With five years experience in med/surg nursing at a major Cleveland hospital, I have a couple questions. Do I need to move into an ICU for a couple years in order to progress in my practice? I also have a great interest in EMR and informatics as a result of using some of the systems and witnessing the significant impact on patient care. I have previous career experience in sales automation and realize the impact on customer service that an organization’s software choice can make. Given the 2014 goal date for national EMR, is pursuing the ICU still the first best step?
Dear Donna replies:
Dear Nurse Joe,
Five years of med/surg experience is a good, solid clinical base. I can think of no reason why you would “need” to work in ICU unless you have a strong interest or desire to do so.
Nursing informatics is a hot and growing field. If you have a passion for or interest in it and some related background, including your great nursing experience, by all means begin to pursue or explore it.
Consider getting out to local meetings or regional/national conferences of the American Nursing Informatics Association (http://www.ania.org) and/or the American Medical Informatics Association-nursing group (http://www.amia.org). Do some informational interviewing (www.Nurse.com/Cardillo/Interviewing) with board members of ANIA and other related organizations. This is great way to learn more about the specialty, make valuable contacts and be sure it is the direction you want to go in.