I Got Certified for Healthcare IT Jobs – You Can Too!

As I have chronicled in my previous blogs, it’s been an interesting journey these past 5-6 years I’ve been successfully and gainfully engaged as an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) professional.  The adoption of EMRs / EHRs is a top healthcare facility priority and on the national forefront thanks in large part to the National Healthcare Reform bill that was passed this year by our Government and also last year’s adoption of the ARRA.  So many more people are seeking information about this evolving healthcare industry. I feel so fortunate I learned about EMRs about 10 years ago.  At that time I was the lead Microsoft Instructor for a major university hospital – training all of the Clinical and professional staff in utilizing MS Office. My colleagues in this hospital training department were tasked with providing instruction on this interesting little ‘pilot’, a  clinical software application for this hospital’s outpatient/ambulatory clinics. My entire professional career…I’ve always been very inquisitive and seeking information about what is most current on the cutting edge of technology or what’s new…and then I want to learn about it and so again, I followed my professional instinct and learned everything I could about EMRs. And now 10 years later I have garnered three EMR Certifications from one of the top EMR vendors – Epic® Systems Corporation. Epic® has a large market share of the hospitals and clinics who have implemented EMRs by converting their paper medical charts to digitized systems, based on specific clinical workflows.

Some of the top questions people now ask me include:  How do you get EMR certified?  How do you get hired for EMR / EHR implementations? What types of healthcare IT jobs are available? How do you get qualified for hire? (or at least an interview). My first answer to these pressing questions is, earning a EMR Certification is just the beginning of your EMR / EHR journey. To be fully marketable in this field, getting certified is an exciting first step, but it also requires an opportunity to directly apply what you learned in the classroom to the “real life ” clinical community. Different EMR / EHR vendors have various training programs and/or certification requirements.

Following is my successful 10 year journey of how I got EMR Certified and just as important, EMR Experienced (summarized version):

2001 – 2003 Hired/worked as Lead Microsoft Office instructor in the Training department of a large University level Healthcare facility. Also began observing a new EMR system (EpicCare®), being piloted at several outpatient/ambulatory clinics associated with this healthcare facility.
2004 Transitioned from the Training department, to the ‘EMR’ implementation department at this same University level Healthcare facility.  I was then sent out to Epic® Systems training facility in Madison, Wisconsin. Received intensive 3-day training consisting of 3 training companions about their outpatient/ambulatory EMR system (EpicCare®). Post Epic Systems training received access to their online system and for about 6-months did the required self-study and project assignments completions (also completing various “real life” clinical EMR implementation work assignments).
2005 Received my first Epic EMR Certification – EpicCare Ambulatory, by successfully completing mandatory 2-hour exams for each of the 3 study companions. Received my official certification notification and document from Epic Systems.
2005 – 2006 Worked with other certified EpicCare Analysts, by completing all the tasks related to EMR implementation for Internal Medicine Practices.
2007 Was recruited to become a traveling EpicCare EMR Implementation Consultant. Continued with EMR implementation assignments for outpatient/ambulatory healthcare facilities on the West Coast, Mid-west, and the East Coast.
2008 Was recruited to be part of an Inpatient (or acute care) EMR implementation for a large pediatric hospital facility. I was sent out (twice) to Epic® Systems grand new and improved training facility now located in Verona Wisconsin. Each visit I received intensive 3-day training consisting of 3 training companions about their Inpatient EMR system to learn Clinical Documentation and Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE). Post Epic Systems training received access to their online system for self-study and project assignments completions.Received my second and third Epic® EMR Inpatient application Certifications; Clinical Document and CPOE. I successfully completed the mandatory 2-hour exams for each application. Received my official certification notification and document from Epic Systems.
2008 – 2010 Continued working with Full-time EMR professionals and other certified Epic EMR consultants, by completing tasks related to EMR implementation for Hospitals and Clinics nationally.

I hope this summarized version of my EMR Certification process (and my  ten year journey to get the experience required to be marketable and do good work) is helpful to your quest.

If you are also EMR certified, please reply to this blog with your particular experience…perhaps you have another EMR Vendor certification, please share your process and/or experience.

If you are seeking EMR certification, let me know if this blog has been helpful!


Update:  I am proud to announce that since this post was originally written in 2010, I have founded an online school – Healthcare Information Technology Workforce – School of New Jersey.    Visit us today and learn how we conduct our nationally recognized government-sponsored Health IT curriculum online, preparing students for the Health IT Workforce Competency Examination Program (HIT Pro™). Graduates of Healthcare IT School of New Jersey programs receive a Certificate of Achievement and are provided with their in-demand job placement assistance.

About the author


Shirley Corsey

Shirley Corsey is a certified Electronic Medical Records (EMR) Consultant/Road Warrior, and owner of her own online training center for the Healthcare Information Technology industry. She is a seasoned Healthcare IT professional with over 25 years experience, with a recent career focus for the past 9 years in the EMR job market.


  • I have plenty of HIS experience, Revenue Certifications, etc… yet no one will even give me the time of day… especially if you are in the over 50 age range…. Even with all the experience, applying for positions in HC HIS or EMR, and I was the SME, I cannot get a recruiter or Healthcare provider to give me a look..

  • I got my feet wet for the first time on a Big Bang Go-Live for a large Level One Trauma Center. They were implementing Epic hospital-wide on an evening shift. I was able to learn the ins and outs of Epic and proctor physicians right along with the Epic instructors. One told me the same thing that Shirley is, you have to get hired on by a hospital that uses Epic and they will then SPONSOR your attendance to Verona, Wisconsin. That is the only way to get Epic Certified.

    I’ve been in an AS program nearing completion in Healthcare Informatics and am getting excited. I’ve been a certified paramedic since 1990 and together with my Go-Live Super-User Epic experience, and the education, I hope that I will become a successful Road Warrior as Shirley did.

    Good luck to all with your endeavors. Get the hands on experience first with an EHR/EMR. Cerner is doing quite well these days.

  • my company planning to send me to get the training and the cert for radiology module. can you help me to get information about the exam and how I can pass the exam I am let nervous.

  • Hi,

    I am looking for Epic EHR certification program, I have 1 year experience in Epic tool. Guide me to get a certified Epic. Share your documents to get certified EPIC consultant.

    My email : Jagadhesh@gmail.com

  • I am wanting to get any information on where to go to get Epic certification training. Thank you any help will be greatly appreciated.

  • Shirley,

    I am into healthcare IT projects. I was looking for certifications from EHR companies like Epic, Cerner,Meditech etc.
    Do i have to have a client with these EHR to get a certification. Or do they have a certification program that I can take without having clients and then approach clients for business stating I am certified ? Please advise.

  • Shirley, I am looking for how to get Epic certified haven been working with Cadence for over 3 years as a super user. Pls assist.

  • I am not sure how to break into the field to become Epic certified. I specifically would like to work on the Radiology end using Radiant. I am willing to start anywhere just didn’t know if you knew a place to start. Honestly, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!!

  • Hello i am looking for how to become Epic certified and the requirements,i hve never work in any hospital .

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