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Old 08-19-2007, 11:02 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: MN
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Question How to get started in Informatics?

I've been an RN for 37+ years, with 33 years in ICU/Critical Care and due to a recent serious ankle injury am now unable to do bedside nursing anymore.

My brain and critical thinking skills are still excellent and I feel I'm too young to really retire (I'd drive myself and my family nuts!). I've been interested in Informatics for a while but have loved my bedside job too much to leave it.

My interest is in the information and research for evidence-based nursing and nursing science rather than the computer science and systems analysis and design parts of informatics I think. Can these areas be divided like that or is it all combined into one field?

Where do I go from here? What is the basic education of a nurse in Informatics? Is a BSN required or a BS in computer science? (I'm a diploma RN at this point).

Any information is greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-21-2007, 05:28 AM   #2
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Re: How to get started in Informatics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JennyP View Post
I've been an RN for 37+ years, with 33 years in ICU/Critical Care and due to a recent serious ankle injury am now unable to do bedside nursing anymore.

My brain and critical thinking skills are still excellent and I feel I'm too young to really retire (I'd drive myself and my family nuts!). I've been interested in Informatics for a while but have loved my bedside job too much to leave it.

My interest is in the information and research for evidence-based nursing and nursing science rather than the computer science and systems analysis and design parts of informatics I think. Can these areas be divided like that or is it all combined into one field?

Where do I go from here? What is the basic education of a nurse in Informatics? Is a BSN required or a BS in computer science? (I'm a diploma RN at this point).

Any information is greatly appreciated.
JennyP,

Probably the best place to start would be to check to see if there is a nursing informatics professional organization or special interest group in your area. Meeting and greeting other professionals may help to give you ideas on your next steps.

If there is not a local group, you may want to look into getting involved with a group online. CARING and the nursng-l are both good online virtual resources. Also, you may want to consider joining HIMSS and/or ANIA for their networking opportunities.

If you search in our informatics job description database, there are a few job descriptions that list an associate degree as a minimum requirement:Unfortunately, the large majority of nursing informatics jobs are looking for someone with a BSN. Also, you must have a BSN in order to take the ANCC Informatics Nurse Certification exam.

You also may want to consider attending a nursing informatics conference. While it is still several months off, the Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics is an excellent conference.

For potential opportunities for entry level informatics jobs, try talking to whoever is in charge of clinical documentation at your facility as well as the quality improvement group. Also, check with the information systems department -- sometimes they are looking for experienced nurses with good analytical brains for clinical information system projects. When the project got started at my facility, our IS department actually hired on several nurses as analysts for the project. None of these nurses had any sort of computer science degree - just lots of experience and good critical thinking skills. If there is nothing going on in these areas in your facility, see if you can get in touch with someone at other facilities in your area.

Hope that helps!
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:49 PM   #3
harwood62
 
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Re: How to get started in Informatics?

Jenny,
I would highly recommend furthering your education. BSN's are becoming the minimum these days. Sounds like you need to head straight to the research arena. Now, that is really big. The money is fabulous and I don't think you would need a higher degree to get started. One way to start is to try for a position at your current place of employment. You must have at least 6 months of experience before heading out to the unknown. Go to monster.com and search for jobs. Use this title.......Clinical research associate and look at the job requirements and the pay. That is my fall back if the informatics thing does not turn out.
Good luck.
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Old 08-30-2007, 06:54 PM   #4
harwood62
 
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Question Re: How to get started in Informatics?

I have been trying to obtain an informatics role at my hospital and actually had interviews. However, the director level nurses won out even though I had more computer apptitude than they along with education skills.
I have a BSN and a strong desire and interest.
I am currently in a MSN program specializing in informatics to be completed in 2009. I do not want to wait that long to obtain a position.
Any ideas and thoughts are welcome..............
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Old 09-26-2007, 09:34 AM   #5
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Re: How to get started in Informatics?

I appreciate the suggestions here; sorry I haven't replied before this. I've been very busy working (at a temporary desk job), job searching, doing PT and trying to keep up with life on the side.

I've done a few of these things on my own. I do know an Informatics Nurse and will try to pin her down -maybe bribe her with an offer of lunch? I DO want to "pick her brain" to see what she suggests I do.

One of my concerns about going back for my BSN is the fact that I'm almost 60: will the cost of the BSN pay off? Or will I end up paying for it with Social Security checks? My hubby has M.S., and that and other family concerns have caused me to withdraw from BSN programs before. Can I afford that happening again now that we only have my income to depend on?

I really don't plan to retire once I hit 67 or whatever age it is that I'll be able to collect Social Security; but I probably won't want to work full time then either.

It sucks getting old and having your body rudely remind you that you are mortal! :huh
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