I'm an LPN and former educator/HS librarian with an MA in ed tech and considering transitioning to informatics with a graduate certificate in healthcare informatics instead of nursing informatics. What was the hardest part of your transition from bedside to informatics? Did you complete an online program? We're the classes hard? How were the job opportunities? Are you a member of HIMSS? If so, was it beneficial for learning and networking? Thank you in advance!
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    About ChefLibrarianNurse

    Joined: Jul '15; Posts: 1

    4 Comments

  3. by   knittygrittyRN
    Yes, so I transitioned into Informatics without a MSN in informatics. I do have a BSN, and I'm currently finishing my MSN in Nursing Education. I was a super user and did support/training for a few go-lives and then transitioned into a fulltime clinical informatics education position.

    The hardest part was the shift to daytime hours for myself (since I worked third shift previously; and feeling like I was ill-prepared for the role since I never really taught in a classroom before). Most entry level informatics positions I've seen, are educator/trainer, which don't really require a master's degree. From there you can transition into an analyst position and because you'll have work experience it's usually an easier transition. I'm not a member of HIMSS yet, although I do plan on eventually sitting for my RN-BC in Informatics and the CPHIMS in the next year.
  4. by   ikarus7401
    I don't really fit the criteria for your question because I went from bedside nursing to a computer science degree to a job in the IT world, so I was kind of prepared for informatics; however, I have worked with plenty of nursing colleagues that have gone from bedside nursing straight to informatics and after working with them and talking about the transition, I would say the biggest adjustment was not knowing or fully understanding the software implementation process/cycle.

    That's something that you kind of learn on the job, and maybe they cover that during a master's degree? Don't have one so not sure. But depending on the project, it might take you up to two years to hit all the different phases of the project, so it might feel as if you're always doing something new. In nursing on the other hand, you might switch specialties, but if you stay in the same place, after a year, you might be in automatic and your routine won't change. Definitely not the same in the informatics world. Unless you're hired to a specific role, like a trainer, or tester, etc.
  5. by   ikarus7401
    What was the hardest part of your transition from bedside to informatics?

    I don't really fit the criteria for your question because I went from bedside nursing to a computer science degree to a job in the IT world, so I was kind of prepared for informatics; however, I have worked with plenty of nursing colleagues that have gone from bedside nursing straight to informatics and after working with them and talking about the transition, I would say the biggest adjustment was not knowing or fully understanding the software implementation process/cycle.

    That's something that you kind of learn on the job, and maybe they cover that during a master's degree? Don't have one so not sure.

    But depending on the project, it might take you up to two years to hit all the different phases of the project, so it might feel as if you're always doing something new.

    In nursing on the other hand, you might switch specialties, and of course, depending on the specialty, if you stay in the same place, after a year, you might be in automatic and your routine won't change. Definitely not the same in the informatics world. Unless you're hired to a specific role, like a trainer, or tester, etc.
  6. by   Crumb1181
    So I have been in informatics for about 6 years now. I was an LPN at the time and I am still one today. There are not many certifications out there for LPNs but it does not stop you from getting into the field. If the position is more IT/Networking related you will have better success getting a foot in the door in my opinion. For example a lot of IT/Networking jobs prefer degrees but will not pass over a person with enough experience most of the time. I did have a background in Networking before I became a nurse so that has helped with the transition. My primary job consists of implementing clinical workflows and form development for use in our EHR system.

    Since I joined the informatics department I have learned various coding languages. I work in a university setting so have to support all types of clinics not just a single specialty. I help with EHR upgrades, I have rolled out a bar coding solution for immunization and injections input into out EHR system city wide, and I also help with the training of new clinical staff, nurses, and doctors for our EHR and PM systems. My job is a weird mix of a database administrator, software development, and end user educator.

    So to be specific you do not need a degree. Hardest part was the unknown about what was going to be expected of me and if I could excel in learning all these new things required to do my job. No to online program. Job opportunities open up with experience. The place I work will be going with a new EHR system at some time in the future so my job will be changing again when that happens based on the system. It is looking like it could be EPIC which would require me to get certified by EPIC in various modules which in turn give me experience and opens up other opportunities. Lastly, no I am not a member of HIMSS.

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