If you're a nurse with an interest in information technology and how it relates to patient care, there's a nursing specialty for you in Nursing Informatics. Never before has healthcare and technology been as intricately linked as in the 21st century. Modern healthcare relies heavily on electronic medical and personal health information, surgical robotics, immediate bedside charting, etc. to provide quality and efficient healthcare.
But, what is Nursing Informatics? There are complex definitions of the specialty, but the simple answer is it's using computer technology systems support patient care. Informaticists develop and monitor evidence-based practices, medical research, establish clear communication standards in patient care, adhere to state and federal healthcare regulations, etc. In short, Nursing Informatics is a rapidly growing field with a promising future and compensation.
19 Best Value RN/ADN to MSN Online Degree Programs
An Internet search shows multiple on MSN degree with Nursing Informatics concentrations for those with a BSN. However, there are also online RN to MSN bridge programs available, some of which, will allow students to earn a BSN simultaneously. Best Medical Degrees looked for programs leading to a MSN in Nursing Informatics. It should be noted that nurses who hold a baccalaureate degree in a non-nursing major may also be admitted to RN to MSN curricula.
Bridge programs (basically programs which fills the gap between an Associate Degree or nursing diploma) allow working nurses to obtain a MSN in a shorter period of time. Before committing to any program you should check with your state's licensing board to determine if the degree will allow you to be certified and/or licensed. Included in this ranking are the core and speciality courses required and not the General Education coursework.
Students in these bridge programs may qualify for financial assistance but will need to file for Federal Financial Aid.
Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provides data on nursing (showing a 15% job growth rate between 2016-2026), it does not provide specific information on Nursing Informatics, per se. However, BLS does cite a rapid 12% job increase for those working in computer and information technology. PayScale averages the annual salary for Nursing Informatics Specialists at $85,843 with salaries ranging from $66,192-$116,290. Employment opportunities for these nursing specialists may be found in hospitals, multi-facility health systems, consulting firms, and government.
Best Medical Degrees has used certain information in developing this ranking: 1) how long the program will take and how much it may cost per credit hour (not including other school fees assessed), 2) if the programs holds proper Department of Education approved accreditation. Most nursing programs hold Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) accreditation, 3) when applicable any rankings from U.S. News and World Report and 4) verifying the programs are available online (including hybrid program which may require a minimum and brief on-campus requirement.) This ranking lists the number of nursing courses credit hours required only. The length of time the program will require will depend on the number of hours students are able to take per quarter or semester.
1. Grantham University
Grantham University (GU) provides a 100% online RN to MSN bridge program which will allow Associate Degree nurses to pursue a Master of Science in Nursing with an Nursing Informatics concentration. Following completion of 24 credit hours of BSN coursework (Note: the BSN is not awarded with this program) and passing a competency exam, students may then enroll in 36 hours of graduate nursing studies informatics. The MSN degree is accredited by the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN).
Program Length: 60 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $265 (Undergraduate); $325 (Graduate)
Curriculum Snapshot: Fundamentals of Technical Writing, Pathophysiology, Health Assessment for Professional Nursing, Mathematical Statistics, Nursing Leadership and Management, Essentials of Nursing Informatics, Healthcare Systems, Nursing Research and Evidence Based Practice, Nursing Informatics Research Seminar, Nursing Informatics Practicum, etc.
Program Website: Grantham University
2. Jacksonville University
Holding accreditation from the Commission on the Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), Jacksonville University (JU) has an online RN-MSN degree with an informatics specialization. The program consists of 53-56 nursing credits and 60 core nursing credit hours (but 30 credit hours are awarded for a valid nursing license). Applicants are required, among other criteria, to be a graduate of an accredited ADN or nursing diploma program with a 3.0 GPA, GRE scores of 290 or above (waived for a 3.0 GPA) and evidence of successful completion of undergraduate courses in statistics and physical assessment. U.S. News and World Report ranks JU in its Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs, Best Value Schools and Best Colleges for Veterans.
Program Length: 141-155 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $315 (Florida Resident); $400 (Non-Resident); $795 (Graduate)
Curriculum Snapshot: Professional Nursing, Evidence-Based Nursing, Nursing Assessment for the Practicing Nurse, Nursing Leadership and Health Care Policy, Nursing Theory and Research, Information Systems and Technology for Improved Health Care, Nursing Theory and Research, Nursing Leadership and Advanced Roles, Healthcare Informatics as a Profession, Law, Ethics and Public Issues in Healthcare Informatics, Leadership in Informatics for Healthcare Organizations and Public Health Strategy, Data Analytics and Impact on Patient Care, etc.
Program Website: Jacksonville University
3. Chamberlain University
This online program could be considered a 3-1 nursing option in Nursing Informatics allowing students who have an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) or a nursing diploma to obtain a BSN and MSN in one program. The RN-BSN-MSN program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Admission requirements include a GPA of 2.0, an active and current nursing license. The valid nursing license automatically awards 77 proficiency credit hours towards the degree. A minimum of 24 credit hours with a 3.0 GPA in the RN to BSN degree be taken at Chamberlain University. U.S. News and World Report ranks Chamberlain University as a Best Online Graduate Nursing Program.
Program Length: 151 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $323
Curriculum Snapshot: Transitions in Professional Nursing, Advanced English Composition, Collaborative Healthcare, Statistical Reasoning for the Health Sciences, RN Evidence-Based Practice, Theoretical Basis for Advanced
Nursing Practice, Fundamentals of Informatics, Advanced Research Methods – Evidence-Based Practice, Healthcare Policy, etc.
Program Website: Chamberlain University
4. Aspen University
Apen University (AU) provides an online RN-MSN Bridge Program in Informatics which is CCNE accredited. Applicants for this program must hold either a RN diploma or ADN from an accredited college or university, completion of a minimum of 50 credit hours of Liberal Arts courses (students lacking these credits may take them while enrolled in the the RN-MSN Bridge Program),at least one-year nursing experience within the past five years, and unencumbered nursing licensure in either the U.S., Canada, or U.S. Territory. The school allows students to pay $325 each month towards their overall tuition costs.
Program Length: 57 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $325
Curriculum Snapshot: Issues and Trends in Professional Nursing, Concepts and Theories in Nursing, Community Health Nursing, Essentials of Nursing Research, Health Assessment, Health Care Informatics, Health Care Finance and Economics, Information Systems Strategic Planning, Advanced Health Care Informatics, Nursing Capstone, Nursing Practicum, etc.
Program Website: Aspen University
5. American Sentinel University
American Sentinel University (ASU) is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education to offer an accelerated RN-BSN-MSN program with a MSN concentration in Nursing Informatics. The program requires general education courses, baccalaureate coursework as well as graduate studies. Nurses with a diploma or ADN are awarded credit for their original degree and nursing license towards the degree. Students may also receive credit for military service, work experiences, etc. Admission requires a valid nursing license and academic records from an accredited nursing diploma or Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) educational program. ASU has been recognized by U.S. News and World Report for its online graduate nursing program.
Program Length: 117 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $410-$530
Curriculum Snapshot: Reflective Practice, Issues and Trends, Heath Care Delivery and Quality Outcomes, Developing Nursing Practice, Health Assessment, Research Design, Theoretical Foundations, Advanced Pharmacology, Advanced Pathophysiology, Clinical and Administrative Systems, Health Care Informatics, Healthcare Data Analytics, Healthcare Project Management, Information Security and Privacy in Health Care Environments, MSN Capstone, etc.
Program Website: American Sentinel University
6. Ferris State University
Ferris State University offers an accelerated RN to MSN track which has a concentration in Nursing Informatics. The program is available to students enrolled in FSU's RN to BSN Completion Program. The school recommends, but does not require, that students interested in the MSN program have two-years clinical experience. Students are required to complete 24 bridge coursework and 37 general education credits before entering the MSN curriculum. The MSN program is highly competitive and only accepts 20 students during the fall and spring semesters. U.S. News and World Report includes FSU in its Top Public Schools and Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs.
Program Length: 97 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $421 (Undergraduate); $610 (Graduate)
Curriculum Snapshot: Professional Nursing Skill Development, Transition into Professional Nursing, Service Learning Project, Population Based Health Promotion, Statistics in Health Care, Evidence based Health Care, Leadership Role for Informatics Nurse Specialist, Business Intelligence, Incident Response, Project Management, etc.
Program Website: Ferris University
7. Capella University
The RN-MSN degree in Nursing Informatics at Capella University is CCNE accredited. Capella University offers two tuition payment plans. The GuidedPath or FlexPlan options which allows students to choose between paying per course or a flat tuition fee (more information on these options are available on the school website). Applicants must have completed 135 undergraduate credit hours from an accredited institution, submit official transcripts showing a minimum 3.0 GPA, and proof of a valid, unrestricted nursing license. There is no GRE or GMAT requirement for this program. Graduates are provided with a free membership in the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS).
Program Length: 66 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $425
Curriculum Snapshot: Evidence-Based Practice for Patient-Centered Care and Population Health, Quality Improvement of Interprofessional Care, Biopsychosocial Concepts for Advanced Nursing Practice, Health Care Law and Policy, Economics and Decision Making in Health Care, Principles of Nursing Informatics, Health Informatics Systems Planning, Analysis, Design, and Build for Nursing, Data Management and Health Care Technology, Managing the Nursing Informatics Life Cycle, Introduction to Nursing Research, Ethics, and Technology, Leadership for Nursing Practice, Practicum, etc.
Program Website: Capella University
8. Thomas Edison State University
Thomas Edison State University has an online RN to BSN/MSN degree accredited by the CCNE. Applicants must provide proof of an active and valid nursing license, evidence of malpractice insurance, and submit official transcripts of graduation from an accredited institution offering nursing diploma or Associate Degree in Nursing. When applicable, transfer credits for General Education and lower division nursing courses may be awarded toward the BSN component. The masters portion of the program requires 36 credit hours consisting of core requirements and specialty hours.
Program Length: 156 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $440 (New Jersey Resident); $538 (Non-Resident); $668 (Graduate Hours)
Curriculum Snapshot: Advancing Nursing Practices, Research in Nursing, Nursing Informatics: Concepts and Issues, Leadership and Management in Nursing, Health Policy, Public Health Nursing, Advanced Health Assessment, Health Policy, Evidence-Based Nursing Practice, Nursing Informatics: Systems Life Cycle, Nursing Informatics: Databases and Knowledge Management, Nursing Informatics: Consumer Informatics and Communication Technologies, Nursing Informatics: Seminar and Practicum, etc.
Program Length: Thomas Edison State University
9. Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University (GCU) provides an online Masters in Health Informatics designed for nurses holding a BSN. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and admission requires completion of either the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or Graduate Management Admissions Test (GMAT). GCU participates in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (SARA) and applicants should confirm the degree is accepted by their individual state licensing boards. The Masters of Health Informatics degree is offered through GCU's College of Nursing and Health Care Professions.
Program Length: 40 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $500
Curriculum Snapshot: Introduction to Advanced Registered Nursing, Organizational Leadership and Informatics, Evidence-Based Project, Health Care Information Systems and Technology, Health Care Data Management, Electronic Health Records, User Interface Design for Informatics, etc.
Program Website: Grand Canyon Univesity
10. University of South Alabama
This is an online RN to MSN with a Nursing Informatics concentration designed for the RN or ADN who has a BS or BA degree in a non-nursing curriculum. The MSN is accredited by CCNE. Admission requires applicants be a US citizen or permanent resident, hold a current nursing license with no encumbrances and at least two years nursing experience. In most instances, practicum experiences are conducted in the student's home community. The University of South Alabama is ranked as a National University by U.S. News and World Report.
Program Length: 53 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost: $594
Curriculum Snapshot: Evidence Bases Practice & Informatics, Nursing in Community Systems, Health Data Security and Computer, Healthcare Policy and Finance, Introduction to Nursing Informatics, Nursing Administration Finance, Informatics and and Quality Care Improvement, Organizational & Systems Leadership, Practicum, etc.
Program Website: University of South Alabama
11. West Coast University
Applicants to this CCNE accredited RN to MSN degree with a specialization in Informatics must hold a valid nursing license, be a graduate of an accredited ADN or diploma nursing institution with a minimum 3.0 GPA. The school prefers one year of nursing experience but it's not required. The RN-MSN degree may be completed in 24-months and requires 335 hours in a practicum experience. Graduates are eligible to sit for the nursing informatics certification exam.
Program Length: 51 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $615
Curriculum Snapshot: Pathophysiology, Principles of Leadership for Healthcare Organizations, Statistics,
Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Practice, Policy, Organization, and Financing of Health Care, Introduction to Healthcare Informatics, Database Systems, Design and Informatics, Healthcare Informatics Practicum, Project Management in Healthcare Informatics, etc.
Program Website:West Coast University
12. Nova Southeastern University
The RN to MSN online degree at Nova Southeastern University is accredited by the CCNE. Nova Southeastern University has designed this bridge program for working nurses who have graduated from accredited ADN or nursing diploma programs. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is included in this program. This RN to MSN track requires 30 hours in General Education coursework, 15 core MSN courses, and 21 informatics track coursework. U.S. News and World Report ranks Nova Southeastern University Florida as a Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs.
Program Length: 96 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $685
Curriculum Snapshot: Transition to Baccalaureate Nursing Education, Health Assessment, Pathophysiology, Transition to Graduate Studies, Evidence and Practice, Policy and Leadership, Genetic Concepts, etc.
Program Website: Nova Southeastern University-Florida
13. Western Governors University-Tennessee
The Western Governors University (WGU) is, perhaps, one of the most unique online university available and is ranked in the top 10 of U.S. News and World Report's Most Innovative School. WGU offers an online RN-MSN Nursing Informatics program and accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). Students set their own educational pace and coursework is measured in Competency Units (CUs). provides more detailed information through its Program Guidebook for this degree. Rather than pay tuition based on credit hours or Competency Units, students are charged a flat tuition rate every six months. Admission to the Nursing Informatics degree program requires a RN or ADN degree, submit a criminal background check, valid and unrestricted nursing license, and submit a resume showing the applicant is currently working as an RN.
Program Length: TBD
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $3,225 per 6-month term
Curriculum Snapshot: Informatics System Analysis and Design, Data Modeling and Database Management Systems, Nursing Informatics Field Experience, Foundations in Nursing Informatics, Data Science and Analytics, Nursing Informatics Capstone, etc.
Program Website: Western Governors University-Tennessee
14. Nebraska Methodist College
This nursing informatics degree at Nebraska Methodist University (NMU) is offered online and may be completed within 30 months. There is no GRE requirement for admission; but, NMC does require either a RN diploma or ADN from an accredited institution, a GPA of 3.0 or better, current RN license. Following completion of the bridge courses, the student's GPA will be reviewed to verify a 3.0 GPA (students with a lower GPA will be reviewed on an individual basis). The program holds accreditation from CCNE and U.S. News and World Report ranks NMC as one of the Best Nursing Schools: Master's degree.
Program Length: 54 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $565 ($308 Bridge Courses Per Credit Hour)
Curriculum Snapshot: Bridge Courses: Nursing Assessment for RNs, Introduction to Statistics, Community Health Nursing, Collaborative Nursing in a Global Society; Advanced Nursing Roles and Phenomena, Critical Appraisal of Knowledge for Practice, Consumer Health Informatics, Introduction to Healthcare Informatics, Capstone Projects, Practicum in Nursing Informatics, etc.
Program Website: Nebraska Methodist University
15. Wilkes University
Wilkes University's (WU) online RN to MSN has a Nursing Informatics concentration which is accredited by the CCNE. The program is created for working nurses with an ADN degree. Bridge and core graduate courses are required before enrolling in the concentration. Other admission criteria requires applicants have a current nursing license, minimum of one-year clinical nursing experience, etc. WU has frequently been ranked as a Best Colleges for Veterans and Best Value Schools by U.S. News and World Report. A BSN degree is not included in the RN to MSN program.
Program Length: 49 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $700
Curriculum Snapshot: Advanced Health Assessment, Theoretical Foundations of Nursing Science, Advanced Nursing Research, Health Policy and Politics for Advancing Nursing Practice, Foundations of Nursing Informatics,Data Management in Healthcare, Nursing Informatics Leadership in Healthcare Systems and Project Designs, Nursing Informatics Practicum, etc.
Program Website: Wilkes University
16. Drexel University
Drexel University offers an online accelerated RN-MSN program designed for nurses who have a BSN or a bachelor's degree other than in nursing. Admissions requires a valid nursing license, a 3.0 GPA, official transcripts, etc. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and may be completed in 3 years. Drexel University is recognized in U.S. News and World Report's Best Online Graduate Nursing Programs, Best Value School, Most Innovative and Best Colleges for Veterans.
Program Length: 63 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $775
Curriculum Snapshot: Critical Issues in Nursing, Genetics and Genomics: Application to Nursing Practice, Population Health: Local and Global, Confronting Issues in Contemporary Health Care Environments, Research Methods and Biostatistics, Information, Innovation & Technology in Advanced Nursing Practice, Data Analysis for Decision-Making in Health Care Management, Operations Management in Contemporary Healthcare Organizations, etc.
Program Website: Drexel University
17. Allen College
This program is ideal for nurses who hold a bachelor's degree in a field other than nursing. The master's program has a concentration in Leadership in Health Information Technology (LHIT) and requires a valid and current nursing license (verify with the school that your state license qualifies), prerequisites in statistics, nursing research, and community health (can be taken at Allen College). The college has CCNE accreditation for its nursing programs and the LHIT concentration is a cooperative agreement between Allen College and University of Minnesota.
Program Length: 55 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $837
Curriculum Snapshot: Leadership for Advanced Nursing,Policy, Organization, and Financing of Health Care, Evidence Based Practice, Clinical Enrichment: Informatics, Applied Health Care Databases: Database Principles and Data Evaluation, Interdisciplinary Healthcare Informatics, Consumer Health Information, Population Health Informatics, etc.
Program Website: Allen College
18. University of Pittsburgh
The University of Pittsburgh has an online RN-MSN degree program in Nursing Informatics for students who hold a diploma or ADN in nursing. Admission to this program requires applicants to have a 3.0 GPA from an accredited nursing program, current nursing license, GRE scores, a statistics course taken within the past 10 years (grade of "B" or better), and completion of prerequisite coursework. Up to 60 credit hours in prerequisite General Education and nursing courses may be transferred.
Program Length: 105.5 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $1090
Curriculum Snapshot: Graduate School Orientation, Statistics for Evidence-Based Practice, Database Management, Research for Evidence-Based Practice, Clinical Information Systems, Healthcare Quality, Finance and Economics for Healthcare Leaders, Nursing Informatics Practicum, etc.
Program Website: University of Pittsburgh
19. Holy Names University
Holy Names University offers a hybrid ADN (RN) to MSN degree in Nursing Informatics which may be completed in two to three years dependent on previous education. This program is accredited by the CCNE and includes bridge courses to meet undergraduate requirements. There are three prerequisite courses required in statistics, English, and Epidemiology. As a hybrid program, there are some classes which require in-person attendance; however, clinical or practicum experiences are arranged close to the student's home area.
Program Length: 39-54 Credit Hours
Estimated Tuition Cost Per Credit Hour: $1054
Curriculum Snapshot: Nursing Research, Leadership and Management in Nursing, Nursing Informatics, Health Law & Ethics, Healthcare Economics, Capston, Organizational Theory, Data Management in Healthcare, Health Information Technology, Nursing Informatics Concepts and Practice, Technology and Innovation, etc.