At the intersection of technology and medicine lies the nursing informatics field. Nurses who want to improve patient outcomes through the use of data and systems can advance to a nursing informatics role. With master's and doctoral degree levels available, prospective informatics nurses have a wealth of educational opportunities to choose from.

Choosing a Nursing Informatics Program

Before choosing a nursing informatics program, nurses should consider the following:

Accreditation

Accreditations are an essential way of ensuring that a nursing informatics program is reputable. National organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and/or the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) are the main accrediting bodies for graduate nursing programs. Some nursing informatics programs may also be accredited by local or regional organizations as well.

Program Cost

Advanced nursing informatics programs typically list their tuition fees by credit. For both MSN and DNP level programs, students can expect to pay tuition of roughly $400-$700 per credit hour, on average. Doctoral nursing informatics programs tend to be more expensive overall, as they require more credits to complete. Tuition costs often don't include additional expenses, such as books, course materials, and other mandatory fees.

Program Length

For MSN nursing informatics programs, students will need to complete around 37 credit hours, which equates to roughly 2-3 years of study. Both part-time and full-time options are typically available. For DNP programs, approximately 73 credit hours are required, and the degree can be achieved in around 3-4 years of dedicated study.

Internship/Externship Opportunities

A certain number of clinical hours are required for both MSN and DNP nursing informatics programs, so it's a good idea to see what kind of partnerships a prospective school has with area hospitals and medical facilities. Some schools will let students choose their own internship/externship sites for their clinical rotations.

Online/Campus Options

Many schools now offer both online and campus-based nursing informatics program options to accommodate a wider variety of students. Some schools even offer "hybrid" programs, where most coursework is completed online, but some lectures and labs are held on campus.

Nursing Informatics Degree Levels Offered

Prospective informatics nurses can choose between a Master's of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree. Both degrees prepare nurses with the analytical and problem-solving skills needed to excel in this advanced role. DNP programs take things a step beyond the MSN curriculum to provide a more in-depth informatics education.

MSN Programs

Students enrolled in an MSN level nursing informatics program will develop skills in clinical information systems, strategic planning, and more. The curriculum consists of both advanced core nursing courses and specialty courses, including Data Analytics, Synthesis of Specialty Practice, and Database Systems in Healthcare. Duke University, for example, offers an accredited MSN program in Health Informatics.

DNP Programs

DNP level nursing informatics programs add on to the MSN curriculum, preparing students to function as managers and leaders within the specialty. Courses taken may include Knowledge Management in Healthcare, Interpreting Research for Applied Science, and Organizational Foundations for Leading Change. The University of Kansas Medical Center is an example of a school offering a DNP in Nursing Informatics.

Online Nursing Informatics Programs

With technology being a main foundation of the nursing informatics specialty, it's no wonder that students are gravitating toward online programs. These online programs allow students to complete courses when and where they choose, making it ideal for today's hectic schedules. Many schools with campus-based nursing informatics programs also offer online options.

Advantages of an Online Program

The main advantage to an online nursing informatics program is the convenience factor. Students are able to complete coursework in their own time, allowing them to keep up with work, family, and other important obligations. Students based in rural areas may also find online programs advantageous, as it affords them the option to complete their education without a long commute. For those interested in lowering expenses, online programs allow students to virtually eliminate transportation expenses such as gas, tolls, and parking fees.

Program Accreditation

Like traditional campus-based programs, online nursing informatics programs should be properly accredited. ACEN and CCNE accreditations are recommended. These accreditations can give some peace of mind to students who may be apprehensive about enrolling in an online program.

Costs and Length

Credit requirements for online programs are the same as campus-based programs, though online options typically offer more flexibility in course completion. Therefore, program length for these online versions may fluctuate more based on the student's wants and needs. Tuition costs are also similar, though students may be able to find more affordable online options, and can also factor in the transportation savings. Grantham University, for example, offers an online MSN in Nursing Informatics that charges tuition of around $325 per credit hour.

What Are the Admissions and Certification Requirements?

Students can generally expect the following admissions requirements from a nursing informatics program:

  • BSN or higher from an accredited university
  • Cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above
  • Satisfactory GRE scores may be required
  • One or more years of nursing experience
  • Current, active RN license
  • Current resume or CV
  • Letters of recommendation and personal statement

Informatics nursing certification (RN-BC) is offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Eligibility requirements for the examination includes:

  • Must hold a current U.S. RN license
  • Must hold a BSN or higher
  • Must have practiced the equivalent 2 years as a full-time nurse
  • Must have completed 30 hours of continuing education in informatics nursing in the last 3 years
  • Must have practiced a minimum number of hours in the nursing informatics field

List of Nursing Informatics Programs

Nursing informatics programs can be found all over the country, including the following schools listed below.

Select Your State:

Alabama

SchoolContact Information
Troy University
Troy University School of Nursing, Pell Ave
Troy, AL 36081
(334) 834-2320
University of Alabama at Birmingham
MSN Programs
1701 University Boulevard
Birmingham, AL 35294
(205) 934-5428

Arizona

SchoolContact Information
Arizona State University
MSN Programs
550 N 3rd St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
(602) 496-2644
Grand Canyon University
3300 West Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85017
(855) 428-5673
University of Phoenix
1625 W. Fountainhead Pkwy
Tempe, AZ 85282
(866) 484-1831

California

SchoolContact Information
University of San Diego
MSN Programs
5998 Alcal? Park
San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 260-4600

Colorado

SchoolContact Information
Colorado University
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
12950 E. Montview Boulevard
Aurora, CO 80045
(303) 724-2152
University College at the University of Denver
2211 South Josephine St.
Denver, CO 80208
(303) 871-2291

Florida

SchoolContact Information
University of Miami
P.O. Box 248153
Coral Gables, FL 33124
(305) 284-3666

Georgia

SchoolContact Information
Columbus State University
MSN Programs
4225 University Avenue
Columbus, GA 31907
(706) 507-8800
Georgia South Western State University
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
800 Georgia Southwestern State University Drive
Americus, GA 31709
(877) 871-4594
Georgia State University
MSN Programs
33 Gilmer St SE
Atlanta, GA 30303
(404) 413-2000

Illinois

SchoolContact Information
University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC)
1919 W Taylor St, # MC530
Chicago,, IL 60612
(866) 674-4842
University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford
1601 Parkview Ave
Rockford, IL 61107
(815) 395-0600

Indiana

SchoolContact Information
WGU Indiana
?10 W Market St
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(866) 225-5948

Iowa

SchoolContact Information
Mount Mercy University
MSN Programs
1330 Elmhurst Drive NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402
(319) 363-8213

Kansas

SchoolContact Information
University of Kansas
DNP ProgramsMSN Programs
1246 West Campus Road Room 153A
Lawrence, KS 66045
(785) 864-6414

Maryland

SchoolContact Information
University of Maryland
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
655 W. Lombard St.
Baltimore, MD 21201
(410) 706-6109

Massachusetts

SchoolContact Information
Regis University
235 Wellesley Street
Weston, MA 02493
(781) 768-7000

Michigan

SchoolContact Information
Ferris State University
MSN Programs
200 Ferris Drive
Big Rapids, MI 49307
(231) 591-2270
University of Detroit Mercy
MSN Programs
4001 W. McNichols Road
Detroit, MI 48221
(313) 993-1245
University of Michigan
MSN Programs
426 N. Ingalls St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
(734) 763-5985

Minnesota

SchoolContact Information
The College of St. Scholastica
1200 Kenwood Avenue
Duluth, MN 55811
(800) 447-5444
University of Minnesota
308 Harvard Street SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455
(612) 624-9600

Missouri

SchoolContact Information
Western Governors University - WGU Missouri
8000 Maryland Ave., Suite 410
St. Louis, MO 63105
(185) 594-8849 x3

Nevada

SchoolContact Information
Western Governors University- Nevada
4001 S Edmond St
Las Vegas, NV 89118
(877) 214-7005

New Jersey

SchoolContact Information
Fairleigh Dickinson University
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
1000 River Rd
Teaneck, NJ 07666
(201) 692-2000
Rutgers School of Nursing
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
180 University Avenue
Newark, NJ 07102
(973) 972-4307
Thomas Edison State University
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
111 W State St
Trenton, NJ 08608
(888) 442-8372

New York

SchoolContact Information
Le Moyne College
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
1419 Salt Springs Road
Syracuse, NY 13214
(315) 445-4100
NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
433 First Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(212) 998-5300

North Carolina

SchoolContact Information
Duke University School of Nursing
MSN Programs
307 Trent Drive
Durham, NC 27710
(919) 684-3786
The University Of North Carolina At Chapel Hill
DNP ProgramsGraduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
Carrington Hall
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
(919) 962-2211
University of North Carolina Wilmington
DNP Programs
601 S. College Road
Wilmington, NC 28403
(910) 962-3000

Ohio

SchoolContact Information
Xavier University
MSN Programs
3800 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, OH 45207
(513) 745-3000

Pennsylvania

SchoolContact Information
University of Pittsburgh
MSN Programs
3500 Victoria Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
(412) 624-4586

Tennessee

SchoolContact Information
Middle Tennessee State University
1301 East Main Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
(615) 898-2300
WGU - Tennessee
501 Corporate Centre Drive, Suite 390
Franklin, TN 37067
(801) 274-3280

Texas

SchoolContact Information
Concordia University Texas
11400 Concordia University Dr
Austin, TX 78726
(512) 313-3000
Texas Tech University
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
3601 4th St.
Lubbock, TX 79430
(806) 743-2730
The University of Texas at Austin
Graduate Certificate Programs
110 Inner Campus Drive
Austin, TX 78712
(512) 471-3434
West Texas A&M University
MSN Programs
2501 4th Ave
Canyon, TX 79016
(806) 651-0000
WGU- Texas
221 W 6th St
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 225-6634

Utah

SchoolContact Information
University of Utah
Graduate Certificate ProgramsMSN Programs
10 South 2000 East
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
(801) 581-3414

Virginia

SchoolContact Information
Liberty University
MSN Programs
1971 University Blvd
Lynchburg, VA 24515
(434) 582-2000

Washington

SchoolContact Information
University of Washington
MSN Programs
1410 NE Campus Parkway
Seattle, WA 98195
(206) 543-2100
Western Governors University of Washington (WGU)
20435 72nd Ave S #301
Kent, WA 98032
(206) 673-8562

Wisconsin

SchoolContact Information
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
2442 E. Kenwood Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53211
(414) 229-1122