No healthcare facility can function without an outstanding upper-level support system. That is where Nursing Informatics (NI) comes in. It is a specialized field that blends the science of nursing with multiple analytical and information management sciences to classify, outline, manage, and share information, data, wisdom, and practical knowledge in nursing practice. That’s why attending one of the best nursing informatics programs is so important.
Nursing Informatics provides support through the utilization of information technology, processes, and structures to all those responsible for decision-making and outcome setting throughout the entire healthcare team, including nurses, as well as for patients and consumers in general.
Those who work in this field are known as Nursing Informaticists. They are found in nearly all healthcare settings including medically oriented corporations, universities, consulting firms, health care facilities, and hospitals. Among their most common job titles are:
Like most nursing careers, the job market for NIs is expected to continue to grow well into the next decade. In fact, The American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) has stated that over the next five years, as many as 70,000 nursing informatics analysts/specialists will be needed to meet the demand for their services. This surge in demand is due in large part to the Patient Protection and Accountable Care Act (PPACA) passed in 2008 and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH) passed in 2009. These are aimed at controlling costs and keeping accurate records; areas that Nursing Informatics addresses.
According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a Nurse Informatics Analyst is roughly $66,000 per year. This is expected to continue to rise as the demand for these highly trained specialists grows.
Generally, nursing informaticists start their career as a registered nurse (RN). Once a candidate has their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) they may choose to pursue a general Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) with a focus on informatics or the more specific Master of Science in Nursing Informatics. Either way, the program prepares students for a demanding career that involves creativity, critical thinking, and project management skills.
Programs are accredited through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Licensing is provided through the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) Informatics Nursing exam.
Below you will find ranked on-campus nursing informatics programs followed by ranked online nursing informatics programs.
Fairfield University comes in at number two for their three-year Master of Science in Nursing program. It features hands-on informatics learning experiences as well as both clinical and leadership practicums. Graduates are prepared to sit for the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) Informatics Nursing exam.
Molloy College offers a 43-credit hour hybrid program that is designed to prepare future administrators. This program covers both nursing administration and informatics and includes 200 experiential hours in Nursing Informatics and a 90-clock hour practicum in Nursing Administration. Students may also pursue a dual degree track for an MS/MBA in Nursing Administration with Informatics in Healthcare.
New York University provides a unique Master of Science in Nursing Informatics program that focuses on the evaluation, analysis, implementation, and design of systems within patient care settings. Students work with experts in the field, complete unique practicum experiences, and collaborate with other NYU campuses.
The Nursing Informatics programs at Jacksonville University are provided through the Keigwin School of Nursing. It is a 22-month cohort program that is comprised of 10 courses aligned with ANCC certification requirements. Admission is determined on a rolling basis.
Mount Mercy University offers nursing informatics programs designed for working professionals. Courses are held two nights each week for five weeks in an accelerated format. The program is 36 credit hours long and includes a professional practicum to provide students with hands-on experience in the industry.
The Nursing Informatics programs at Holy Names University is a 39 credit hour program with a flexible design utilizing monthly weekend intensive classes.
The Nursing Informatics programs at Northeastern University are offered through their Bouve College of Health Sciences. Students can earn a Nursing Informatics Graduate Certificate via classes delivered on-campus, online, or a hybrid of the two. This is a 12-credit hour program that is designed to be completed in 12 months. They also offer a Master of Science in Nursing Administration/Leadership or Health Informatics as well as a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP); to which the certificate program can be applied. New students are accepted during the fall and spring semesters.
The University of Mary offers both online and on-campus options for their cutting-edge Nursing Informatics certification. Students complete coursework as well as 360 clinical hours towards this Master of Science in Nursing and Healthcare Informatics.
Rounding out the top ten is the University of San Diego and their Master of Science in Nursing Informatics program. It is a two-year 42 credit hour program that can be completed on-campus or online.
At the University of Texas, the hybrid DNP program is offered through their Cizik School of Nursing. It is the only program of its kind in the state and features a curriculum incorporating information and analytical science with nursing science. Each student is assigned their own advisor for support throughout this three-year program.
The Master of Science in Nursing Informatics programs at the University of Utah starts with their 32 credit hour track that is designed for nurses interested in information systems and computer science. It is open to BSN grads who have a minimum of one year of clinical nursing experience and requires students to complete a practicum in nursing informatics. They may then choose to complete additional coursework to get further hands-on experiences within the field.
At the Jefferson College of Nursing, their Master of Science in Nursing Informatics program offers courses online and on-site making it an excellent choice for working professionals. It emphasizes the development and implementation of data analysis to improve patient privacy and overall care.
The Health Care Informatics Master of Science in Nursing program at the University of Colorado is a HIMSS Academic Organizational Affiliate, indicating a dedication to better health through IT. Students complete an advanced practicum experience focusing specifically on a particular role in informatics in the student’s own community.
The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities School of Nursing offers a DNP degree program that is three years in length. It offers a hybrid format with flexible online classes that only require students to come to campus for short four-day sessions once per semester.
Rutgers University offers their Master of Science in Nursing Informatics through their School of Nursing. This specialty area trains students in many areas of Nursing Informatics to teach them to integrate information science, nursing science, and computer science. The coursework is all online and the 225 clinical practicum hours are in person, with a preceptor in New Jersey.
The College of Nursing at the University of Illinois offers a Health Systems Leadership and Informatics DNP program that is 60 credit hours long. It includes access to a variety of practicum settings including professional associations, accrediting agencies, and hospitals.
University of Wisconsin’s College of Nursing offers a BS to DNP program in nursing informatics. It is 65 credit hours and includes coursework in clinical informatics, biostatistics, and health policy. It offers the choice of following a three- or four-year track depending on the student’s needs.
Fairleigh Dickinson University offers a Master of Science in Nursing and Post Master’s program with a specialization in Nursing Information Systems. Specialized online and on-site coursework in areas such as nursing information systems and applications, nursing informatics theory and roles, and project management is provided. Students complete advanced practicum with preceptors in nursing informatics for hands-on experience in the field.
The ranking of this list was determined by evaluating factors that all institutions share. In this case, those factors are Tuition (annual graduate level), student to faculty ratio, and graduation rates. These numbers were gathered from the institution’s website, government sources, and licensing organizations. If you represent a school on this list or one that you feel should be on this list and see an error, please bring it to our attention so that we may address it.
Continue reading below for nursing informatics schools that are specifically available online.
These nursing informatics programs provide predominantly online delivery. The online programs of the schools listed above are rated below as well based on their online offering and the methodology used to evaluate these schools.
The University of Alabama offers a fully online Master of Science in Nursing Informatics program. Admission requires an earned BSN from a regionally accredited institution with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better, three professional references, and satisfactory standardized test scores.
Ferris State University online Master of Science in Nursing Informatics program is oriented towards adult students. Students are allowed to take one to four courses each term and classes include quality improvement and safety, systems and organizational leadership, health care policy and systems, and critique of the evidence for practice. To be admitted to the program, applicants must hold a bachelor’s in nursing with an overall GPA of 3.00, an active RN license, and have two years of full-time clinical nursing experience.
The online Texas Tech University Nursing Informatics degree track is open to RNs and requires an unencumbered RN license and bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university. An informatics practicum is also required and can be completed in the nurse’s geographic location.
Liberty University provides a master’s program in nurse informatics for RNs. It is 42 credit hours and can be completed in two years or less by following an accelerated one-year track. It is 100 percent online and admission requires a current license to practice as an RN and a minimum of one year of nursing practice.
The University of South Alabama offers two nursing informatics programs, an RN to Master of Science and a post-BSN to Master of Science track. Courses are delivered online and clinical can be arranged within the student’s own community. Industry professionals provide students with hands-on and evidence-based curriculum.
The University of Kansas provides a Master’s in Nursing Informatics. All required courses are delivered online and admission requires an earned BSN from an accredited institution, a current RN license, and a minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
Troy University has an online Master of Science in Nursing program that offers a specialized track in nursing leadership and health care informatics. It is designed for grads of BSN programs and is entirely online.
As described above in their on-campus Nursing Informatics programs listing, Mount Mercy University provides a flexible Master of Science in Nursing with nursing informatics specialty track. It offers two start dates each year and a flexible schedule. Courses run five weeks in length and a clinical practicum is required. Admission does not require entrance exams, such as the GRE or GMAT, and the program is designed to be completed in as little as 18 months
Middle Tennessee State University has an online nursing informatics degree program that is designed for working RNs. Admission requires an active RN license, a bachelor’s degree, and no GRE.
Catering to working nurses, Nebraska Methodist College’s online nursing informatics certification is designed to be completed in 21 months and results in a Master of Science in Nursing Informatics. Courses are five or ten weeks in length with a one week break between courses. Admission requires an earned BSN from an accredited institution, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0, and a current unencumbered RN license.
Western Governors University provides online nursing informatics programs via their North Carolina campus that are entirely online. This BSN to Master of Science in Nursing program consists of 14 courses and a flexible schedule. To be considered for the program, you must possess a bachelor’s in nursing from an accredited institution and an active RN license.
Duke University – often regarded as one of the United States’ premier institutions – offers an online Master of Science in Nursing Informatics. It is a 38-credit program with a distance-based curriculum that requires two days on campus twice during the entire program. Admission is competitive and requires strong GRE scores or a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.4 or better.
Norwich University’s Master of Science in Nursing Informatics is 18 months in length with 18 required nursing informatics credits. Core classes are delivered online and no GRE or GMAT requirements are needed for enrollment.
Nova Southeastern University offers an online Master of Science in Nursing Informatics designed for working nurses. Their online nursing informatics programs offer multiple pathways to completion including a BSN bridge. Admission requires an earned BSN or RN with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better.
Concordia University has multiple campuses and offers online coursework as well. Their online Master of Science in Nursing Informatics is a 30 to 34 credit hour program that is fast-paced. Admission requirements for the Master of Science in nursing informatics degree include a BSN from a regionally accredited college or university with an undergraduate GPA of at least 2.5. An unencumbered RN license and three letters of recommendation are also required.
Wilkes University offers a 39-credit hour program designed for professional nurses that leads to a Master of Science in Nursing Informatics. The program is open to working RNs with nursing experience and a strong undergrad GPA.
The School of Nursing at Rutgers University offers an online program that mimics their on-campus offerings. It is a 37-credit hour Master of Science in Nursing Informatics program that can be completed entirely online. Admission requirements include proof of current NJ RN license, official transcripts, and a bachelor’s degree with at least a 3.2 undergraduate GPA.
The online Master of Science in Nursing Informatics offered by Chamberlain University is delivered through online courses and 216 hours of practicum experience. Admission requirements include a BSN or higher from an accredited college or university, an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better, and a current and unrestricted RN license.
Like their on-campus offerings, the University of Mary’s online nursing informatics programs prepares RNs for careers in advanced informatics and nursing. Admission requires an undergraduate GPA of 2.75 or better and an unencumbered RN license. Courses are delivered fully online so that working nurses with busy schedules may participate.
National University offers a program that is delivered through online classes by experienced NU faculty. It results in a Master of Science in Nursing Informatics.
Like their brick and mortar Master of Science in Nursing Informatics, the online option offered by Holy Names University integrates nursing, information, and computer sciences. Classes are held monthly with weekend intensives and the program is 39 total credit hours.
The University of Colorado offers an online Master of Science degree with a specialty in health care informatics. This program is open to RNs with active nursing licenses and is delivered as a two-year full-time program.
The University of Pittsburgh’s online Master of Science in Nursing with a focus on nursing informatics can be completed on either a full- or part-time basis. Interactive online classes delivered by UP faculty allow students to take part in community building, problem-solving, and discussions. Admission requires a bachelor’s degree in nursing, current RN license, undergraduate GPA of 3.0 or better, and official GRE scores. The GRE may be waived if an undergraduate GPA of 3.5 or better is received.
For online Nursing Informatics programs, schools were evaluated on their tuition costs and graduation rate. Student-to-faculty ratios are unavailable for online classes for evaluating purposes. If you represent a school on this list or one that you feel should be on this list and see an error, please bring it to our attention so that we may address it.