Nursing schools, such as American Sentinel University offer market-relevant online MSN nursing informatics programs for the additional training and advanced degrees they need in this emerging specialty.
“Informatics is an excellent career choice for RNs who are looking for a specialty where they can use their strong clinical backgrounds in a field that can put them ahead of the curve in terms of growth potential,” says Elaine Foster, Ph.D., MSN, RN, Associate Dean, Nursing Graduate Programs at American Sentinel University.
Pat Arenales, a lead and staff nurse at Kaiser Permanente in Lone Tree, Colo., saw the potential of informatics. After completing her BSN in 2012, she knew she wanted to pursue her ambitions and strengthen her resume with additional skills, earning her MSN with a specialization in informatics.
She knew that as a result of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act nurses who can speak both clinical and computer language are needed to fill new nursing roles. So it was important to find a program with flexible classes and an emphasis on informatics.
“Technology plays an expanded role in healthcare today. I’ve always enjoyed working with computers and learning about technology, so informatics was a great fit for me,” said Arenales.
In her search, American Sentinel University’s MSN, nursing informatics specialization stood out.
American Sentinel’s CCNE-accredited MSN, nursing informatics program prepares nurses to translate healthcare data into meaningful information, identify opportunities, and implement new technologies that improve patient outcomes and reduce risk. The MSN program has been recognized by U.S. News and Report as being among the “Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs.”
“With a master’s degree in nursing informatics, graduates are prepared to assume critical roles managing clinical data systems in ambulatory, acute and long-term care settings, as well as the public health environment,” says Dr. Foster.
Building a Rewarding Career
Arenales started the MSN, nursing informatics specialization, in 2012. “I’m getting a great education, and I know that the more effort I put in, the more I’ll benefit,” she says, adding that the caring support provided by American Sentinel’s staff has been excellent.
She understands how critical the transition from paper charts to electronic health records (EHRs) is for healthcare and knows that for adoption to take place, it will be driven by nurses who understand the clinical workflow as well as the technical language of computers.
“No matter where my career takes me, I know that my MSN and the informatics specialty will provide me with tremendous advantages,” says Arenales. “I am planning ahead, and I know that my nursing informatics education combined with my background and experience will allow me to take advantage of opportunities that come my way.”
Dr. Foster says that informatics nurses play a significant role in the future of healthcare.
“Without informatics nurses, end-users would not have an advocate to turn to for the support they need to make such a major transition and patients will not have retrievable, sharable, comparable data with the EHR that allows them to be active participants in their healthcare,” Dr. Foster adds.
Arenales will finish her MSN in Spring 2016, and she is committed to bettering herself as a nurse through advanced education and providing patient-centered care.
“When you work for an organization that is truly interested in helping patients long-term and making the lives of the people who work here better, you realize how lucky you are. My goal is to keep growing and learning.”
In the future, Arenales hopes to work as an informatics educator, training staff and nurses in Kaiser’s electronic medical records system.
Learn how an MSN program can be the passport to a specialty nursing field, like informatics, nursing management, and organizational leadership, or infection control at http://www.americansentinel.edu/nursing/m-s-nursing
About American Sentinel University
American Sentinel University delivers accredited online degree programs in nursing (BSN, MSN, and DNP) and healthcare management (MBA Healthcare, M.S. Information Systems Management, and M.S. Business Intelligence and Analytics). Its affordable, flexible bachelor’s and master’s nursing degree programs are accredited by the Commission for the Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), of One Dupont Circle, NW Suite 530, Washington, D.C., 20036. The DNP program is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) of 3343 Peachtree Road NE, Suite 850, Atlanta, Ga., 30326. The University is accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, DEAC, 1101 17th Street NW, Suite 808, Washington, D.C. 20036, (202) 234-5100, www.deac.org
For required student consumer information, please visit: www.americansentinel.edu/doe