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Master of Science

Nursing Informatics (RN to MSN)

OVERVIEW

Move from RN to MSN and Learn to Utilize Data to Drive Impactful Change


 

This RN to MSN degree lets you put data at the center of decision-making. You became a registered nurse to make a difference, change lives, and empower people to take charge of their health. Now, you’re ready for your next step—one that will broaden your skillset, expand your influence, and maximize the positive impact you have on people’s well-being. What you seek is a degree in nursing informatics, a growing and important field. Nursing informatics focuses on helping health care workers give patients the best possible health care, making a huge difference for patients and entire communities. WGU’s online, CCNE-accredited RN-to-MSN – Nursing Informatics program prepares you to arm your fellow health care practitioners with the data, knowledge, and wisdom to make the kinds of decisions that truly improve care and shape outcomes. This online nursing RN to MSN degree program builds on your previous nursing education and experience, beginning with BSN-level coursework and continuing with cutting-edge health care curriculum designed to make you an in-demand, master's-prepared nursing informatics specialist.

This online RN to MSN nursing informatics 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 you to boost your resumé before you even graduate.

Already have your BSN? No problem! Check out the BSN-to-MSN version of this nursing informatics program.

67% of RN to MSN grads finish within 

36 months

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

Tuition per six-month term is

$3,475

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

Students can transfer up to

90 credits

Students from an accredited program will receive 80 transfer credits toward their BSN at application, and will have their transcript evaluated for up to 10 more transfer credits.

Ready to Start Your WGU Journey?

Next Start Date: August 1

Start Dates the 1st of Every Month

Bridge RN to MSN Programs

Earn Credentials on the Way to an MSN


 

RN to MSN programs at WGU allow you to complete your BSN and then move forward to your MSN. As you are close to finishing your BSN coursework, you will choose your MSN specialty: Nursing Education, Leadership and Management, or Nursing Informatics. Upon completion of your undergraduate coursework and the conferral of your BSN degree, you will also have taken 5 graduate-level courses, which allows you to earn a post-baccalaureate certificate. This helps you enhance your résumé and demonstrate your advanced education right away. A post-baccalaureate certificate credential is a great addition to your résumé and shows your current or potential employers the value you can bring to your position even while you are finishing your MSN degree. Or if you need to delay your MSN portion, you can still showcase the graduate-level coursework you have already completed. 

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

COURSES & COMPETENCIES

Nursing Informatics Courses

This RN to MSN Nursing Informatics degree prepares you to play an integral role in enhancing the level of care offered by their health care facilities. With an RN to MSN degree in nursing informatics from WGU, you will be prepared to deliver and coordinate improved care across multiple settings. Take your nursing career to the next level and change the future of health care with nursing informatics.

In this RN to MSN degree program you'll start by earning your BSN. The Bachelor of Science Nursing portion of this RN to MSN degree program focuses on contemporary nursing practice. Earning a BSN adds both theoretical and policy depth to the practical knowledge you have as an RN.

The MSN portion of this nursing informatics degree program addresses the complexities of health care, access, quality, and costs for diverse populations. In the nursing informatics specialization, you'll master skills like 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.

Entire RN to MSN Nursing Informatics Coursework

General Education
Nursing Informatics Specialty
Nursing Core
MSN Core

31 Courses

This program contains 31 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. And while most of your courses can be accelerated based on your prior knowledge and hard work, some nursing programs begin with a cohort-based course that must be completed via five scheduled webcam sessions with faculty and fellow students.

“Awesome program. Great flexibility to accomplish as much as you desire in a term. Great pricing and did an amazing job incorporating my career experience into the degree program. I would recommend WGU to all my friends.”

—Shenondoah Wells
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 RN 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. 

 

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.

$3,475

Tuition per 6-month term for the undergraduate portion of the program

At WGU, tuition is charged every six months. For the undergraduate portion of this master's degree in nursing, other fees include a flat fee of $145 each term for e-books and learning resources, a $175 program fee and a $350 Health Professions Fee.

$4,240

Tuition per 6-month term for the graduate portion of the program

For the graduate portion of this degree, fees include the $145 per term resource fee and the $350 Health Professions Fee.

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

WGU's Online MSN Bridge Program Was Built to be Different—for a Busy RN’s Schedule

Competency-based education puts working nurses in the driver’s seat of their education. As a busy nurse, you need a degree program that's more than simply online—you need a nursing program that truly reflects the realities of your work life and experience. At WGU, progress through programs 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, and passing courses is how you complete degree programs, 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 loved the program! All of the classes were relevant to my degree and I had support from my mentor, course instructors, and fellow students along the way.”

—Ashley
M.S. Nursing – Informatics

CAREER OUTLOOK

An Online MSN Degree Program for an RN to Drive Data-Based Decisions

First things first: What is nursing informatics? Simply put, it’s the juncture of information technology, medical practice, and medical research. It uses data science, statistics, and research to make smart decisions that improve healthcare, providing patients with more timely, personalized care and giving facilities and systems a clearer view of how to improve processes and outcomes. 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.

And as a nursing informatics specialist, you’ll play a crucial role in elevating the level of care in your facility and in today’s healthcare industry as a whole. You’ll empower your colleagues and management 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 positions for medical and health service managers is projected to grow by 32% from 2019 to 2029. 

—U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Inform the Crucial Decisions that Improve Care, Empower Communities, and Save Lives

This RN to MSN Nursing Informatics degree prepares you to play an integral role in enhancing the level of care offered by their health care facilities. With an RN to MSN degree in nursing informatics from WGU, you will be prepared to deliver and coordinate improved care across multiple settings. Take your nursing career to the next level and change the future of health care with nursing informatics. Once you have completed your MSN – Nursing Informatics degree online, you will have the knowledge and skills it takes to be an outstanding informatics nurse.

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 online RN-to-MSN bridge program, you must

  • Possess an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing, such as an ADN or ASN degree, from an accredited institution. 
  • Possess an active, unencumbered RN license:

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. 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 RN-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

 

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?