Master’s (MSN) in Nursing Informatics Emphasis

Master of Science in Nursing with an Emphasis in Health Informatics

Offered By: College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

About the Nursing Informatics Master’s Degree Emphasis

The Master’s in nursing with an emphasis in health informatics is designed for BSN-prepared nurses who want to better understand and apply the data involved in healthcare to make better decisions through evidenced-based practices.

The master’s in nurse informatics emphasis online program from the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions culminates in a capstone course and a 16-week practicum. This provides an opportunity for you to develop an evidence-based practice project in which you will:

  • Identify a problem amenable to research-based intervention
  • Search literature
  • Propose a solution
  • Develop a plan to implement the solution, evaluate its outcomes and disseminate the findings

The final practicum integrates nursing knowledge, leadership and advanced critical thinking in the development of a comprehensive and professional project plan. In addition to a master’s degree in nursing informatics capstone and practicum project, you will take courses that help you develop the skills necessary to improve patient care through the use of technology and data analysis.

For more information on the accreditation of nursing programs and other university licensures, please visit our University Accreditation and Regulations page.

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What You Will Study in the Master’s in Nursing Informatics Degree Emphasis

A master’s in nurse informatics emphasis teaches you how to optimize the use of patient and health data to achieve better patient outcomes, reduce costs and augment operational efficiency. You are equipped to help organizations adapt to the integration of technology and the continuous changes in patient-care systems.

You also have the opportunity to learn how to automate clinical care, build new operational data systems, train healthcare workers in the use of computer systems and analyze data to improve patient care.

In the MSN in informatics online degree program, course study includes:

  • Healthcare research analysis
  • Ethics, policy and finance
  • Healthcare information systems
  • Project evaluation and development
  • Healthcare innovation
  • Healthcare data management
  • Electronic health records
  • Research and population health management
  • Leadership and informatics

Careers for Nursing Informatics Degree Emphasis Graduates

As a graduate of the master’s in nursing informatics program, various roles are available for you, including:

  • Data scientist
  • Computer network architect
  • Computer and information systems manager
  • Software developer
  • Computer systems analyst

These roles may include automating clinical care, building new operational data systems, training healthcare workers in the use of computer systems or collecting and analyzing data to improve patient care.

You may choose to work in a variety of settings, including:

  • Hospital
  • Primary care facility
  • Doctor's office
  • Insurance company
  • Pharmacy
  • Technology supplier
  • Consulting firm
  • Government agency

Master's in Nursing Informatics Degree Emphasis FAQs

Read through our frequently asked questions to learn more about earning your MSN in informatics and additional career information.

A nursing informatics master’s degree can be well worth it for BSN-prepared nurses who are looking to impact patient outcomes on a different, technological level. Having an MSN degree can lead to higher earning potential as well. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, other MSN-level jobs including nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners have a median annual wage of $123,780 as of May 2021.1

Nurse informatics is a unique position where technology and nursing intersect, With a goal of optimal performance and patient care in mind. Some of the main responsibilities of a nurse informaticist may include2:

  • Providing information regarding workflows
  • Managing new technology and system implementation
  • Assessing data quality and initiatives
  • Reporting data information to team members

When studying nurse informatics in an online program, it’s important to recognize how to apply your studies to an in-person setting. In addition to being knowledgeable about technologies, nurse informatics specialists must be able to effectively communicate, support other nurses, make critical decisions and manage various amounts of important data. While studying in your online program, keep those important traits in mind as you gain knowledge and skills needed to be a successful, hands-on informatics nurse after graduation.

As technology advances, so does the need for professionals in all areas to understand, optimize and implement it. Nursing informatics is a crucial role in the healthcare field. It also allows BSN-educated nurses with a curiosity of technology and data to impact patient outcomes without being in direct contact with them. With the increasing need of healthcare professionals and the fast-moving pace of technological advances, now could be the perfect time for you to consider nursing informatics.

This informatics nursing degree at GCU consists of a total of 40 credits. The typical class length is eight weeks.

1 The earnings referenced were reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (“BLS”), Nurse Anesthetists, Nurse Midwives and Nurse Practitioners as of May 2021, retrieved on 07/15/2022. Due to COVID-19, data from 2020 may be atypical compared to prior years. The pandemic may also impact the predicted future workforce outcomes indicated by the BLS. BLS calculates the median using salaries of workers from across the country with varying levels of education and experience and does not reflect the earnings of GCU graduates as nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives and nurse practitioners. It does not reflect earnings of workers in one city or region of the country. It also does not reflect a typical entry-level salary. Median income is the statistical midpoint for the range of salaries in a specific occupation. It represents what you would earn if you were paid more money than half the workers in an occupation, and less than half the workers in an occupation. It may give you a basis to estimate what you might earn at some point if you enter this career. You may also wish to compare median salaries if you are considering more than one career path. Grand Canyon University can make no guarantees on individual graduates’ salaries as the employer the graduate chooses to apply to, and accept employment from, determines salary not only based on education, but also individual characteristics and skills and fit to that organization (among other categories) against a pool of candidates.

2 Retrieved from HealthCatalyst, The Three Essential Responsibilities of a Nurse Informaticist, in November 2022.

TOTAL CREDITS & COURSE LENGTH:
Total Credits: 40
Online: 8 weeks
[More Info]
TRANSFER CREDITS:
Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
TUITION RATE:
Online: $565 per credit [More Info]

Course List

Major:
40 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
40 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course examines nursing theory and the role of ethics for advanced registered nurses within the Christian worldview and through a leadership perspective focused on improving health care outcomes. Learners explore the moral/ethical responsibilities and legal and regulatory obligations of advanced registered nurses in health promotion and disease prevention. Learners also review evidence-based practice (EBP) literature and the research process with application to their program of study and learn to navigate scholarly EBP literature, resources, and guidelines.

Course Description

This course examines the role of leadership, organizational science, policy, and informatics in supporting safe, high-quality, cost-effective patient care within interprofessional, dynamic health care environments. Learners explore various organizational relationships within health care systems and prepare to participate in the design of cost-effective, innovative models of care delivery and practice change proposals. Professional leadership theories and how they shape the nurse leader in such things as collaboration, conflict resolution, decision-making, and negotiation are introduced. Learners discuss change management theories and evaluate the ethical, social, legal, economic, and political implications of practice change and health care informatics along with strategies for managing human, fiscal, and health care resources in a variety of organizational systems. Learners also examine the uses of patient-care, information systems, and communication technologies and discuss the design, implementation, and evaluation of electronic health record systems and clinical decision support systems.

Course Description

In this course learners examine the process of scientific inquiry, knowledge generation, utilization, and dissemination of evidence into advanced nursing practice in order to propose quality-improvement initiatives that advance the delivery of safe, high-quality care for patient populations. Learners critically evaluate evidence, including scientific findings from the biopsychosocial fields, epidemiology, biostatistics, genetics, and genomics, and apply levels of evidence and theoretical frameworks to design culturally appropriate clinical prevention interventions and population-based care that reduces risks, prevents disease, and promotes health and well-being. Learners also consider strategies to evaluate health policy and advocacy issues, the state of health care delivery, patient-centered care, and ethical principles related to health beliefs, health promotion, and risk reduction for diverse populations. Learners apply these strategies to work towards recognizing gaps in nursing and health care knowledge, identifying potential solutions or innovations for those gaps, planning and implementing practice changes, and evaluating the outcomes in order to improve practice. Prerequisite: NUR-513.

Course Description

This course provides an opportunity for learners to complete their evidence-based practice (EBP) project proposal that addresses a problem, issue, or concern in their specialty area of professional practice. Learners previously identified a problem amenable to a research-based intervention, searched the literature, and proposed a solution. Now learners will explore implementation considerations and various evaluation methodologies, complete the project proposal by developing a plan to implement the solution into the intended practice area, and design an evaluation plan that will assess the EBP project proposal's intended outcome(s). Prerequisite: NUR-550.

Course Description

This course examines the application of information systems in health care settings, beginning with an analysis of the broad meaning and nature of information and systems. The focus narrows to utilization of computer technologies, configurations, and applications as tools to benefit health care environments. Emphasis is placed on the challenges related to the development and implementation of effective information systems in light of a rapidly and continuously changing health care model, evolution of technology team member roles and responsibilities, and advancement of technological requirements within the health care system.

Course Description

This course examines health care information resources and their impact on administrative functions, interfaces, data security and integrity, and business processes. Topics include use of relational database management software to construct tables, develop forms, create and execute queries, design and deploy reports, and advance database concepts to automate contemporary business processes. Learners are able to distinguish between various network hardware technologies and associated data communications protocols in order to direct how organizations design and implement data networks. Prerequisites: HIM-515, HCI-600, or NUR-514; and HIM-615.

Course Description

This course prepares learners to evaluate, implement, and optimize electronic health record (EHR) technology to support the management and use of clinical data. Learners examine the architecture of EHRs and analyze the challenges of their design and use, including system integration requirements, distributed user bases, storage of complex data, high security requirements, and the diverse information needs of various end users. Learners also apply project management techniques to the planning and implementation of EHRs. Prerequisite: HIM-650.

Course Description

This course introduces techniques for extracting data and creating knowledge from health care data sets. Learners examine methods for describing, summarizing, and presenting data. There is specific focus on understanding the needs of information users, identifying organizational objectives, and ensuring that the analytical methodology chosen meets those needs. Prerequisite: HIM-650.

Course Description

In this course, learners apply principles of human factors engineering to the design of optimal user interfaces that improve clinical processes. Learners examine clinical decision support and clinical workflow analysis, modeling, reducing data entry errors, and usability testing in efforts to improve the experience of end users while prioritizing patient safety and the delivery of quality health care.

Course Description

This course provides learners the opportunity to integrate what they have learned in the program in a practicum experience related to nursing informatics. Learners are expected to integrate nursing knowledge, leadership, and advanced critical-thinking and problem-solving skills in the development of a comprehensive and professional project plan and solution that are grounded in current health care informatics research and methods. Practicum/field experience hours: 200. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all courses in the program of study.

Locations

GCU Online Student


Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student


Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.

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