Nursing Informatics Programs

In today’s rapidly evolving healthcare landscape, integrating technology and patient care has become more critical than ever. This is where nursing informatics comes into play. 

Nursing informatics is a specialized field that combines nursing science with information technology, aiming to enhance the quality of patient care, streamline workflows, and improve overall healthcare outcomes. By leveraging their clinical practice and data management expertise, nurse informaticists act as critical bridges between healthcare providers, IT professionals, and patients.

Nursing informatics benefits a wide range of stakeholders within the healthcare ecosystem. At its core, it empowers nurses to deliver more efficient and effective care by equipping them with the knowledge and tools to leverage technology effectively. By integrating clinical data, evidence-based practices, and patient information, nurse informaticists can identify patterns, trends, and insights that lead to better decision-making and improved patient outcomes. Additionally, nursing informatics supports collaboration between healthcare teams, enhances communication, and facilitates the seamless exchange of information across various systems.

As the demand for nursing informatics professionals continues to rise, so does the job outlook and salary potential. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS 2023) predicts a 28 percent growth in employment for medical and health services managers, including nursing informatics specialists, from 2022 to 2032. With the increasing emphasis on healthcare digitization and electronic health records, organizations seek individuals with certification and expertise in nursing informatics to drive their technological transformations—and are willing to compensate competitively. 

According to Glassdoor (September 2023), the national average salary for nursing informatics professionals is around $124,500 per year, with opportunities for career advancement and specialization leading to higher earning potential.

Within the field of nursing informatics, professionals can choose from various specializations based on their interests and career goals. Some common focus areas include clinical informatics, healthcare data analytics, telehealth and virtual care, nursing education, and project management. Each specialization offers unique opportunities to make a meaningful impact on patient care, improve healthcare processes, and contribute to advancing nursing informatics as a whole.

This guide delves into the various nursing informatics programs available to aspiring professionals. Explore accredited universities and institutions offering specialized nursing informatics degrees and certifications. By acquiring the necessary knowledge, skills, and credentials through these programs, individuals can pave their way to a rewarding career in nursing informatics and play a vital role in shaping the future of healthcare.

What is a Nursing Informatics Program?

A nursing informatics degree is the most advanced level of education available for nurse practitioners, with options for a graduate (MSN), post-master’s certificate, or doctoral (DNP) degree.

To qualify for admission, candidates must have a bachelor’s degree in nursing for MSN programs or a master of science in nursing for DNP programs. Additionally, all applicants must hold a valid registered nurse (RN) license to be considered for enrollment in a nursing informatics degree program.

Types of Nursing Informatics Programs

Aspiring nursing informaticists have various educational pathways, each with its prerequisites. There are three primary types of nurse informatics programs to consider: MSN, DNP, and post-master’s certificate programs. 

Moreover, these programs can be pursued through on-campus, online, or hybrid (a combination of on-campus and online) learning formats.

MSN Programs

A master of science in nursing (MSN) program is an introductory degree for nursing informatics students. This program offers specializations and typically takes two to three years to finish. Students will study leadership, project design, fundamentals of nursing informatics, system life cycles, and quality improvement. After completing an accredited MSN program, individuals can take a national certification exam to become board certified. The MSN program generally requires two to three years of study.

DNP Programs

A doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) program is designed to equip nursing informaticists with the advanced skills needed for specialized roles in nurse informatics. Focusing on using big data to drive decision-making, the program combines theoretical coursework with practical experiences to ensure students are fully prepared.

DNP programs cover a range of subjects, including the science of nursing, population health informatics, health policy leadership, and healthcare economics. A key program component is completing a capstone project, allowing students to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world issues. The duration of a DNP program can vary, ranging from two to six years, depending on the individual’s previous qualifications (e.g., MSN-to-DNP, BSN-to-DNP, or RN-to-DNP).

Post-Master’s Certificate Programs

A nursing informatics post-master’s certificate program is a graduate-level course for students with an MSN or DNP degree. These programs offer advanced coursework in both clinical care and IT settings. Typically, it takes one to two years to complete the program.

Most nurse informaticists have experience in clinical care and leadership roles. Upon graduation from this program, students are eligible for professional certification in nursing informatics.

Nursing Informatics Program & School Accreditation

Regarding accreditation, there are two categories: programmatic and institutional.

Programmatic accreditation assesses the quality and rigor of an educational program within a larger college or university. This ensures that the program meets rigorous criteria. For nursing programs, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) evaluates baccalaureate, master’s, and doctoral programs. At the same time, the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN) regulates associate’s, bachelor’s, and doctoral degrees. Applicants aiming for a CCNE-accredited MSN, DNP, or post-master’s nursing informatics certificate program must complete a CCNE- or ACEN-accredited baccalaureate nursing degree.

On the other hand, institutional accreditation examines the entire institution. The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), a US Department of Education branch, approves seven regional institutional accrediting bodies.

When researching online programs, verifying their state authorization or NC-SARA status is crucial. Prospective students should also confirm if the program accepts students from their home state and meets licensing criteria in the states where they want to pursue nursing informatics professional licensure. This information is found on school websites or by contacting the program directly.

Typical Admissions Requirements for Nursing Informatics Degrees

To become a nursing informaticist, it is necessary to earn a master’s or doctoral degree and successfully pass a national certification exam. Admission requirements for these programs can vary but commonly include prerequisite courses and standard application materials.

Prerequisite Courses: 

  • Advanced health assessment
  • Advanced pharmacotherapeutics
  • Advanced physiology & pathophysiology
  • Basic statistics
  • Computer literacy (pertaining to clinical workflow and scholarly work)
  • Human anatomy and physiology

It is often mandatory for students to achieve a minimum grade of “C” or higher in these prerequisite courses.

Application Requirements:

  • Bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) or a master’s of science in nursing (MSN) degree from a CCNE- or ACEN-accredited nursing school
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Official transcripts
  • One year of health informatics or related work experience
  • One year of nursing experience
  • Proof of unencumbered, active RN license
  • Resume
  • Statement of purpose
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (for international applicants whose native language is not English)

Supervised Hour Requirements for Nursing Informatics Degrees

Becoming a licensed and practiced nursing informaticist requires meeting strict educational and clinical standards. One crucial requirement is completing supervised clinical hours, which provide valuable hands-on experience in the field.

Nursing informaticists are highly qualified professionals with advanced degrees, often functioning as advanced practice registered nurses (APRNs). They must fulfill specific hour requirements to be eligible for state licensure and professional certification. These requirements vary depending on the state and certification and range from 500 to 1,000 clinical hours in most cases. For instance, the Informatics Nursing Certification (RN-BC) credential from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) requires between 200 and 2,000 hours. The actual number depends on an applicant’s recent experience in the workplace or educational program.

Many nursing informatics programs have incorporated clinical hour components to meet or exceed state licensure and professional certification standards. 

Continue reading to learn more about online, on-campus, and hybrid nursing informatics programs.

Featured Online Nursing Informatics Degrees

MSN Programs in Nursing Informatics

Jacksonville University (Hybrid & Online)

Jacksonville University offers a comprehensive and highly regarded hybrid and online master of science in nursing (MSN) with a health informatics specialization that prepares students for advanced practice roles in nursing. The program equips graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary to excel in various careers, including chief medical information officer, informatics coordinator, or director of electronic health records (EHRs).

Accredited by the CCNE, Jacksonville University’s MSN program combines classroom theories with real-world experiences, providing students with a well-rounded education that prepares them for rewarding administrative or clinical roles. Whether aspiring to become nurse practitioners or nurse informaticists, the MSN program at Jacksonville University offers a solid foundation for students to pursue their career goals in the nursing profession.

  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $700 per credit

University of Maryland (Online)

The online master of science in nursing (MSN) program in nursing informatics at the University of Maryland is a highly regarded program that prepares students to become leaders in the rapidly evolving field of healthcare informatics. This online program offers flexibility for students to pursue their education while balancing other commitments. With a focus on nursing informatics, the curriculum covers various topics such as software and game development, human-computer interaction, intelligent patient care technologies with artificial intelligence, and data mining of large healthcare data. 

The program requires 40 credits and 135 practicum hours, providing students with valuable hands-on experience. Graduates of the program are well-equipped to work as Nurse Informatics Specialists in various healthcare settings. The faculty members are experts in the field, with extensive experience in informatics practice and research. Financial aid and scholarships are available to support nursing education. The University of Maryland, School of Nursing, also offers the annual Summer Institute in Nursing Informatics Conference, providing additional opportunities for professional development and networking.

  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) 
  • Tuition: $856 per credit (residents); $1,519 per credit (non-residents)

University of Utah (On-campus & Online)

The master of science in nursing informatics program at the University of Utah College of Nursing is a highly ranked and comprehensive program that prepares students for leadership roles in healthcare informatics. With a long history of excellence in informatics, the program offers both online and on-campus options, allowing flexibility for students to pursue their education. 

The interdisciplinary curriculum combines informatics and other courses to develop students’ informatics, leadership, and systems-level thinking skills. Students can learn from nationally known nursing informatics leaders with practical experience at the University of Utah, Intermountain Healthcare, and the VA. The program also emphasizes real-world exposure through seminars, special events, and practicum placements in partnership with healthcare organizations. 

  • Location: Salt Lake City, UT
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $10,253.06 per year (residents); $30,036.44 per year (non-residents)

Vanderbilt University (Online)

The nursing informatics program at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing is a highly regarded program that prepares graduates to be leaders in nursing informatics. The program offers a comprehensive curriculum focusing on creating systems that work and improving health outcomes by leveraging the synergy between people, processes, and technology. 

Ranked #3 in the country by U.S. News & World Report in 2019, the program provides students with a strong foundation in current and emerging data analysis tools, project management, decision support, mobile technologies, evidence-based practice, and more. The program features nationally recognized faculty with real-world experience and offers a customized practicum experience to meet national certification exam requirements. With an emphasis on technological sophistication and innovation, students have access to extensive informatics resources and are equipped with the skills to leverage emerging tools in healthcare. 

  • Location: Nashville, TN
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition:  $1,939 per credit hour

Western Governors University (Online)

The BSN to MSN master’s program in nursing informatics offered by Western Governors University (WGU) is a comprehensive and flexible online program designed to meet the needs of aspiring nursing informatics professionals. With a focus on accessibility and diversity, the program provides a supportive learning environment that allows students to balance their education with other responsibilities. 

WGU offers various financial options, including scholarships, corporate reimbursement, and the Higher Education Relief Fund, to make the program affordable for students. Emphasizing responsible borrowing, WGU provides information on financial obligations to ensure students make informed decisions. The program highlights graduate outcomes and success stories, showcasing its students’ and graduates’ impact and success. 

  • Location: Multiple campuses across the USA
  • Duration: One to two years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $19,980 total

DNP Programs in Nursing Informatics

University of Minnesota (Online)

The University of Minnesota offers an online doctor of nursing practice (DNP) degree specializing in nursing informatics. This program prepares nurses for leadership roles in selecting, implementing, and optimizing information systems to support nursing and interprofessional care. 

Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, the DNP program at the University of Minnesota is delivered online, allowing students the flexibility to balance their education with other commitments. The program incorporates a four-day on-campus session each semester, where students engage in core courses, specialty courses, and meetings with advisors. The curriculum includes 1,000 hours of practicum experience arranged by the school. Graduates of this program are well-equipped to pursue careers as informatics nurses in various healthcare settings. 

  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
  • Duration: Three years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) 
  • Tuition: $1,053 per credit

St. Catherine University (Hybrid)

The hybrid doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program at St. Catherine University is a comprehensive program designed to meet the needs of working adults. The program can be completed within 24 months and consists of 36 credits, combining online and on-campus sessions in a hybrid learning format. Students can visit campus twice each semester and work collaboratively with a cohort of fellow students throughout the program. 

The curriculum focuses on applied learning and covers health informatics, ethical leadership, social justice, interprofessional collaboration, evidence-based practice, and healthcare economics. A final systems change project is required, allowing students to address a practice issue and demonstrate program outcomes. 

  • Location: St. Paul, MN
  • Duration: Four years
  • Accreditation: Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing (ACEN)
  • Tuition: Contact the school for more information

University of Detroit Mercy (Hybrid)

The hybrid doctor of nursing practice (DNP) program at the University of Detroit Mercy is a comprehensive program designed to develop expert clinicians with strong leadership capacity. The program aims to demonstrate professional role practice consistent with the competencies of the DNP, emphasizing the assimilation and utilization of in-depth knowledge of nursing, biophysical, psychosocial, analytical, and organizational sciences. 

The curriculum includes formative coursework, a practicum, and a doctoral project, providing students with a well-rounded educational experience. Offered as a hybrid model with an online virtual classroom, the program provides flexibility for working professionals. Students may also have the opportunity to take up to 12 credits at Madonna University through a consortium agreement. With a curriculum based on the AACN Essentials of Doctoral Education, the program ensures that graduates are prepared to meet the evolving healthcare needs of individuals, families, and communities. 

  • Location: Detroit, MI
  • Duration: Three years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $10,444 per year (residents); $12,188 per year (non-residents)

University of San Diego (On-campus)

The University of San Diego’s Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science offers an on-campus MSN-to-DNP program specializing in informatics. This program will equip nurses with advanced knowledge and skills in utilizing technology and data to improve patient care and outcomes. 

The curriculum covers healthcare information systems, data analytics, and healthcare technology management. Upon completing the 52-credit program, graduates are eligible for leadership roles in healthcare IT industries. 

  • Location: San Diego, CA
  • Duration: Two to three years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) 
  • Tuition: $77,280 to $92,400 total

University of South Alabama (Online)

The University of South Alabama’s College of Nursing offers a doctorate of nursing practice (DNP) in nursing informatics. The curriculum includes a comprehensive education in the intersection of nursing, computer science, information science, and decision sciences. To enhance patient care delivery and promote consumer health through technology, this program prepares nurses to harness the power of information technology to improve healthcare outcomes. 

Completing a certification exam is not required, and the program curriculum focuses on utilizing nursing research and information technology to provide education and enhance patient care. 

  • Location: Mobile, AL
  • Duration: Five to seven years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) 
  • Tuition: $594 per credit

Post-Master’s Certificate in Nursing Informatics

Duke University (Online)

The Duke University School of Nursing offers two online health informatics graduate certificates to equip students with knowledge and skills in clinical information systems, strategic planning, project management, and various technologies. The curriculum, which can be completed in one year, or three semesters, combines online instruction, on-campus sessions, and an intensive individualized practicum in a healthcare organization. 

Students work under the mentorship of experienced clinicians in the informatics specialty, completing a project that incorporates data-information-knowledge meta-structures, systems lifecycle planning, and expert clinical domain modeling. The program offers two certificate options based on the applicant’s background: the Post-Graduate Certificate (PGC), open to registered nurses with a master’s degree from an ACEN- or CCNE-accredited nursing school, or those with a master’s degree in another acceptable discipline, and the Health Informatics Certificate (HIC), available to those with a bachelor’s or graduate degree and at least one year of health-related work experience.

  • Location: Durham, NC
  • Duration: 1.5 years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) 
  • Tuition: $14,525 per semester

Nebraska Methodist College (Online)

The Nebraska Methodist College offers a nursing informatics certificate program to prepare registered nurses to use information technology to enhance patient care. This 15-credit hour program combines nursing, informatics, and project management courses, providing students with the skills needed to manage information effectively in healthcare settings. 

The curriculum includes introduction to nursing informatics, health informatics project management, and a nursing informatics practicum. The practicum provides hands-on experience in applying informatics solutions in real-world healthcare settings. The program can be completed entirely online, offering flexibility for working professionals.

  • Location: Omaha, NE
  • Duration: 12 to 16 months
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $429 per credit

Queens University of Charlotte (Online)

The Queens University of Charlotte offers an online nursing informatics post-master’s certificate program designed for nurses who hold an MSN or master of nursing degree and wish to expand their career opportunities. 

The curriculum includes coursework in leadership principles and practices, financial management for nurse leaders, clinical information systems, and healthcare data implementation. Additionally, students must complete a nursing informatics residency comprising 225 clinical hours. Career prospects for graduates include roles as informatics nurses and clinical informatics specialists.

  • Location: Charlotte, NC
  • Duration: 1.5 years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) 
  • Tuition: $609 per credit

University of Pittsburgh (Online)

The University of Pittsburgh’s School of Nursing offers an online nursing informatics certificate program. It aims to improve cultural sensitivity and tackle health disparities, focusing on areas like acute & tertiary care, health & community systems, and health promotion & development. The curriculum includes courses in nursing informatics, educational research, literature review, learning and instructional theories, and statistical resources. 

The program also provides various research hubs such as Digital Health Research, Genomics of Patient Outcomes, Sleep Research, and Cancer Survivorship. In addition, the program offers professional development activities, resources for submitting an IRB application for Educational Research, and opportunities for undergraduate research and student research projects. Students can access a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee alongside institutional research training grants. The program also presents certificate programs in various specializations, including healthcare genetics, school nursing, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner.

  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
  • Duration: Two years
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) 
  • Tuition: $1,231 per credit

Walden University (Online)

Walden University provides an online post-master’s certificate in nursing informatics program. This program is specifically designed for nurses who already possess a master’s degree in nursing and are looking for ways to leverage technology and data analysis in healthcare. 

The curriculum delves into healthcare information systems, data management, and the application of healthcare technology. Through these courses, students learn to use technology effectively to improve patient care and outcomes. As part of Walden University’s extensive range of online certificates and programs in nursing, this program offers a flexible and convenient learning environment for working professionals.

  • Location: Minnesota, MN
  • Duration: One year
  • Accreditation: Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE)
  • Tuition: $13,950 total

Jobs for Nursing Informatics Graduates

There are various job opportunities available for individuals with a nursing informatics degree. Some of the potential career paths include the following careers. 

Clinical Nurse Informaticist 

A clinical nurse informaticist is a healthcare professional who specializes in integrating nursing practice with information technology to improve patient care and outcomes. They leverage their knowledge of nursing informatics and clinical expertise to analyze data, develop workflows, implement new technologies, and ensure the quality and effectiveness of healthcare systems.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) is the certifying organization for this field. The ANCC offers the Informatics Nursing Certification (RN-BC) for nurses specializing in informatics, including clinical nurse informaticists. This certification validates their competence in various areas, such as data management, healthcare technology, clinical decision support, and workflow optimization.

Consumer Health Nurse Informaticist

A consumer health nurse informaticist utilizes health informatics principles and technologies to improve consumer/patient engagement, health literacy, and self-care management. They focus on empowering consumers with health information and tools to make informed decisions about their healthcare.

There isn’t a specific certifying organization solely for consumer health nurse Informaticists. However, some certifying organizations offer certifications in nursing informatics, which can be relevant to this specialization. The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers the Informatics Nursing Certification (RN-BC) for nurses with expertise in informatics. This certification validates their knowledge and skills in the nursing informatics field, including consumer health informatics.

Public Health Nurse Informaticist

A public health nurse informaticist uses information technology and data analysis to enhance public health practice and research. They apply their knowledge of nursing informatics and public health to collect, analyze, and interpret data to improve health outcomes at a population level.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) offers the Informatics Nursing Certification (RN-BC) certification for nurses specializing in informatics, including public health informatics. This certification validates the nurse’s knowledge and expertise in nursing informatics, including data management, health information systems, and the use of technology to support public health initiatives.

Rachel Drummond, MEd

Rachel Drummond, MEd


At, Rachel Drummond has applied her extensive experience in education and mindfulness to elucidate the importance of self-care for nursing students since 2022. Through her writings, she underscores the role of mental and physical well-being in fostering resilient and compassionate healthcare professionals.

Rachel is a writer, educator, and coach from Oregon. She has a master’s degree in education (MEd) and has over 15 years of experience teaching English, public speaking, and mindfulness to international audiences in the United States, Japan, and Spain. She writes about the mind-body benefits of contemplative movement practices like yoga on her blog, inviting people to prioritize their unique version of well-being and empowering everyone to live healthier and more balanced lives.