November 3, 2023

Top 10 Nursing Informatics Programs

Top Nurse Informatics Programs | Nurse.org

As technology grows within the healthcare field, nursing informatics is becoming a more widely known subspecialty within the nursing profession. 

If you're looking to join this growing profession, we've ranked the top nursing informatics programs for 2024 to help you choose the right one for you. 

What is Nursing Informatics?

Nursing informatics combines nursing science with technology to improve communication and the transfer of information within the field of nursing. 

Some of the most common nursing informatics examples include:

  • Electronic medical records (EMR) systems
  • Computerized provider order entry (CPOE)
  • Telemedicine

You may also not know that many different career titles are associated with nursing informatics. Common titles may include:

If you have ever considered working in a nursing role away from the bedside, enjoy learning about advancements in nursing technology, and want to improve the flow of information for better patient outcomes, you might consider learning more about this growing subspecialty.

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What is a Nursing Informatics Program? 

Although nurses with a bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) can work in this field, nursing informatics programs are generally advanced-level degree programs that require a master’s of nursing (MSN) or a doctorate of nursing (DNP). 

These programs teach nursing students about utilizing technology to:

  • Improve communication between nurses and ancillary healthcare specialists
  • Provide fast data to healthcare providers so they can make informed choices
  • Help administrators analyze large amounts of patient data
  • Provide detailed patient health insights
  • Influence healthcare policies with better-informed patient data
  • Achieve better patient outcomes
  • Help lower healthcare costs

>> Show Me Nursing Informatics Programs

Top Nursing Informatics Programs 

We ranked the top nursing informatics programs based on factors such as tuition, acceptance rate, student-to-faculty ratio, accreditation, and more. 

1. University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh's MSN in nursing informatics is a 100% online program. It is a go-at-your-own-pace MSN, with options to attend full-time or part-time. This program is also unique because not only can students earn an MSN in Nursing Informatics, but it’s also possible for other MSN students to earn a minor or a post-professional nursing informatics certification

The school prides itself on a 100% national certification pass rate. Students in the program also have unique opportunities to customize their programs and present their capstone projects at local, state, and national meetings.

Additional program information: 

  • Tuition: $1,190 per credit 
  • Program length: Five semesters if attending full-time
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Application deadline: June 15th, October 1st, March 1st
  • Contact info: 
    • Email: sao50@pitt.edu
    • Phone number: (412) 624-4586
  • Are online options available? Yes 
  • Types of nursing informatics programs: 
    • Online MSN in Nursing Informatics
    • Minor in Nursing Informatics
    • Post Graduate Certificate 

>> Show Me Nursing Informatics Programs

2. Duke University

Duke University offers an MSN in health informatics that emphasizes “clinical informatics, leadership, and real-world application.”

The university also reports that, although most MSN students attend the program full-time, students say that they can still complete their coursework. Students take 4 MSN courses, 7 informatics courses, and 2 DNP courses in this program. 

Faculty report using personalized instruction with a combination of online and on-campus learning. In addition, the university reports having multi-disciplinary faculty with nationally recognized expert experience in biomedical information and the nursing profession.

Additional program information: 

  • Tuition: $2,075 per credit (38 credit hours)
  • Program length: Three years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Application deadline: December 1st
  • Contact info: 
    • Email: SONAdmissions@dm.duke.edu
    • Phone number: (919) 684-4248
  • Are online options available? Yes 
  • Types of nursing informatics programs: 
    • MSN in Nursing Informatics
    • Post-Graduate Certificate
    • Health Informatics Certificate

3. University of Utah

The University of Utah is one of the first nursing informatics programs in the U.S. They report that they help nurses bridge the gap between technology and patient care outcomes. Nationally-recognized nursing informatics leaders teach the courses at this program, tailoring each experience for the needs and interests of the students. 

Their MSN in nursing informatics program offers an online option and an on-campus option. They also offer full-time and part-time coursework to help students manage their coursework and be successful in the program.

Additional program information: 

  • Tuition: $3,834.86 per credit
  • Program length: Five semesters if full-time
  • Accreditation: CCNE, AACN, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Application deadline: February 1st
  • Contact info: 
    • Email: ashley.cadiz@nurs.utah.edu
    • Phone number: (801) 587-3194
  • Are online options available? Yes 
  • Types of nursing informatics programs: 
    • On-campus and online MSN in Nursing Informatics

4. University of Kansas

The MSN in Health Informatics program at the University of Kansas prepares graduates to succeed in careers in hospitals, health record businesses, public health organizations, and other healthcare organizations. Students will not only take informatics classes but also classes focused in clinical leadership, health policy, project management, and telehealth. 

The university also reports that 100% of 2020-2021 graduates were employed when they graduated from the program! 

Additional program information: 

  • Tuition: 
    • In-state: $421.15 per credit (35 credits)
    • Out-of-state: $989.60 per credit
    • Online: $421.15 per credit
  • Program length: Two years if full-time
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA)
  • Application deadline: April 1st 
  • Contact info: 
    • Email: soninfo@kumc.edu
    • Phone number: (913) 588-1619
  • Are online options available? Yes 
  • Types of nursing informatics programs: 
    • MSN Nursing Informatics

5. Nebraska Methodist College

Nebraska Methodist College has a two-year MSN program with an informatics track to help nurses learn competencies as healthcare informaticists.

As the only healthcare informatics degree in the region, this program gives nursing students essential insight into managing information systems to promote better health systems and improve patient outcomes. 

Benefits of the Nebraska Methodist College’s informatics program include faster courses (either five or ten weeks each) and that students can complete coursework from anywhere with internet access. Students in the program receive national and chapter membership to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

Additional program information: 

  • Tuition: $565 per credit
  • Program length: 21 months, including 200 clinical hours
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application deadline: Rolling
  • Contact info: 
    • Email: admissions@methodistcollege.edu
    • Phone number: (402) 354-7000
  • Are online options available? Yes 
  • Types of nursing informatics programs: 
    • Online MSN program with an informatics track

>> Show Me Nursing Informatics Programs

6. University of South Carolina

Nursing informatics MSN students at the University of South Carolina apply computer science and nursing practice to improve healthcare technology.

The program is online and can be paired with fieldwork from the student's workplace. The school emphasizes that the program allows flexibility to manage school and work simultaneously. 

Additional program information: 

  • Tuition: In-state: $770.25 per credit (33 credits)
    • Out-of-state: $1,438 per credit
  • Program length: 
    • Four semesters if full-time
    • Seven semesters if part-time
  • Accreditation: CCNE, The Commission on Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS)
  • Application deadline: June 1st
  • Contact info: 
    • Email: nursinq@mailbox.sc.edu
    • Phone number: (803) 777-7412
  • Are online options available? Yes 
  • Types of nursing informatics programs: 
    • Online Nursing Informatics MSN

7. Thomas Jefferson University

This MSN is a specialty track where students focus on Community Systems Administration/Nursing Informatics. 

The program also boasts a 98% job placement rate for those pursuing employment following graduation!

  • Additional program information: 
  • Tuition: $1,00 per credit
  • Program length: Two years
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application deadline: October 15th, February 15th, June 1st
  • Contact info: 
    • Email: TJU.Admissions@jefferson.edu or enroll@jefferson.edu
    • Phone number: (215) 503-8890 or (215) 951-2800
  • Are online options available? Yes
  • Types of nursing informatics programs: 
    • Online MSN with specialty track, or
    • MSN with a combination of online and onsite courses

8. Ferris State University

Ferris State University offers three unique MSN programs with a focus on nursing education, nursing administration, or nursing informatics. The university website states that its goal is to help nurses become leaders in the profession and help improve the national nursing shortage.

All of the courses offered are fully online. The educational format allows students an opportunity to interact with cohorts from inside and outside the state. BestHealthDegrees.com ranked the FSU MSN program in the top 10 in the nation for affordability.

  • Additional program information: 
  • Tuition: $711 per credit
  • Program length: Two years (depending on full or part-time)
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application deadline: Rolling
  • Contact info: 
  • Email: CHP@Ferris.edu
  • Phone number: (231) 591-2259
  • Are online options available? Yes 
  • Types of nursing informatics programs: 
  • Online MSN in nursing informatics 

9. National University

National University offers two types of nursing informatics programs for nursing students:

  • An MSN with a Specialization in Nursing Informatics, and
  • An MS in Health Informatics Degree

The university also offers graduate students flexibility not commonly seen in many programs, such as:

  • Degree completion in as little as 12 to 18 months
  • Few on-campus requirements
  • Online monthly meetings

But what makes the university genuinely unique is that many courses are completable in just four weeks.

Additional program information: 

  • Tuition: $450 per quarter unit
  • Program length: 12 to 18 months 
  • Accreditation: CCNE, Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)
  • Application deadline: Rolling 
  • Contact info: 
    • Email:admissions@nu.edu
    • Phone number: (855) 355-6288
  • Are online options available? Yes
  • Types of nursing informatics programs: 
    • MSN with a Specialization in Nursing Informatics
    • Master of Science in Health Informatics Degree

>> Show Me Nursing Informatics Programs

10. University of South Alabama

The University of South Alabama offers students online courses along with clinicals located in the student's town.

The program takes about two years to complete if attending as a full-time student, and the program website reports that 100% of students are employed when they enroll in the program.

Additional program information: 

  • Tuition: $594 per credit unit regardless of residency status
  • Program length: Two to three years
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application deadline: February 15th
  • Contact info: 
    • Email: congradapp@southalabama.edu or congrad@southalabama.edu
    • Phone number: (251) 445-9400
  • Are online options available? Yes 
  • Types of nursing informatics programs: 
    • Online MSN in Nursing Informatics 

Nursing Informatics Career Overview 

Nursing Informatics Salary

According to ZipRecruiter, as of March 2023, informatics nurses in the U.S. earn a median annual income of $102,410 or $49.00/hr. That is about $8,534 per month!

ZipRecruiter adds that nurse informatics salaries can range from as high as $186,500 per year to as low as $27,000. However, most salaries are somewhere between $81,500 to $113,500.

Highest Paying Cities for Informatics Nurses

City

Annual Salary

Hourly Wage

San Jose, CA

$125,011

$60.10

Oakland, CA

$124,014

$59.62

Hayward, CA

$121,275

$58.31

Seattle, WA

$121,220

$58.28

Concord, CA

$119,514

$57.46

Sunnyvale, CA

$119,055

$57.24

Barnstable Town, MA

$118,967

$57.20

Frankston, TX

$118,031

$56.75

Seaside, CA

$116,769

$56.14

Wasilla, AK

$116,758

$56.13

Via ZipRecruiter

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the annual median income for nurses of all specialties is about $81,220 or $39.05 per hour. Based on those numbers, informatics nurses have more earning potential than most nursing specialties!

Nursing Informatics Program Overview

Average Nursing Informatics Program Length 

Most nursing informatics programs take about two years to complete. However, some can take as little as five semesters, while others can take up to three years. Timing will also vary depending if you are attending the program on a full-time or part-time basis. 

Your program length will likely be determined by the type of advanced degree you want to achieve. Generally speaking, an MSN will take less time than a DNP.

Nursing Informatics Program Requirements 

Because nursing informatics programs don’t require bedside nursing care, most classroom work can be completed almost or entirely 100% online. However, you will usually also be required to complete some fieldwork at a local healthcare facility. This will vary based on the program. It’s important to consider the number of clinical hours required and also if the program will assist in setting up the clinical experience. Some programs require the students to find their own clinical experiences and submit all necessary paperwork. 

  • Classes taught in nursing informatics programs often include topics such as:
  • Informatics systems design and analysis
  • Data analytics and science
  • Database management systems
  • Nursing informatics capstone
  • Nursing informatics in the healthcare environment
  • Professional informatics influence
  • Informatics for transforming nursing care
  • Leadership and management in nursing informatics
  • Advancing evidence-based practice through technology
  • Quality outcomes with value-based nursing care

FAQs

  • How long is a nursing informatics program? 

    • Most nursing informatics programs take about two years to complete. However, some can take as little as five semesters, while others can take up to three years. In most cases, an MSN will take less time than a DNP.
  • What do nursing informaticists do? 

    • Nurse informaticists combine nursing science with technology to improve communication and the transfer of information within the field of nursing. Some of the most common examples of nursing informatics in action include electronic medical records (EMR) systems and telemedicine.
  • Is nursing informatics in demand? 

    • Nursing informatics is in high demand because of changes in healthcare technology, such as electronic medical records (EMRs) and computerized provider order entry (CPOE).
  • Is a nursing informatics degree worth it?

    • Yes, a nursing informatics degree is worth it for many students for various reasons, such as nurses can promote better patient outcomes with non-bedside positions. The degree may provide better income opportunities. It allows nurses to collaborate with other advanced degree specialists and administrators. Nurses can take various new nursing positions as data analytics, computer systems specialists, IT consultants, administrators, and more!
  • How do I get into nursing informatics?

    • Although nurses with a BSN can work in the nursing informatics field, hiring managers generally prefer nurses who have completed an advanced-level degree program focusing on nursing informatics.  Nursing informaticist programs usually result in either an MSN or DNP degree.

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