MSN in Nursing Informatics Degree Programs

Nursing informatics is a concentration within a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree program that prepares graduates for a variety of careers connecting technology to improved healthcare policy and practice. The core courses include a range of topics from research practices to database management and policy analysis. Schools offering Health Informatics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Nursing Informatics MSN Degree

An MSN in nursing informatics (offered online, on campus or as a hybrid program) prepares students to integrate information technology and computer science into improved healthcare outcomes. To get into this 2-year program, applicants must have a bachelor's degree in nursing science, letters of recommendation and a valid nursing license. Graduates are professional nurse informatics specialists, but can also go on to careers as systems analysts, clinical data analysts, healthcare business executives and faculty members.

Fundamentals of Nursing Informatics

This course provides students with a foundational understanding of nursing informatics theory and practice. Students become familiar with the landmark moments in the history of integrating technology with healthcare as well as the laws and regulations governing nursing informatics professionals. Because it is a survey course, students get exposure to a broad range of topics important to the field, including computer technology for clinical documentation, database manipulation and management and the evolution of perspectives in nursing informatics.

Foundations of Nursing Research

Because later on in the program MSN nursing informatics students complete their own research projects, many programs begin with an introduction to nursing science research techniques, skills and best-practices. Students may review statistical modelling and other mathematical tools useful for nursing research. They will also learn the fundamentals of evidence-based practice, or how advanced practice nursing professionals integrate the latest academic research into clinical practice.

Nursing Leadership

Because graduates with MSN degrees are expected to serve as leaders in times of conflict, pressure and change, a nursing leadership class is one of the most common core courses for MSN programs. This course prepares students for leadership roles by introducing them to quality improvement science, team building, interpersonal skills, information-based problem solving and organizational change management. Students may be expected to apply their academic knowledge by analyzing and discussing case studies.

Database Modeling and Database Management

In this course students get down to the nitty-gritty of designing, building and making use of databases in healthcare settings. Students work to create a DBMS (relational database management system) specifically for nurse administrators, educators and nurse informaticists. To this end, they must become familiar with HTML and SQL.

Data Science and Analytics

This course focuses on integrating data science techniques and big data research in clinical settings. Students may practice analyzing system-generated data to enhance decision-making, increase efficiency and improve outcomes for patients. Students must also become familiar with the ethics and regulations in regards to using systems data and big data in healthcare settings.

Healthcare Policy

Because nurse informatics specialists use data and information science to improve health outcomes, they must become familiar with the theories, applications and issues that connect population health with healthcare policy. This course covers social, political and economic factors that affect healthcare policy across clinical settings. By the end of the course, students should be familiar with the complexities of healthcare policy at the local, state and national levels so that they can actively use their data science skills to participate in the healthcare policy process.

Field Experience

Before graduating students must complete a hands-on field experience under the supervision of a professional nurse informaticist. Students work with on-site preceptors to develop unique field experience plans based on their areas of interest. By working in a clinical setting, students can practice implementing the research skills and innovations they have studied, discussed and developed in class. At the end of their practicums, they may have to present electronic portfolios to display their learning, achievements and contributions in the field.

Capstone Project

Through the final semesters of the program, MSN in nursing informatics students complete an independent research project. Students must evaluate a healthcare system using the research techniques and data science skills they acquired over the course of the program. They must present their findings, analysis and recommendations before a panel of academic experts. Their presentation should showcase their newfound ability to integrate nursing science knowledge, data science and leadership skills into improved healthcare practice.

If you are interested in the intersection of computer science and nursing science or want to learn how to improve clinical outcomes through the latest technology and research, an MSN degree in nursing informatics includes the classes, research and clinical opportunities to help you reach those goals.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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  • Strayer University

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