A new, and growing, field for nurses in the specialty of clinical nursing informatics. Specially trained nurses in this area may enjoy a salary range between $96,540 and $$172,240, depending on education and location. Nursing Informatics specialists may work in government, hospitals, physician offices and other healthcare facilities. These nurses integrate nursing data and technology skills to analyze and communicate information to identify evidence based practices to improve patient care. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates this specialty to have a 17% growth rate, much faster than average; and, will experience an employment change of over 56,000 between 2014-2024.
With the increasing use of electronic medical records, the ability to accurately analyze and deliver clinical information is rising in importance. Developing optimum systems, management and policies, nursing informatics allows for improvement, increased patient care quality and reduces errors. Nurses choosing this path, typically, have strong leadership skills, are detail oriented, are able communicators and have a proficient technical abilities.
FINANCING YOUR DEGREE
Federal Financial Aid
Federal Financial Aid for graduate and professional degrees may be obtainable. Graduate students typically only qualify for Stafford student loans which requires you to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Schools, and other funding opportunities, may request the a FASA for any scholarship consideration.
Some employers will offer assistance, as part of an employee benefit package, for employees to return to school to advance their education. Your HR department should be able to advise you.
Veterans and Active Military Personnel
Several schools offer tuition assistance for your service. Check with your school’s website, Bursar or Financial Aid Office to see if you’re eligible for a tuition discount.
Best Medical Degrees has reviewed current information provided on school websites and ratings by U.S. News and World Report and other ranking organizations, to determine the affordability, length of program and curriculum overview to provide assistance in your search for an affordable school. This ranking should provide you with a basis for determining the best school to suit your goal of working in nursing clinical informatics.
1. Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University provides an online Master of Science Nursing degree with an informatics concentration. The program may be completed online and holds accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Students will study healthcare research analysis, healthcare innovation, healthcare information systems, ethics, policies and finance and project evaluation. The program allows up to 12 transfer credit hours. Students will study analysis of contemporary healthcare delivery, healthcare policies and economics, legal and ethical principles, healthcare data management, healthcare information systems and technology and an evidence based research project.
Grand Canyon University is a proprietary, Christian school located in Arizona and was established in 1949. The school has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report and has received notice from Forbes Magazine as one of America’s Best Small Companies.
Program Length: 36 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $18,000
2. University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
Through Colorado University Online, this web based Master of Science Nursing Informatics degree holds Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accreditation. Following core courses for the Master of Science Nursing (MSN), this concentration in nursing informatics includes coursework in: advanced practice nursing research methods, digital tools for healthcare, foundations informatics, decision support and ANP practicum in healthcare informatics. As an online program, in addition to online study, students will participate in webinars, collaborative networking tools and video conferencing for program delivery.
Colorado University has provided online degree programs since 1997 and this informatics program is ranked #9 by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Nursing Informatics Program. Additionally, U.S. News and World Report has named the nursing school a Best Graduate School for its Masters in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice degrees. The campus is based in Aurora, Colorado.
Program Length: 34 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $20,740
3. University of Michigan School of Nursing
This nursing school located in Ann Arbor, Michigan offers a MSN Systems, Populations and Leadership degree which prepares graduates for a career in health information technologies. This school of nursing program has received accreditation from the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) and is a web-blended program, allowing students to work at their own pace with on-campus participation. Following core coursework (16 Credit Hours), students pursuing an informatics specialty will cover coursework in: informatics foundations, sociotechnical components of health information technology systems, evaluation methods and an informatics practicum.
U.S. News and World Report has ranked the University of Michigan School of Nursing at #11 in its Best Nursing School Masters Programs. The university is ranked #27 in National Universities, #17 in Best Colleges for Veterans and #4 in Top Public Schools by U.S. News and World Report. The university has an enrollment over 43,000 students, a far cry from its humble roots in 1817, twenty years before Michigan became a state.
Program Length: 33 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $21,794 (Resident); $43,674 (Non Resident)
4. Capella University
CCNE accredited, Capella University provides a MSN Informatics degree which is offered online. Coursework involves core study in: healthcare law and policy, evidence based practice for patient centered care and population health. Specialty courses for this MSN in Informatics will cover: principles of nursing informatics, health informatics planning, analysis and design, managing the nursing informatics life cycle; and, 200 practice immersion hours (conducted in an approved site and a qualified preceptor). Students are able to save money (and time) by transferring appropriate credits. Capella University also offers a trial course for students to “test drive” this online program.
Capella University holds accreditation from the Higher Learning Commission and is a for-profit institution owned by the Capella Education Corporation and located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The university was established in 1993 as the Graduate School of America. The school cites an enrollment of over 37,000 students with 47% of students enrolled in masters programs.
Program Length: 54 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $22,950
5. University of Maryland School of Nursing
Students may obtain an online MSN in Nursing Informatics degree accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Trained to analyze and manage nursing information, develop system changes and evaluate clinical effectiveness. Coursework includes studies in: application of science evidence based practice, health promotion and population health, organizational theory, biostatistics, systems analysis and design, practicum and health informatics and human-technology interactions in healthcare.
Ranked #1 of the Best Graduate Schools in Nursing Informatics rating by U.S. News and World Report, this nursing school was established in 1889 and was the first SON to offer a nursing informatics program in the nation. The school has an enrollment of over 1,800 students and is ranked #13 in funding from the National Institutes of Health. The school is located in Baltimore, Maryland.
Program Length: 40 Credit Hours
Tuition Estimate: $28,960 (Resident); $52,960 (Non Resident)
6. University of Washington School of Nursing
This is a MSN in Clinical Informatics and Patient Centered Technologies (MSN-CIPCT) degree and, following a week-long orientation, is offered online. A two year program, studies include topics: introduction to systems thinking and health informatics, foundations in care systems management, systems design, managing clinical effectiveness, data base concepts and applications in clinical management, patient-centered interactive health communication technology; and, a scholarly project required in the second year. The nursing school programs are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).
The University of Washington School of Nursing has achieved a #6 ranking by U.S. News and World Report for Best Nursing Schools offering masters degrees. The nursing school traces its founding to the deadly, flu pandemic of 1918, as a result of the need for public health education for nurses. The department began offering a BSN in 1923 and graduated its first nurses in 1926. Located in Seattle, Washington, the University of Washington School of Nursing has an enrollment in excess of 600 students.
Program Length: 49 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $30,380
7. University of Pittsburgh
A two-year, online program through the university’s PITTOnline , the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing offers a MSN Nursing Informatics degree. Students study: statistics and research for evidence based practice, introduction to health informatics, database management, clinical information systems, healthcare outcomes and participate in nursing informatics practicum. The program combines nursing, computer and technology and cognitive sciences to train students to develop and analyze clinical information systems. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), graduates of this program are eligible to sit for the Nursing Informatics Certification of the American Nursing Credentialing Center (ANCC). Online students pay in-state tuition regardless of their state of residence.
This school of nursing has a fine reputation, having been rated #8 by U.S. News and World Report in its 2018 Best Nursing Graduate Programs, #6 for its Nursing Informatics program and #7 in the National Institute of Health Research Dollars awarded. The University of Pittsburgh has also been highly ranked by The Princeton Review as one of the best schools to “give you a bang for your buck.” Founded in 1939, the School of Nursing graduated its first class in 1943; and, the university boasts an enrollment of over 28,000 students.
Program Length: 37 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $38,443
8. University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
This is a Doctor of Nursing Practice Informatics program holding CCNE accreditation. Partially offered online, students are expected to attend on-campus to participate in enhancement programming, core courses, meetings with advisors and specialty courses. Covering several areas, this degree will cover clinical health informatics, consumer informatics, leadership and health informatics, database design and query, research in health informatics and systems analysis and design, among other topics.
Rated #2 in Best Nursing Informatics Programs by U.S. News and World Report, this is a three year, fulltime program also has a practicum component which pairs students with local, national and international partnerships. Graduates are eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to obtain certification. The University of Minnesota’s health sciences division was founded in 1970 and has an enrollment of 6,200 students.
Program Length: 69 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $67,189 (Resident); $67,827 (Non Resident)
9. New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing
This Advanced Practice Nursing MSN Informatics program requires 12 credit hours in core courses before beginning the informatics coursework in:
introduction to nursing informatics, consumers and interactive health care, assessment and analysis of clinical and nursing information, systems, practicum, database design and decision support of clinical and nursing information systems, implementation, management and evaluation of clinical and nursing systems and nursing informatics integration. The nursing informatics program has pre and co-requisites required. Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the program requires a New York State license before beginning coursework and a BS or BS/BA for admission.
The university was founded in New York City in 1831 with the College of Nursing being established in 1932. The college was nationally listed #6 master’s program by U.S. News and World Report. The college also ranks #8 bin funding from the National Institutes for Health. With three degree-granting campuses in New York City, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai, NYU has grown to serve over 50,000 students from its 1831 first semester of 184 enrolled students; and, has 18 schools and colleges.
Program Length: 45 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $73,395
10. University of Utah
Offered by the University of Utah College of Nursing, this CCNE accredited, MSN Informatics program, may be completed on a fulltime or parttime basis, with some courses being available online. Students will be required to complete core courses in evidence based practice, foundations of healthcare informatics, health and systems, principles in healthcare financing and quality improvement. Informatics specialty courses include study in human systems interaction, statistics for biomedical informatics, project management, nursing informatics roles and collaboration. Graduates are required to complete a master synthesis or thesis.
This university was first organized in 1850 by Brigham Young as the University of Deseret; but, closed three years later from lack of funds. It was re-established in 1867 and changed its name to the current University of Utah in 1892. Located in Salt Lake City, the university’s College of Nursing has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Nursing Schools-Masters Degree; and, the university is ranked in the top 200 in National Universities. The school also ranks in the top 100 of Best Colleges for Veterans and Top Public Schools; and, has a burgeoning enrollment of over 31,000 students.
Program Length: 40 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition: $88,8032 (Resident); $175,840 (Non Resident)