EDUCATION
May 10, 2022

Top Nursing Informatics Programs

As technology grows within the healthcare field, nursing informatics is becoming a more widely known subspecialty within the nursing profession. This article will explain what a nursing informatics program is and everything you need to know about the top nursing informatics programs in the country.

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 examples of nursing informatics in action 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

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Top Nursing Informatics Programs 

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. 

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: $1,150 per credit 
  • Program length: Five semesters if attending full-time
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • Application deadline: Rolling
  • 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

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.

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: $1,910 per credit (38 credit hours)
  • Program length: Three years
  • Accreditation: ACEN
  • Application deadline: December 1
  • 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.

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: $2,404 per credit
  • Program length: Five semesters if full-time
  • Accreditation: CCNE, AACN, Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU)
  • Application deadline: February 1
  • 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.

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 per credit (31 credits)
    • Out-of-state: $989.60 per credit
    • Online: $421 per credit
  • Program length: Two years if full-time
  • Accreditation: Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM)
  • Application deadline: April 1 
  • Contact info: 
    • Email: soninfo@kumc.edu
    • Phone number: 913-588-1619
  • Are online options available? Yes 
  • Types of nursing informatics programs: 
    • On-campus and online MSN in 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. 

Additional program information: 

  • Tuition: $565 per credit
  • Program length: 21 months 
  • 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

6. University of South Carolina

Nursing informatics MSN students at the University of South Carolina apply computer science and nursing practice to improve health care 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: $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: March 1
  • Contact info: 
    • Email: nursinq@mailbox.sc.edu
    • Phone number: 803-777-7412
  • Are online options available? Yes 
  • Types of nursing informatics program: 
    • Online Nursing Informatics MSN

7. Thomas Jefferson University

The MSN with a specialty track in nursing informatics at Thomas Jefferson University offers nurses the option of online or a combination of online and onsite courses. 

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: March 15
  • Contact info: 
    • Email: enroll@jefferson.edu
    • Phone number: 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. 

Additional program information: 

  • Tuition: $673 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, and 
  • 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
  • Application deadline: Year-round
  • 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

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
  • Program length: February 15th
  • Accreditation: CCNE
  • Application deadline: February 15
  • Contact info: 
    • Email: tharlan@southalabama.edu
    • Phone number: (251) 445-9400
  • Are online options available? Yes 
  • Types of nursing informatics programs: 
    • Online MSN in Nursing Informatics 

Show Me Nursing Informatics Programs

Nursing Informatics Career Overview 

Nursing Informatics Salary

According to Ziprecruiter, as of 2022, informatics nurses in the U.S. earn a median annual income of $102,230 or $49.15/hr. That is about $8,591 per month!

Ziprecruiter adds that nurse informatics salaries can range from as high as $188,000 per year to as low as $23,000. However, most salaries are somewhere between $71,000 to $117,000.

Highest Paying Cities for Informatics Nurses

City Annual Salary Hourly Wage
San Jose, CA $126,268 $60.71
Oakland, CA $124,815 $60.01
Tanaina, AK $124,248 $59.73
Wasilla, AK $124,247 $59.73
Hayward, CA $122,201 $58.75
Seattle, WA $121,376 $58.35
Concord, CA $121,072 $58.21
Sunnyvale, CA $120,381 $57.88
Santa Cruz, CA $118,987 $57.21
Seaside, CA $117,413 $56.45

Via ZipRecruiter

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that the annual median income for nurses of all specialties is about $77,600 or $27.31 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.

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.

Show Me Nursing Informatics Programs

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.

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 About Nursing Informatics Programs 

  • 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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