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
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.
*WGU Internal Data
Tuition per six-month term is
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
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.
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Next Start Date: May 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.
WGU and the Leavitt School of Health 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 LSH programs is required to protect the public, meet LSH 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
Welcome to Composition: Writing with a Strategy! In this course, you will focus on three main topics: understanding purpose, context, and audience, writing strategies and techniques, and editing and revising. In addition, the first section, will offer review on core elements of the writing process, cross-cultural communication, as well as working with words and common standards and practices. Each section includes learning opportunities through readings, videos, audio, and other relevant resources. Assessment activities with feedback also provide opportunities to check your learning, practice, and show how well you understand course content. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to gain proficiency in the seven competencies that will be covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge or experience, you can expect to spend 30-40 hours on the course content.
This is Anatomy and Physiology I, a six-section, 4 CU course that enables students to develop an understanding of the relationships between the structures and function of the integumentary, skeletal, muscular, nervous and endocrine systems in the human body. This course will involve laboratory activities, simulated dissections, textbook material, models, and diagrams. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to, with the goal of demonstrating proficiency in the four competencies covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge of this material, you can expect to spend 40–60 hours on the course content.
Microbiology with Lab: A Fundamental Approach explores the science that microorganisms are everywhere, and they have positive and negative effects on the community. The course examines the structure and function of microorganisms, disease transmission and progression, and immune responses and other interventions, and it identifies key global diseases. The course consists of an introduction and four major sections. Each section includes learning opportunities through readings, videos, and other relevant resources. Assessment activities with feedback also provide opportunities for students to check their learning, practice, and show how well they understand course content. To assist students in developing an applied, evidence-based understanding of microbiology, this course integrates several lab experiments to help determine the specific characteristic of an unknown microbial sample and a treatment plan. Because the course is self-paced, students may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as needed to gain proficiency in the four competencies that will be covered in the final assessment. Students who have no prior knowledge of or experience with this topic can expect to spend 48–60 hours on the course content. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Pathophysiology is an overview of the pathology and treatment of diseases in the human body, tissues, glands and membranes, the integumentary system, the sensory system, skeletal and muscular systems, the digestive system, blood, vessels and circulation, lymphatic system, immunity and disease, heart and respiratory system, nervous, urinary and endocrine systems, and male and female reproductive systems. Prerequisites include all prior courses in this programmatic sequence.
Welcome to Introduction to Communication: Connecting with Others! It may seem like common knowledge that communication skills are important, and that communicating with others is inescapable in our everyday lives. While this may appear simplistic, the study of communication is actually complex, dynamic, and multifaceted. Strong communication skills are invaluable to strengthening a multitude of aspects of life. Specifically, this course will focus on communication in the professional setting, and present material from multiple vantage points, including communicating with others in a variety of contexts, across situations, and with diverse populations. Upon completion, you will have a deeper understanding of both your own and others’ communication behaviors, and a toolbox of effective behaviors to enhance your experience in the workplace.
This is World History: Diverse Cultures and Global Connections. In this course, you will focus on three main topics—cultural and religious diversity; pandemics; and the relationship of empires and nation states—as well as the skills of identifying root causes, explaining causes and effects, and analyzing complex systems. This course consists of an introduction and four major sections. Each section includes learning opportunities through reading, images, videos, and other relevant resources. Assessment activities with feedback also provide opportunities to practice and check how well you understand the content. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to, with the goal of demonstrating proficiency in the four competencies covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge of this material, you can expect to spend 30-40 hours on the course content.
This is Anatomy and Physiology II, a six section, four CEU course that enables students to develop an understanding of the relationships between the structures and functions of the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, and lymphatic systems in the human body. This course will involve laboratory activities, simulated dissections, textbook material, models, and diagrams. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to, with the goal of demonstrating proficiency in the four competencies covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge of this material, you can expect to spend 40–60 hours on the course content.
This is a Global Arts and Humanities course that contains three modules with corresponding lessons. This course is an invitation to see the world through the humanities, examine the humanities during the Information Age, and explore the global origins of music—essentially questioning what makes us human, and how people are connected across culture and time. Each module includes learning opportunities through readings, videos, audio, and other relevant resources. Assessment activities with feedback also provide opportunities to practice and check learning. With no prior knowledge or experience, a learner can expect to spend 30-40 hours on the course content.
This is Human Growth and Development, a three-module course that examines the entire human lifetime, from conception to death. Presented chronologically, the course focuses on three key areas: physical, cognitive, and psychosocial growth, along with other important issues such as cultural influences, emotions, and resilience. Because the course is self-paced, you may move through the material as quickly or as slowly as you need to, with the goal of demonstrating proficiency in the four competencies covered in the final assessment. If you have no prior knowledge of this material, you can expect to spend 30-40 hours on the course content.
In this course, students will develop an understanding of psychology and how it helps them better understand others and themselves. Students will learn general theories about psychological development, the structure of the brain, and how psychologists study behavior. They will gain an understanding of both normal and disordered psychological behaviors, as well as general applications of the science of psychology in society (such as personality typing and counseling).
This course teaches students to think like sociologists, or, in other words, to see and understand the hidden rules, or norms, by which people live, and how they free or restrain behavior. Students will learn about socializing institutions, such as schools and families, as well as workplace organizations and governments. Participants will also learn how people deviate from the rules by challenging norms and how such behavior may result in social change, either on a large scale or within small groups.
Applied Healthcare Probability and Statistics is designed to help develop competence in the fundamental concepts of basic mathematics, introductory algebra, and statistics and probability. These concepts include basic arithmetic with fractions and signed numbers; introductory algebra and graphing; descriptive statistics; regression and correlation; and probability. Statistical data and probability are now commonplace in the healthcare field. This course will help candidates make informed decisions about which studies and results are valid, which are not, and how those results affect your decisions. This course will give candidates background in what constitutes sound research design and how to appropriately model phenomena using statistical data. Additionally, this course guides candidates in calculating simple probabilities based on events which occur in the healthcare profession. This course will prepare candidates for studies at WGU, as well as in the healthcare profession.
This course addresses the integration of technology to improve and support nursing practice. It provides nurses with a foundational understanding of nursing informatics theory, practice, and applications. Topics include the role of nursing in informatics; use of computer technology for clinical documentation, communication, and workflows; problem identification; project implementation; and best practices.
In Informatics System Analysis and Design, a broad understanding of data systems is covered to build upon the Foundations in Nursing Informatics course. The importance of effective interoperability, functionality, data access, and user satisfaction are addressed. The student will be analyzing reports and integrating federal regulations, research principles, and principles of environmental health in the construction of a real-world systems analysis and design project. This course will be directly applicable to healthcare settings as electronic records management has become compulsory for healthcare providers. All of the information in this course will be directly tied to the delivery of quality patient care and patient safety. Foundations in Nursing Informatics is recommended as a prerequisite.
This course addresses the interdisciplinary and emerging field of data science in healthcare. Candidates learn to combine tools and techniques from statistics, computer science, data visualization, and the social sciences to solve problems using data. Topics include data analysis; database management; inferential and descriptive statistics; statistical inference; and process improvement.
This graduate course is designed to engage the student in planning, analyzing, and designing a relational database management system (DBMS) for use by nurse administrators, clinicians, educators, and informaticists. This experience will provide the knowledge needed to advocate for nursing informatics needs within the field of healthcare.
Nursing Informatics Field Experience requires students to complete clinical/practice experiences while engaging in authentic activities relevant to the role of an informatics nurse. To help students develop competency in this area, this course gives students opportunities to apply methods and solutions to support clinical decisions. They will be prepared to improve health outcomes by analyzing an existing health information system to determine the need for a system optimization that will improve an organization’s ability to measure and report Triple Aim objectives. All MSN Core and Specialty courses, with the exclusion of the Capstone course, are prerequisites to this course and must be completed before taking this course. This course is eligible for an In Progress grade. Please see the Grading Scale Policy for more information.
Nursing Informatics Capstone requires students to complete clinical/practice experiences (CPE) and finalize their system optimization proposal paper, which addresses the Institute of Health’s Triple Aim initiative. During this course, students will plan the final phase of their system development life cycle (SDLC), which consists of proposing the processes, methods, and tasks for monitoring, maintaining, supporting, and evaluating their system optimization. The knowledge and skills that students acquire during the CPE in this course will prepare them to complete their system optimization proposal paper. This is a culminating course that provides students an opportunity to demonstrate the competencies acquired during this program. All MSN Core and Specialty courses, including the Field Experience course, are prerequisites to this course and must be completed before taking this course. This course is eligible for an In Progress grade. Please see the Grading Scale Policy for more information.
Emerging Professional Practice presents a variety of professional nursing specialty areas. Students explore various practice specialties, including palliative care, genetics and genomics, and others. The course provides pathways to specialized nursing practice. All prior courses in the sequence for this program serve as prerequisites for this course. This course is eligible for an In Progress grade. Please see the Grading Scale Policy for more information.
Interprofessional Communication and Leadership in Healthcare is designed to help students prepare for success in the online environment at Western Governors University and beyond. Student success starts with the social support and self-reflective awareness that will prepare them to handle the challenges of all academic programs. In this course, students will complete several individual assignments that are intended to give the student an opportunity to reflect on where they are and where they would like to be. The activities in the course are designed to give students several tools they can use to achieve success. This course is designed as a four-part intensive learning experience. Students will engage in activities that will help them understand their own educational journey and find support and inspiration in the journey of others. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Comprehensive Health Assessment builds upon students’ existing knowledge of nursing assessment. The course presents current and innovative assessment techniques of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being of patients. Use of assessment data and shared decision-making are discussed throughout the course. This course also outlines the concepts of a head-to-toe assessment, providing students with an understanding of how to critically think about the different aspects of the assessment and analyze patient cues to determine the implications of findings. Students will also analyze lifestyle and cultural implications of health. All prior courses in the sequence for this program serve as prerequisites for this course.
Healthcare Policy and Economics is a foundational course that introduces the concepts of value-based care and the role of the nurse. This course includes concepts related to financial responsiveness, shared decision-making, preference-sensitive care, leveraging data. In this course, students learn about cost and fee-for-service in terms of value to the client and patient rather than value to the healthcare system. All prior courses in the sequence for this program serve as prerequisites for this course.
Global and Population Health prepares students for the role of the nurse in preserving and promoting health among diverse populations. Additionally, basic principles of epidemiology, social determinants of health (SDOH), and resource allocation through value-based care are outlined. The course introduces planning, organization, and delivery of services for diverse populations in community settings, including illness prevention, disaster preparedness, and environmental health. All prior courses in the sequence for this program serve as prerequisites for this course. This course is eligible for an In Progress grade. Please see the Grading Scale Policy for more information.
Advanced Standing for RN License
Professional Presence and Influence is a masters-level course designed to guide students towards an enhanced state of presence, where therapeutic relationships are built between nurse and patient. Students will learn techniques for self-care practices that result in enhanced mental and physical wellbeing and that ensure ethically-generated patient care. Presence is an intrapersonal and interpersonal quality that allows the nurse to relate to others and to be aware of the world around them. The characteristics of presence, which include holism, intimacy, sensitivity and adaptability, create a heightened sense of awareness that fosters therapeutic relationships between the nurse and patient. Developing a mindful, authentic presence is central to health and spiritual practices in several cultures and a major element of leadership. Students will intentionally develop a focused mindfulness practice that will influence patient outcomes and lead to conditions that create joy in the workplace.
Essentials of Advanced Nursing Roles and Interprofessional Practice explores essential characteristics of the advanced professional nurse in the role of leader, educator, practitioner, or informatics specialist. In this course, students will apply evidence-based strategies to facilitate interprofessional collaboration on teams. Students will explore the role of nurses in advocating for change at the bedside, as well as leading teams to advocate for health policy reform. Students will gather and analyze data to identify patients and populations at risk and recommend policy change to improve health outcomes in the community.
Quality Outcomes in a Culture of Value-Based Nursing Care incorporates current standards of quality and safety within the context of value-based care. In a value-based healthcare system, the benefits are derived from measuring health outcomes against the cost of delivering the outcomes. These benefits are then extended to patients, providers, payers, suppliers, and society as a whole. This course introduces new healthcare delivery models, which stress a team-oriented approach to patient care and sharing of patient data so that care is coordinated, and outcomes can be measured easily. Emphasis is placed on performance and quality improvement methods that underlie value-based nursing care. The nurse in advanced practice today must exemplify the standards of quality and safety and be prepared to lead the delivery of value-based patient-centered care.
Advanced Pathopharmacological Foundations provides advanced practice nurses foundational knowledge in the many pathologies encountered in practice today. Advancing from the cellular to the body system level, this course examines the pathologies of common conditions seen in healthcare today. Consideration is also given to the human affective response to alterations in health. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Advanced Health Assessment of Patients and Populations builds on prior physical health assessment knowledge and skills acquired during undergraduate studies by focusing on the advanced assessment of biopsychosocial and sociocultural contexts in patients and populations across the life span. This course emphasizes the use of a comprehensive health promotion, disease prevention, and health restoration model to address health concerns in patients and communities. Students will acquire advanced assessment knowledge and skills for clinical interviewing, focused history taking, critical diagnostic reasoning, and clinical decision-making using a problem-focused framework that integrates authentic experiences with practical knowledge of health patterns in patients and communities. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Informatics for Transforming Nursing Care integrates nursing science with multiple information and analytical sciences to identify, define, manage, and communicate data, information, knowledge, and wisdom in nursing practice. Students will acquire knowledge and skills to apply informatics concepts, communications, and data that are critical to facilitating interprofessional data-driven decision-making. It is designed to build competence in the use of patient- and population-based applications that inform and support the transformation of nursing care delivery toward a future of value-based quality nursing care that improves health outcomes. This course aligns theoretical concepts with practical applications of informatics and is consistent with the functional areas and responsibilities of informatics nurses as defined by American Nurses Association Scope and Standards for nursing informatics.
Leadership and Management in Complex Healthcare Systems prepares graduate nurses to be thoughtful strategists and informed decision-makers who serve as strong leaders in high-performing healthcare systems. Students develop competencies for managing diverse teams in complex systems, monitoring and measuring organizational performance, allocating financial and human resources, and leading change towards a transformed healthcare system. Additionally, students acquire the knowledge and skills to become full partners with other healthcare professionals by demonstrating nurse contributions toward high-quality care to patients and populations, while working collaboratively with interprofessional teams. There are no prerequisites for this course.
Advancing Evidence-Based Innovation in Nursing Practice introduces students to the dynamic union of healthcare innovation and evidence. Core competencies and behaviors required to be a nurse innovator are discussed. Strategies for measuring innovation at various system levels are presented, as well as techniques for synthesizing and disseminating evidence to advance innovation in healthcare. The skills needed to appraise the quality of diverse sources of evidence are presented within the framework of evidence-based practice. This course focuses on identifying new and emerging sources of evidence that can inform, translate, and scale the complexity of leading innovation in healthcare organizations. Students will experience building communities of practice for collaboratively developing innovative practices and policies designed to improve the health of populations and enhance the patient experience of care.
This program contains 31 courses
At WGU, we design our curriculum to be timely, relevant, and practical—all to help you show that you know your stuff.
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.”
M.S. Nursing – Informatics
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.
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.
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.
Tuition per 6-month term for the undergraduate portion of the program
At WGU, tuition is charged every six months. Other fees include a flat fee of $200 each term for e-books and learning resources and a $350 Health Professions Fee.
Tuition per 6-month term for the graduate portion of the program
For the graduate portion of this degree, other fees include a flat fee of $200 each term for e-books and learning resources and a $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 2022 (among those who borrowed) was less than half* the national average.
*WGU undergraduate students have approximately half the debt at graduation compared to the national average, according to the Institute for College Access and Success (2022).
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.
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.”
M.S. Nursing – Informatics
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.
The number of positions for medical and health service managers is projected to grow by 28% from 2021 to 2031.
—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.
- Chief Nursing Informatics Officer
- Informatics Director
- Nursing Informatics Specialist
- Informatics Analyst
- Hospitals and Healthcare Clinics
- Healthcare Systems and Vendors
- Insurance Companies
- Long-term Care Facilities
- Local, State, or Federal Government
- Colleges and Universities
- Healthcare Corp. of America
- 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 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
- General Program Questions
- Financial Aid Questions
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
- 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:
- 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.
The $65 application fee is waived for Per Scholas alumni and employees. Use the waiver code "PERSCHOLAS".
All Per Scholas alumni and employees will receive a 5% discount on tuition by communicating with your Enrollment Counselor that you are a Per Scholas alumni.
Per Scholas and WGU are actively working to secure scholarships for Per Scholas alumni. See general WGU scholarships here. Per Scholas employees should inquire about tuition benefits packages within their company’s Human Resources department.
If you carry debt from any previous college or defaulted student loans, this does not necessarily preclude you from enrolling at WGU. Speak to an Enrollment Counselor at WGU about financial considerations as you move forward with your application.
There is a one-time program fee and resource fee that students pay upon enrollment at WGU. There are no additional book or lab fees associated with the courses. Students will need to have stable internet access in order to do the coursework. Please refer to the applicable WGU program page for more information.
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