Master of Science in Nursing — Nursing Informatics (RN to MSN Option)
Your patients’ health and well-being—and the health and well-being of entire populations—depend on smart decisions. And smart decisions depend on you and your colleagues having the right information—and knowing how to use it. That’s where nursing informatics comes in.
Informatics nurse specialists play an integral role in boosting the level of care at a healthcare facility. An outstanding nurse informatics specialist combines nursing science with the ability to manage, analyze, and communicate knowledge and wisdom to drive better patient outcomes. They support evidence-based practice and policies backed by data—policies designed to improve the care of individuals and diverse populations.
These skills can help lead a changing healthcare industry in ways that are better for consumers, providers, patients, and populations.
You can go from RN to MSN and take your nursing career to the next level. Become a nursing informaticist online at WGU!
Note: This program consists of an undergraduate and a graduate portion. When you complete the RN-to-BSN portion, you will seamlessly transition into the BSN-to-MSN portion. Tuition and fees differ between these two programs. For details, visit the Tuition and Fees page.
Who the Program is For:
You’re a nurse. You’re busy. You’re committed to your patients, to your team, and to your career—and you want a master’s degree that will give you the tools to be your very best and that you can earn in a way that fits a nurse’s lifestyle.
You need flexibility in scheduling and organizing your academic work. You need to be able to study on your schedule at a pace personalized for your demanding lifestyle. And most importantly, you need a program that is respected by employers and provides contemporary knowledge you will use immediately. Quality plus flexibility: That’s what WGU’s CCNE-accredited* MSN–Nursing Informatics program provides.
This program is designed for:
- Registered nurses (RNs) with an associate’s degree or diploma in nursing and a current, unencumbered RN license who wish to move into nursing informatics.
- Individuals who can typically spend 15 or more hours per week on their studies.
- Nurses who love numbers almost as much as they love their patients.
While you should plan to commit 20 hours a week to your studies, the degree program is flexible and adaptable to your schedule. Learn how this program works.
What You'll Learn
Essential Knowledge and Skills
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.
First, you’ll become an expert in all areas of study required by the Essentials of Baccalaureate Education for Professional Nursing Practice established by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.
Then, you’ll learn to collect, manage, and analyze data to communicate crucial information and make important decisions. That’s not to say it’s all about math: It’s about interpreting and analyzing data, not crunching numbers.
This program consists of 150 competency units (CUs, our equivalent to the traditional credit hour), including a capstone project.
Key Subject Areas
In addition to the core undergraduate nursing courses, these courses add to your credentials:
These general education assessments may be cleared through transfer credit:
- Applied Healthcare Statistics
- English Composition I
- Survey of United States Constitution and Government
- Introduction to Communication
- Human Growth and Development Across the Lifespan
- Introduction to Humanities
- Introduction to Psychology
- Introduction to Sociology
- Anatomy and Physiology
- Clinical Microbiology
BSN Core and MSN Bridge*
- Care of the Older Adult
- Health Assessment
- Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing
- Evidence-Based Practice
- Health and Wellness through Nutritional Science
- Organizational Systems and Quality Leadership
- Community Health and Population-Focused Nursing Field Experience
- Advanced Information Management and the Application of Technology*
- Advanced Professional Roles and Values*
- Professional Presence and Influence*
- Translational Research for Practice and Populations*
- Organizational Leadership and Interprofessional Team Development
- Pathopharmacological Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice
- Comprehensive Health Assessment for Patients and Populations
- Essentials of Advanced Nursing Practice Field Experience
- Policy, Politics, and Global Health Trends
Nursing Informatics Specialization
Foundations in Nursing Informatics
Data Science and Analytics
System Analysis and Design
Data Modeling & Database Management
Nursing Informatics Field Experience
Nursing Informatics Capstone
Inter-Professional Leadership & Communication in Healthcare
The first course you take in this program will be unlike any other you complete at WGU. Inter-Professional Leadership & Communication in Healthcare requires participation in online group meetings with faculty and fellow students. Multiple group options are available, so you will work with your enrollment counselor or mentor to determine the group whose schedule works best for you. Learn more about this unique course and how to prepare for it >>
Field Experience and Capstone Project
WGU’s master’s degree in Nursing Informatics includes a simulation-based field experience and a capstone project both designed to showcase what you’ve learned throughout the program. These projects will include work that you will complete in the real-world clinic or facility where you are employed.