Skip to content Skip to Live Chat

Master of Science

Nursing Informatics (BSN to MSN)

OVERVIEW

A Nursing Informatics Degree that Helps You Impact Patient Outcomes


 

Information is power. Patient outcomes are better and healthcare organizations thrive when data is at the center of decision-making. This nursing informatics program combines nursing science with data management, analyzation, and communication, leading to data that empowers healthcare administrators to make the best choices. By earning this nursing informatics degree you will learn the skills which enable you to provide insights and influence policies and procedures that will save lives and improve patient outcomes.

This online degree program also includes clinical practice experiences such as analyzing and visually displaying data from a dataset. Additionally, you'll have the opportunity to earn the NAHQ (National Association for Healthcare Quality) HQ Principles certificate along with your degree, helping enhance your offering and earning you the respect of employers and peers in the health care industry.

Need to earn your BSN first? No problem! Check out the RN-to-MSN version of this program.

68% of graduates finish within 

24 months

WGU lets you move more quickly through material you already know and advance when you're ready. The result: You may finish faster.
 

Tuition per six-month term is

$4,367

Tuition charged per term—rather than per credit—helps you reduce the ultimate cost of your degree. Finish faster, pay less!
 

Transfer credit is accepted*

47%

of your coursework (up to 17 competency units) taken at the graduate (master's) level at a nationally or regionally accredited institution can be transferred to this WGU program.

*Courses must have been completed within the past five years with an earned grade of "B" or higher.

Ready to Start Your WGU Journey?

Next Start Date: November 1

Start Dates the 1st of Every Month

COURSES & COMPETENCIES

Nursing Informatics Courses

The WGU MSN – Nursing Informatics curriculum is evidence-based. Students learn to apply systems-thinking strategies and master the skill of transforming data into wisdom that better serves the healthcare needs of diverse populations. We take the science of success and combine it with the art of caring to ensure you're prepared for this exciting profession in health care.

In this online MSN program, you will develop knowledge related to the complexities of healthcare like access to quality services and costs for diverse populations. In the nursing informatics specialization, you'll become an expert at applying systems-thinking strategies to transform data into wisdom and using current technologies to work with teams across disciplines for the development and implementation of health education programs, evidence-based practices, and point-of-care policies.

This program consists of the following courses, which you will typically complete one at a time as you make your way through your program, working with your Program Mentor each term to build your personalized Degree Plan. You’ll work through each course as quickly as you can study and learn the material. As soon as you’re ready, you’ll pass the assessment, complete the course, and move on. This means you can finish as many courses as you're able in a term at no additional cost.

Nursing Informatics Specialty
MSN Core

14 Courses

Program consists of 14 courses

At WGU, we design our curriculum to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to ensure your degree is proof you really know your stuff.
 

Field Experiences

Special requirements for this program

While most of your coursework will be completed online, your nursing program includes some requirements—including field experiences—that must be completed in a facility near you. 

“Working a full-time job and having an extremely busy home life, going back to school after a 20 year break wasn't something that I thought was actually achievable. However, the ability to do coursework when my schedule allowed due to the flexibility of online classes, the extremely helpful instructors and the wonderful mentors at WGU, I managed to achieve my goal of obtaining a master's degree in Nursing Informatics.”

—Natalie S.
M.S. Nursing – Informatics

Why WGU?

Affordability

WGU tuition is charged per six-month term, not per credit. That means if you want to move faster through this nursing informatics program, you'll pay less.

On Your Schedule

You can continue working at your full-time job or maintaining your responsibilities while pursing your BSN to MSN degree. You don't have to log-in to classes and there aren't due dates. You are in charge of your degree.

Alumni Network

When you enroll in the nursing informatics program at WGU, you join an impressive network of healthcare professionals. Over 18,000 students earned healthcare degrees from WGU in 2020 alone, and are hard at work, changing the lives of patients and impacting communities.

Accredited, Respected,
Recognized

One important measure of a degree’s value is the reputation of the university where it was earned. When employers, industry leaders, and academic experts hold your alma mater in high esteem, you reap the benefits of that respect. WGU is a pioneer in reinventing higher education for the 21st century, and our quality has been recognized. 

 

TRANSFER CREDIT

Transfer Credits Accepted, No Work Requirement


 

Now's the time to advance your healthcare career with a master's degree:

  • Transfer up to 17 competency units (47%) of your MSN courses taken at the graduate (master's) level at an accredited institution to this WGU degree program. Courses must have been completed at an accredited MSN program within the past five years with an earned grade of "B" or higher.
  • There is no RN work requirement. This means you don't need to be currently working as an RN in order to be eligible for admission into our MSN programs.

Safety Notice

WGU and the College of Health Professions (CHP) are committed to the health, safety, and well-being of all patients, community members, and key stakeholders that interact with WGU students at various clinical/host sites. Interactions might include direct patient interaction, observation experiences, laboratory experiences, project development, or conducting research.  Standard compliance verification for students in applicable CHP programs is required to protect the public, meet CHP program expectations, reasonably assure compliance with state regulatory board requirements, meet WGU’s contractual and legal obligations with clinical partners, and support WGU’s mission to prepare students who will be qualified to enter their desired field. Compliance items may include, but are not limited to, background checks, immunizations, and drug screens as needed.

COST & TIME

An Affordable Nursing Informatics Degree

By charging per term rather than per credit—and empowering students to accelerate through material they know well or learn quickly—WGU helps students control the ultimate cost of their degrees. The faster you complete your program, the less you pay for your degree.

Tuition Calculator
Pay less by completing your program faster
TOTAL COST:
$
0
.
5
1
1
.
5
2
2
.
5
3
3
.
5
4
YEARS

A Nursing Master's Degree Is Within Reach

There is help available to make paying for school possible for you:

The average student loan debt of WGU graduates in 2019 (among those who borrowed) was less than half* the national average.

Most WGU students qualify for financial aid, and WGU is approved for federal financial aid and U.S. veterans benefits. 

Many scholarship opportunities are available. Find out what you might be eligible for.
 

FLEXIBLE SCHEDULE

Designed to be Different: An MSN Program Built for a Busy Nurse’s Schedule

Competency-based education puts working nurses in the driver’s seat of their education. As a busy nurse, you need a nursing degree program that's more than simply online—you need an online nursing program that truly reflects the realities of your work life and experience.

At WGU, your progress is driven by your ability to prove what you’ve learned. How—and how quickly—are largely up to you. Once you’ve mastered the defined competencies (knowledge and skills), you prove what you know through tests, papers, projects, or other assessments. Demonstrating mastery is how you pass a course, so learning what it takes to be outstanding in your career is at the heart of WGU’s MSN – Informatics curriculum.

Other universities' online M.S. programs may give you the convenience of distance learning; WGU's competency-based online programs take that flexibility further—many steps further!

"I learned a lot about doing research, which has helped me tremendously in my new position. You learn so much with this degree.”

—Jennifer Granger Brown
M.S. Nursing

CAREER OUTLOOK

Impart Excellence—Drive Decisions Grounded in Sound Data

Nurse informatics is a profession focused on delivering the best quality data, enhancing patient outcomes, and contributing to a better healthcare experience. This degree program uniquely qualifies you for this exciting profession centered on giving back to others. Join thousands of WGU graduates who are hard at work, making a difference and improving health outcomes.

Once you have earned a CCNE-accredited M.S. Nursing – Informatics degree, you will have the knowledge and skills it takes to be an outstanding informatics nurse. 

And as an informatics nurse, you’ll play a crucial role in elevating the level of care in your facility and in today’s healthcare industry. You’ll empower your colleagues to make decisions, implement policies, and perfect practices that are proven to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities.

Return on Your Investment

32%

The number of jobs for medical and health service managers is expected to grow by 32% from 2019 to 2029.

—U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

A High-Demand, Fulfilling Career: An MSN – Informatics Degree Prepares You for Real Results

First things first: What is nursing informatics? Simply put, it’s the juncture of information technology, medical practice, and medical research. It uses data, statistics, and research to make smart decisions that improve healthcare. In a survey of 576 healthcare professionals, the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society found that respondents overwhelmingly felt informatics nurses had a significant impact on the quality of care patients receive, especially on implementation, optimization, workflow, and patient safety.

Job Titles

  • Chief Nursing Informatics Officer
  • Informatics Director
  • Nursing Informatics Specialist
  • Informatics Analyst

Diverse Industries

  • Hospitals and Healthcare Clinics
  • Healthcare Systems and Vendors
  • Insurance Companies
  • Long-term Care Facilities
  • Local, State, or Federal Government
  • Colleges and Universities

Major Employers

  • Healthcare Corp. of America
  • Kaiser-Permanente
  • Anthem
  • Cigna
  • UCLA
  • Atrium Health

WGU Grads Hold Positions With Top Employers

Hospitals and clinics around the country know the benefit of a master's degree from WGU, so your nursing degree is valuable.

ADMISSIONS

Admissions Requirements Unique to This Nursing Degree

To be considered for this master's in nursing education program, you must:

  • Possess a bachelor of science in nursing degree (BSN). 
  • Possess an active, unencumbered RN license (though you are not required to be working as an RN at the time of enrollment):

1. In your state of residence, or
2. In your state of employment.

Prior to your clinical placement, you must submit to a criminal background check through American Databank and provide proof of current immunizations. Additional fees apply.

NOTE: RN licensure in your state of residence or employment is required to successfully complete clinical experiences. You must be licensed in the state in which you will complete the project or clinical experience. Compact licenses must be endorsed by your state of residence. For more information about compact licenses.

Get Your Enrollment Checklist

Download your step-by-step guide to enrollment.

Get Your Questions Answered

Talk to an WGU Enrollment Counselor.

More About the BSN-to-MSN Nursing Informatics Program

A nursing informatics professional has many potential responsibilities in the health care organization. Some examples of what nursing informatics specialists do include:

  • Data recovery
  • Patient health chart organization and maintenance
  • Data security
  • Telenursing
  • Imaging informatics
  • Test results
  • Decision support systems

 

Informatics nurses can have many different responsibilities including:

  • Managing paper or digital health records
  • Developing an information system based on current care standards
  • Developing electronic health record interfaces for patients
  • Analyzing health record data to identify how the system is working
  • Working with government agencies to ensure laws and regulations are compatible with healthcare needs
  • Developing unique systems for the organization to serve patient needs
  • Representing the hospital or clinic in making important decisions

 

You'll likely need a master's degree in nursing informatics to be qualified for this role. This means you'll need a BSN and an MSN, as well as some nursing experience. From start to finish it will likely take 6 years to become a nursing informatics specialist, but if you're already an RN, you can finish your MSN program and get started on the path sooner than you think.

In order to care for patients, doctors and nurses need all their information. Medical histories, test results, medication lists, and more are all vital to understand a patient's health. Nursing informatics play a vital role in improving health care technology to provide doctors and nurses with the data they need to make decisions for patients. Communication, technology, and regulations all play a part in ensuring that health care providers have the information they need. Nursing informatics is focused on using software and technology to document and secure patient data and information so it can be accessed when needed, and is safe from threats. 

Yes. Nursing informatics is a growing field that is certainly in high demand. Just as the need for nurses is growing, so is the demand for nursing informaticists. As healthcare moves increasingly online, demand within the nursing informatics field is expected to grow even more over the coming years. In fact, from 2019 to 2029, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects there will be 221,900 additional jobs for registered nurses. A similar trend may follow for nursing informaticists.  

In order to be successful in the field of nursing informatics, in addition to having an understanding of nursing, you should possess skills in the following areas:

  • Management
  • Data analytics
  • Computer science
  • Design and development
  • Information systems

 

Admissions requirements vary widely from program to program and from school to school. Nurse practitioner programs—including Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), and post-MSN NP certificate programs—can be among the most competitive. One factor commonly considered for enrollment in post-graduate nursing programs is grade-point average (GPA) from previous college work. The nature of WGU’s competency-based model means WGU graduates do not have a GPA when they earn their degree. WGU will work with you to help other institutions understand our model.

However, other factors beyond GPA are considered by many programs across the country. WGU provides opportunities for students to students to demonstrate excellence beyond a GPA, including participation in nationally recognized honors programs, real-world projects that you complete as part of your program that you can showcase in your post-graduate applications, and letters of recommendation from WGU faculty or leadership.

The WGU non-NP MSN courses do not satisfy the requirement for three separate courses in Physical Assessment, Pathophysiology, and Pharmacology.  These are often referred to as the “3 Ps” and are required for national certification and licensure as a nurse practitioner.

You will need to work closely with the nurse practitioner program, national certification organization and licensing agency to be sure you have completed all requirements before certification and licensure.

For any aspiring graduate student, it is important to maximize your own qualities as well as do the research to understand the schools that offer the programs you seek to join.

You can start your research by reviewing post-graduate programs that have admitted WGU alumni in the past. Look on LinkedIn for WGU nursing alumni who have gone on to become nurse practitioners, and check their profiles to see which schools they attended after graduating from WGU. Contact the school to ask whether they enroll students from competency-based programs like WGU’s. And talk to your WGU Enrollment Counselor. WGU can provide alumni with a letter they can share with graduate schools, explaining our competency-based model. This letter has helped WGU alumni be accepted into a variety of graduate programs in a number of fields and disciplines.

WGU is approved to offer federal student aid. You will need to apply using the FAFSA, which is used to determine your eligibility for aid. WGU’s FAFSA school code is 033394.

Scholarships are available for new WGU students and returning graduates. This video shows more about scholarship opportunities and how they can help you pay for school. Get information on:

  • How to apply
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Examples of scholarships
  • What happens after you apply
  • FAQs
  • Other financial aid options

WGU's tuition is a flat rate that is charged every six months. You can take as many courses as you are able in that six-month term—with no extra cost. You simply pay for the term and do as much work as you can or want to during that time. This means that finishing faster helps you save money—a major benefit you won't find at other schools. 

Ready to Start Your WGU Journey?