Lessons Learned

Last week, I wrote about my trials finding a job in nursing informatics.  If you missed my two part posts, you can read the first part here and the second part here.   This week I will write about my lessons learned and how you can learn from my own mistakes.

1.)  Just because you graduated with a masters degree doesn’t mean everyone wants to hire you.

2.)  Invest in a suit – you will wear it more than once, trust me.  Don’t wear scrubs to your interview. You may have just gotten off of the night shift or about to start, wear professional looking clothes to your interview, preferably a suit.

3.)  Read resume and interviewing books – polish up your resume, just because you have been a nurse for 15 years doesn’t mean you don’t have to update your resume.

4.)  Practice  your interviewing skills – It’s how you communicate and present yourself.  Speak in proper English and acknowledge the interviewer as with a title of Miss or Mister.  You don’t know who they are.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.

5.)  In your interview, ask for a job description and ask questions about the job if you do not understand.  Most nursing informatics positions are new and the people writing the job description may not know what a nurse informaticist is.

6.)  If you have been with your employer for several years as a nurse and would really like to be come a nurse informaticist, meet with the Chief Nursing Officer (CNO) or equivalent to discuss a new position of “nurse informaticist”.  If there is no job description, write it.  No one ever said you only have to apply for positions with job descriptions.

7.)  Never accept no as the final answer.  Obstacles were created for you to break them if you really want something.

8.)  Never accept the first offer.  Negotiate your salary if you think you are worth more.

9.)  If you are new to informatics, start your career either as a trainer or as a systems or clinical analyst.  As a systems or clinical analyst, you will develop technical skills and adapt to a new way of thinking.

10.)  Network.  Get to know who your nurse informaticists are in your area. Join local and national organizations.  See a list of nursing informatics organizations here.  Learn who the pioneers are in nursing informatics and read articles.

So that’s it, my words of wisdom.  I hope you were able to take something away from it.  If you need additional information, please contact me.

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