First off, yes, OR experience counts just like any other. In fact, in my department we have had difficulty finding someone with expertise in that area and would welcome it. Some of the biggest informatics challenges come from periop or procedural areas, especially with regard to transition of care. Second, the government funding mentioned is ARRA, or Meaningful Use. It's far more complicated than hiring an RN to submit paperwork. There are certified EMR platforms that must be implemented, workflows that have to be designed to gather data in exactly the required way, and reporting structures that must be put in place. My team has been working on this in our facility for 3 years and only just attested for the first time 2 weeks ago. Now we begin the uphill battle to continue to meet the criteria, which only gets more intense at each stage. If you really think you want to do informatics, learn all you can about it before you make the leap. It's not for everyone, but I have never loved a job like I love this one. I am a clinical informatics specialist, formerly a cardiac ICU RN.