Career in Nursing Informatics
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Name:
Susan Rogers
IT Specialty:
Nursing Informatics
Job Title:
Vice President of Nursing Informatics
Company:
McKesson
Degree:
BSN and Master’s of Healthcare Administration 

Q. How long have you had your degree?
A. BSN in 1976, MHA in1982

Q. In what ways do you feel your degree adequately prepared you for your nursing informatics career?
A. Not so much the degree. It was the experience.  I worked in ICUs and became enamored with technology.  The healthcare administration degree help in understanding the broader high-level picture of the healthcare industry with respect to the value of technology.

Q. How many years have you been in the IT field?
A. 20

Q. How long have you been in nursing informatics?
A. 20

Q. Have you ever been in an IT specialty outside of nursing informatics? How did it differ from nursing informatics?
A. I developed RHIOs for 9 years.  Nursing was helpful.  I also designed data warehouses for IBM customers.  Nursing informatics is actually a part of most every healthcare IT initiative.  If it has anything to do with patients, nursing informatics ought to be involved.

Q. Why did you choose to go into nursing informatics?
A. I was in IT and I was a nurse – viola!  Nursing Informatics!

Q. What personality traits and skills do you possess that you feel help you in nursing informatics?
A. Humility, trust, warm and caring approach to nursing colleagues that feel uncomfortable with technology, thoughtful, appreciative, good listener and being an inspiring leader.  Also one must ask others for commitment.  If even one nurse complains or speaks ill of a technology process without offering a solution as to how to do it better, one must call them on it.

Q.  What steps does someone go through to get a job in nursing informatics?
A. Get involved in any type of technology and determine if one likes it and take it from there as to what education and experiences are required to get one to where once wants to go.

Q. What are ways to advance in your field?
A. Service and contributions to the field.  Attend and speak at ANIA, AMIA, CARING, and HIMSS.  Join the HIMSS Nursing Informatics Task Force.  Attend your regional HIMSS conferences.

Q.  What is the most enjoyable thing about your job?
A. Seeing how clinical information technology can save lives – especially electronic MAR and medication administration bar coding.

Q. What is the biggest challenge regarding your job?
A. Developing new technologies can take up to a year depending on the complexity of the applications.  Users typically are wonderfully forward thinking and can tell us how to advance our products.  There is a tremendous amount of work bringing new products or enhancements to existing products to the market.  It involves collecting requirements, creating user interface design, developing use cases, creating the architecture and working through the development organization to add the new application to the code branches.

Q. What are your daily tasks like?
A. I mainly work with customers and work with development.

Q.  What skills do you use at work?
A. Nursing process skills, project management skills, communication skills, written and oral skills plus problem solving skills.

Q.   What are three current "hot topics" or topics of discussion in nursing informatics?

  • Evidence-based care
  • Work flow and efficiency
  • Data collection and metrics

Q.   If you were a person getting ready to choose an IT major for college, what advice/guidance would you give them to help them decide between all the fields?
A. People will naturally gravitate to what they do best.   Each person needs to understand their strengths.  Highly recommend reading “Now, Discover your Strengths” by Buckingham and Clifton.  Once one understands his or her strengths, one can easily understand what area of IT they will be able to contribute to.  When a person is in a job that they feel they can contribute to and their contributions are valued and appreciated, they are happy, productive and unstoppable!

Q. Why do you feel nursing informatics is “THE” field to be in?
A. It is the information age.  Without technology as a tool, it is inconceivable that we can take care of patients and give them quality, error-free care while ensuring efficiency, effectiveness, and at an economical and affordable level and then report on them (individually and in the aggregate).