Health Informatics Discussion Forum

Hi. I'm Marla, Been a nurse for almost 20 years, I'm now a travel ER nurse. I'm done with floor nursing, I love my patients but not the rest,I have my associates in nursing and am ready for a new challenge. Teaching and computers and designing programs will be perfect for me. Problem is, I'm 47. I've started a Bachelor's in HI and have 2 years to go plus 2 years or so for a masters in HI or I could get a RN to MSN in HI in just under 3 years. The thought of another nursing class, which would be all of them except for the last 3 classes( which would be informatics) is very discouraging. At my age should I just "suck it up". I'm thinking I could get a Bachelors in HI plus a nursing informatics certificate. That would be quicker. Any help at all would be so appreciated, if I switch to MSN program I need to do next Tuesday. Thank you all in advance!!! 

I went thru 4 EPIC go-lives last year, and I loved helping and learning, although I've never had a "super user" job per se.

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  • Hi Marla,

    The good news is that to enter the nursing informatics field, all you really need is a nursing degree. You can even have an LPN degree and get an informatics job. Hell, we even trained a couple of CNA's who went on to get analyst jobs without even having a full blown nursing degree.

    You said you went through 4 epic go lives and it seems you helped out in those go lives. That experience you acquired during those go lives is your golden ticket to getting a job in the field.  

    What you need to do is draft a resume which highlights that experience and then apply for jobs. Apply to vendors, put your resume on job boards, apply to hospitals, etc.  

    And as a travel nurse, I know that you have the social skills to go around and network with the IT department of the hospitals you travel to and enquire about entry level jobs.

    It is nice you're getting an HI degree, but I know plenty of nurses who got an informatics job without going that extra mile. 

    Have you even applied to any jobs? And if not, what has prevented you from going out and applying for jobs now?

    As far as your question...do what will take the least time to complete and the least expensive.   Given that you have go live experience, the informatics certificate might be a nice option to have, but truly, I wouldn't waste money on it.  The go live experience you have had is more valuable than that certificate.  But if you have the time and money, then sure, why not have it?

    If i were in your shoes, my priority would be, drafting a relevant resume, posting on different job boards, applying for jobs, networking with the IT dept at your hospital, and possibly joining Linkedin.

    And yes, I know...if you go out on job boards,  you're not going to find "entry level informatics position."  Hospitals simply don't advertise them like that.  That's why you have to go out and apply to as many jobs as you can possibly can, until you start landing interviews, and next thing you know, you get a job. Yes, is very competitive out there, but every other  month or so, I meet new nurses who got a job simply by hustling for a job, and many didn't get an extra degree.

     Sure, you can get your bachelors in HI, and then get a master's, but really, that's the long and expensive way to go about it.

    • Thank you so very much for your reply. I'm taking your advice to heart. I have put some feelers out with  people that I met. I wasn't able to go where they are at first. ( I have an older Dad who needs me around and where I live there aren't really many options) Things change as they do and I'm a lot more free now to travel farther and more frequently and/or get a job in another location. I'm still going to torture myself with some business classes as I really have no knowledge of business matters. This is a great site and I'm so happy I found it.

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