30 Best Online Master’s in Nursing Informatics Programs 2019

Nursing informatics – also called healthcare informatics – is one of the newest and most in-demand specializations in the nursing field, but many working nurses who would excel in the job may be at a loss as to how to break into informatics. It’s not a surprise that there would be a shortage of nursing informatics specialists; after all, most nurses enter the profession out of a passion for direct care, not because of their computer science skills. But the know-how to organize, analyze, and most importantly apply information and data is crucial to contemporary medical care – in fact, can make all the difference in saving lives. Then the C Arm machine is also used a lot in emergency care so see that page for more details.

Seeking Out the Master’s in Nursing Informatics Programs

Nursing in the 21st century looks very little like the occupation that began consolidating into a highly-trained profession late in the 19th century. Just 150 years from the establishment of the first proper nursing school, the field has been all but completely transformed by technology. While direct patient care remains the central mission of nursing, the complexity of the modern healthcare system has created an almost overwhelming variety of specializations, and the educational standards for a nursing career are becoming ever higher. From nursing diplomas to master’s and doctorates, nursing education has come a long way, and the highest-paying careers in nursing demand higher education.

Most nurses realize that in this day and age, a Master of Science in Nursing degree is the key to higher pay, greater responsibilities, and career advancement, and for nurses who have a facility with technology, Nursing Informatics may be the best possible choice. Nursing Informatics Specialists hold the keys to the main driving force of modern medicine – information – and with a significant shortage of qualified analysts, a nursing informatics specialist can have their pick of jobs. For that reason, Master’s in Nursing Informatics Programs are quickly popping up across the nation.

Ranking the Best Online Nursing Informatics Programs

Of course, most working RNs can hardly afford to leave their careers, much less relocate to take advantage of the best master’s in nursing informatics programs in the US; an online, hybrid, or low-residency program is likely the best choice for most nursing professionals. (Especially if you’re already in one of the highest-paying cities for nurses.) That’s why Top RN to BSN has ranked the 30 Best Online Master’s Nursing Informatics Programs – to give working nurses all over the US a guide to find the program that will work best for their needs, either in their own state, or across the country.

All of the nursing programs features in the Best Online Master’s in Nursing Informatics Programs are regionally accredited; most are also accredited by the CCNE, ACEN, or another trusted accrediting agency. Programs are ranked according to 3 standards:

  • Cost (current IPEDS tuition data)
  • Reputation (current Niche rating)
  • ROI (current College Scorecard alumni salary)

1. University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus – Denver, CO


Founded in 1912, the University of Colorado Denver actually began in the late 19th century as CU’s medical school, as the larger city of Denver gave the university more access to patients and resources. Over the 20th century, the CU Denver campus grew into Colorado’s foremost institution for health science research and care, with the Anschutz Medical Campus, the UC Health Sciences Center, and the University of Colorado’s two teaching hospitals. The CU College of Nursing is frequently ranked among the best nursing schools in the nation, especially for its MSN programs, and CU Denver has become a leading name in online education as well – including one of the best online nursing informatics programs in the US.

CU Online’s MSN in Health Care Informatics degree program has been offered since 1997 – an eternity, when it comes to online education. CU Denver’s early adoption of online education has helped make it one of the nation’s best, most developed online programs, bringing CCNE-accredited quality to the distance format. Students have the opportunity to build their network along with their learning-centered program with collaborative tools and video conferences. All coursework is fully online in a variety of modes, and students are able to arrange their clinical practicum from wherever they live for convenience.

Degree: MSN – Health Care Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

2. Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center – Lubbock, TX


Founded in 1923, Texas Tech University was a long time coming; educators had been advocating for a university in West Texas since the 1880s, when settlers began entering the frontier. Rather than open a University of Texas branch, Texas Tech opened as the flagship of a whole new public university system. Texas Tech, as the name suggests, was designed to focus on the applied sciences, technology, and practical professions, including agriculture, engineering, and what was then known as home economics. These origins would provide the foundation for Texas Tech’s dominance in areas ranging from business to computer science to health sciences, as the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center would develop into an independent campus and one of the most respected academic health complexes in the nation.

The Texas Tech online MSN in Nursing Informatics degree program builds on TTU’s pioneering expertise in both nursing education and computer science, as working nurses are educated in the practical use and potential of healthcare data analysis. All coursework is fully online, though students may have to travel to Lubbock for short immersive programs. As an MSN program, applicants must have at least an associate’s degree and a current RN license, though students who already have an MSN may apply for the post-graduate Nursing Informatics Certificate. One of the best online nursing informatics programs, the Texas Tech MSN-NI also qualifies graduates for the ANCC Board Certification and CPHIMS exams.

Degree: MSN – Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

3. Rutgers University – New Brunswick, NJ


New Jersey’s foremost state-supported institution, Rutgers University is also one of the oldest universities in the US, founded in 1766. With more than two and a half centuries under their belt, Rutgers has developed into one of the most esteemed public research universities in the nation, regularly ranked among the top national universities, and named a Public Ivy (the public equivalent to the Ivy League). Rutgers is particularly crucial to healthcare education in New Jersey, with Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences leading the state as the largest academic health complex, and the School of Nursing regularly ranked as the state’s top nursing school – especially for its award-winning online programs.

The Rutgers online MSN in Nursing Informatics degree program brings all of the excellence and support that Rutgers has built its reputation on, while providing working nurses with the convenience of online instruction. To their already deep clinical experience, working nurses add a thorough understanding of the role information technology and data analysis plays in modern healthcare, preparing for a career role supporting nurses and patients. All coursework is fully online, and graduates qualify to sit for the ANCC Informatics Nursing Certification Exam, making Rutgers one of the best master’s in nursing informatics programs available.

Degree: MSN in Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

4. Allen College/University of Minnesota – Waterloo, IA



Allen College is a small, regionally-accredited nursing school in Waterloo, IA. Founded in 1925, Allen may have just over 500 students, but it is quite accomplished, with CCNE accreditation and numerous other accreditations for specialities like radiography, nuclear medicine, and medical sonography. The University of Minnesota, of course, is one of the Midwest’s most prestigious and respected public research universities, dating back to the earliest days of Minnesota and the Twin Cities. UMN is quite well known for its nursing programs, which makes the partnership between Allen College and UMN especially productive, offering one of the best online nursing informatics programs in the nation.

The Allen College online MSN in Leadership in Health Information Technology, offered through a unique partnership with the University of Minnesota, allows students in Iowa and elsewhere to earn their master’s in nursing informatics entirely online. Through this opportunity, experienced, working nurses can make a career shift or advance in a new direction, prepared not only for the technological demands of contemporary healthcare, but leadership as well. All coursework is fully online (students pay Allen tuition for Allen courses, and UMN tuition for UMN courses), with only two visits to the Waterloo campus: once for a 1-day orientation, and once to present their final project.

Degree: MSN – Leadership in Health Information Technology
Cost: $$$$$

5. Duke University – Durham, NC


One of the premiere names in higher education and in healthcare, Duke University a private research institution widely regarded as one of the foremost Southern Ivies – the Southern institutions with the influence, resources, and prestige of the Ivy League. Founded in 1838 as a small academy by Quakers and Methodists, Duke came into its own (and its name) with the establishment of the Duke Endowment by tobacco magnate James B. Duke. With one of the largest endowments in the history of higher education, Duke expanded throughout the 20th century, becoming one of the nation’s leaders in a variety of fields, especially healthcare.

With the Duke University Medical Center, Duke houses one of the nation’s greatest academic health complexes, and well as top-ranked medical and nursing schools. It also offers one of the nation’s best master’s in nursing informatics programs. The School of Nursing offers Duke’s online MSN in Health Informatics degree program in a convenient, distance format – students need only visit Duke twice during their program. The Duke MSN-HI program focuses on the practical uses of health informatics, emphasizing real-world application, and students learn from experienced practitioners in a variety of online modes. Students who already have an MSN may choose a Post-Graduate Certificate in Health Informatics. Graduates of the program qualify to sit for the ACNN health informatics certification exam.

Degree: MSN in Health Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

6. Vanderbilt University – Nashville, TN


Another of the elite Southern Ivies, Vanderbilt University began in 1873 with the gift of $1 million from northern industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt, who saw the support of a university in the South as a way to foster unity after the Civil War. A prestigious, world-class university in the state’s capital city did much to elevate Tennessee, and Nashville in particular, and Vanderbilt became central to culture, learning, and research for the region. Today, Vanderbilt is a major private research university, and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center is one of the nation’s premiere academic health centers, frequently ranked among the best teaching hospitals in America.

Vanderbilt’s online MSN in Nursing Informatics degree program has been ranked one of the top 3 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, building on VU’s status as Tennessee’s healthcare leader. Even in an online format, Vanderbilt offers students resources that few other institutions can match, including some of the most decorated faculty in the field and technological tools that allows students to not only learn the basics of current technology, but practice real innovation. Some on-campus meetings are required, but clinical experiences can be located in the student’s current area. It’s one of the best master’s in nursing informatics programs possible, from an institution that defines the field.

Degree: MSN in Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

7. University of Illinois at Chicago – Chicago, IL


While it was technically founded as an independent university in 1965, the University of Illinois at Chicago began right after WWII, in 1946, when returning veterans on the GI Bill flooded the University of Illinois with applications. Obviously, a public university in the state’s largest city was necessary, and the temporary campus in Chicago grew into the city’s largest university. Today, UIC is particularly known for the largest medical school in the nation, and for the UI Medical Center, one of the top teaching hospitals and medical research centers in the world. From medicine to dentistry to nursing, UIC is crucial to Illinois’ health care.

The UIC online MS in Health Informatics degree program was the first fully online degree to be accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM). Working nursing professionals use the MSHI program to prepare for careers in administration, analysis, research, and advanced clinical care, depending on their interests and strengths. With UIC’s reputation, and some of the most skilled and knowledgeable faculty in the field, students are assured of a world-class education, and asynchronous classes make it possible to earn that education on their own time, without having to travel or relocate.

Degree: MS in Health Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

8. Chamberlain University – Downers Grove, IL


Founded in 1889 as a nursing school in the Deaconess tradition (the German Lutheran educational program best known for training Florence Nightingale), Chamberlain University became part of the Adtalem Global Education group in 2005. As a for-profit institution, Chamberlain has grown tremendously, with several regional campuses across the US. More notably, Chamberlain has built a large and highly-regarded online program, offering degree programs from the BSN to nursing doctorates, as well as one of the best online nursing informatics programs, from their two colleges: the College of Nursing and the College of Health Professions.

The Chamberlain online MSN Nursing Informatics track gives working nurses the opportunity to earn their degree from wherever they are, whenever they need. Fully online coursework, and no required login times, allow students to make their own schedule, and the MSN can be completed in just 2 years, even with just one course per term. Students will complete a clinical practicum in their area, working to apply their learning under the guidance of an experienced mentor; together, they will develop real solutions to real problems. Applicants for the master’s in nursing informatics program must have a bachelor’s degree and a current RN license.

Degree: MSN Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

9. University of Alabama at Birmingham – Birmingham, AL


The University of Alabama’s public, urban research university, UA Birmingham, has its roots in an extension campus opened in 1936, an effort by the university to reach students in the state’s largest city. As an independent institution in the UA System since 1969, UAB has grown well beyond its origins, becoming the state’s only Carnegie Classification R1 research institution and developing a central role in the education of Alabama’s professionals. In particular, UAB is home to the UBA Health System, Alabama’s leading medical center and one of the nation’s largest academic medical complexes – and the biggest employer in Alabama. Without UAB, Alabama’s healthcare system would be a fraction of what it is today.

UAB’s online MSN in Nursing Informatics degree program brings together advanced practice nursing and advanced computer, data, and information science to prepare students for careers in analysis and leadership. The 40-credit program combines instruction and clinical experience, with students taking 210 hours of direct patient care before graduation. All coursework is fully online, though students must attend an initial orientation at the UAB campus in Birmingham. As a CCNE-accredited program, UAB stands out among master’s in nursing informatics programs as the Alabama nurse’s best choice.

Degree: MSN in Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

10. University of Pittsburgh – Pittsburgh, PA


One of the oldest schools in the US, the University of Pittsburgh was founded as an academy serving what was then the far-flung frontier of Pittsburgh just after the American Revolution, in 1787. With a history of well over 200 years, Pitt has been central to the development of Pittsburgh, as a private (up to 1966) and public institution. Today, Pitt is consistently ranked one of the top public research universities in the nation, with a research budget of more than $2 billion and a reputation as a value. The UP Medical Center is one of the top academic medical campuses in the US, with teaching hospitals and the university’s acclaimed medical and nursing schools.

Pitt’s online MSN in Nursing Informatics degree program offers working nurses several options for enhancing their career with an informatics specialization: an MSN major, a minor, or a post-professional certificate, all of which are eligible for full or part-time study. Bringing together computer science, cognitive science, and nursing practice, the Nursing Informatics MSN prepares students for leadership, imparting knowledge of organizing, analyzing, and applying data. Coursework can be completed entirely online, and students have full access to the resources and expertise of Pitt and its world-class faculty.

Degree: MSN in Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

11. Nebraska Methodist College – Omaha, NE


A small, private institution focused on the health sciences and service, Nebraska Methodist College is the only nursing school in Nebraska continuously operating since 1891. Founded with a starting class of just six young women, NMC has stayed small, with just over 1000 students, the better to develop the kind of community and connection that helps students in the healing arts. Accredited both regionally and by the CCNE, Methodist College provides a comprehensive education in nursing and healthcare that is defined by holistic healing, respect for all human life, and caring of the highest order.

Nebraska Methodist College’s online MSN in Nursing Informatics degree program brings all of Methodist’s excellence directly to working nurses where they are. The only online degree of its kind in the region, NMC show master’s in nursing informatics programs how the job is done, filling a critical lack in technology nursing education opportunities in Nebraska. NMC helps working nurses bridge the gap between traditional clinical practice and healthcare data analysis, giving current professionals the skills to make a rewarding and much-needed transition in their careers. The fully online MSN can be completed in as little as 21 months, and graduates will be eligible to sit for the ANCC informatics certification exam.

Degree: MSN in Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

12. CUNY School of Professional Studies – New York, NY


Ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top online institutions, the CUNY School of Professional Studies prides itself on being providing academic excellence to adult learners. As one of CUNY’s newest division, the School of Professional Studies began in 2003 specifically to provide a central home for all of CUNY’s fully online degree programs, as well as education opportunities for working adults and employers. In CUNY SPS’s ongoing effort to provide informational and training opportunities to nursing students, online events are scheduled on a regular basis.

CUNY SPS’s RN to BS-MS in Nursing Informatics program provides students with one of the nation’s top master’s in nursing informatics programs. Students will participate in a six-credit practicum in addition to taking courses focusing on safety and quality for enhancing patient outcomes. In doing so, they’ll gain experience with accreditation mandates, compliance, new data management system designs, and staff education. Students enrolling in the RN to BS-MS in Nursing Informatics online degree program will receive guidance in the ability to manage data effectively, assess the needs of institutional data, and improve the quality of patient care.

Degree: RN to BS/MS in Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

13. West Texas A&M University – Canyon, TX


Established in 1910, West Texas A&M University’s dominant theme in both curriculum assessment and strategic planning is having a student-centric philosophy. With its roots in applied science, WTAMU following the Texas A&M tradition of providing valuable, useful education that transforms lives and the West Texas region. According to U.S. News, West Texas A&M University ranks as one of the top public universities in the nation. WTAMU is traditionally recognized for its excellence in nursing education, including Comprehensive M.S.N., Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) M.S.N., and Post-Master’s Family Nurse Practitioner M.S.N. degrees programs.

Those enrolling in West Texas A&M University’s online nursing programs will find two role specializations for M.S.N. advanced education in nursing. The Comprehensive M.S.N. degree program is taken online for those who would like to work in administrative positions, educational settings, hospitals, collaborations with physicians, and outpatient settings. The Family Nurse Practitioner M.S.N. and Post-Master’s Family Nurse Practitioner M.S.N. prepares students for roles in an occupational setting, clinics, independent practices, and underserved areas. Those obtaining their master’s will be eligible for taking the FNP certification exam. Those interested in applying to one of the best online nursing informatics programs in the country must do so through the university and the Department of Nursing.

Degree: Comprehensive MSN
Cost: $$$$$

14. Ferris State University – Big Rapids, MI


Founded in 1884, Ferris State University’s slogan is, “Strengthening Partnerships for Academic and Professional Excellence in Health.” FSU has long been named among the best regional universities in the Midwest, and that quality is especially true of the College of Health Professions. The school’s core values and mission is to educate and train the future leaders in the healthcare profession through academic excellence, inter-professional collaboration, and practice. Because FSU offers a 16:1 student to faculty ratio, it’s possible for students to receive personal attention in laboratories and classrooms. Ferris places a priority on learning, which means students have regular access to professors instead of teaching assistants.

Ferris State’s online MSN in Nursing Informatics degree program reflects a new priority in the field of nursing and in nursing education. The university’s current curriculum incorporates competencies from Quality and Safety Education for Nurses (QSEN) and Institute of Medicine and is also in alignment with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing Essentials of Master’s Education. Students take all course online, so their schedules have the flexibility that busy working nurses need; however, specialty informatics course may require face-to-face meetings on Saturdays.

Degree: MSN in Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

15. Adelphi University – Garden City, NY


Adelphi University’s School of Nursing was founded in 1942 when the United States entered World War II, creating an urgent need for nurses. The founding director, Mildred Montag, Ph.D., understood the critical need for nurses and, to help alleviate the shortage, she sought to decrease the length of nursing school to two years. In 2014, Adelphi University was officially recognized by the National League for Nursing (NLN) as a Center of Excellence during a banquet. Adelphi indicated, “Adelphi’s [College of Nursing and Public Health] plans to continue a focus on advancing nursing education science through more collaborative research with their clinical partners and interprofessional colleagues.”

Adelphi University’s online MSN in Healthcare Informatics degree programs prepares students for using technology that will ultimately support health care management and delivery. Programs include an Online M.S. in Healthcare Informatics, On-Campus M.S. in Healthcare Informatics, and Advanced Certification in Healthcare Informatics. Those who pursue these masters in nursing informatics programs will have the skills and knowledge necessary to become a valuable manager and developer of health information systems. When obtaining an M.S. in Healthcare Informatics, individuals will receive an education that combines concepts in information technology, leadership practices, and health care. Informatics provides training for careers in industrial settings, academic institutions, hospitals, and other health care providers throughout the industry.

Degree: MSN in Healthcare Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

16. Grand Canyon University – Phoenix, AZ


Chartered in 1949, Grand Canyon College began with approximately 100 students and sixteen faculty members at its Prescott, Arizona location. It wasn’t until 1951 that the college relocated to West Phoenix and 1968 that it became a fully-accredited school. In 2018, GCU became a non-profit institution to provide students and faculty with opportunities to operate a philanthropic foundation, invest in educational infrastructure, participate in governance, explore career growth, and more. In its own words, GCU’s mission “prepares learners to become global citizens, critical thinkers, effective communicators, and responsible leaders by providing an academically challenging, values-based curriculum from the context of our Christian heritage.”

Grand Canyon University’s online MSN in Health Informatics degree program is designed for nurses who are BSN-prepared. These students want a better understanding of and be able to apply healthcare, so they’re able to make better decisions through practices that are evidence-based. Those enrolled with participating in a 16-week practicum and a capstone course that will provide opportunities to identify problems, search literature, propose solutions, develop plans for implementing solutions, evaluate outcomes, and have the findings disseminated. Those who graduate will have opportunities in career fields including government agencies, pharmacies, primary care facilities, and technology suppliers.

Degree: MSN in Health Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

17. Liberty University – Lynchburg, VA


Liberty University was founded based on a dream Jerry Falwell had in 1971 for creating a generation of professionals who, in every field, were serving others while simultaneously serving God. Fifty years later, more than 100,000 students are attending sixteen colleges and schools that feature over 550 programs from certificates to doctorates. Students can participate from around the globe via their online portal that features 250 programs. Liberty University is ranked in the top five out of over 2,100 other online colleges and universities for accessibility, affordability, and quality by BestColleges.com. The college is also ranked $1 in the Top 25 Online Christian Colleges and Universities 2017 by Christian Universities Online.

Liberty University’s online MSN in Nursing Informatics degree program is a prime example of Liberty’s award-winning online programs. By choosing Liberty, students will receive the necessary training to develop solutions for nursing informatics so community needs can be met, make improvements in healthcare settings, and find resolutions to healthcare issues. As professionals in the nursing industry, those enrolled will learn how to become collaborative with stakeholders in healthcare settings to develop strategies to solutions for informatics. Those graduating could explore careers as a nurse representative, project manager, and nurse programmer.

Degree: MSN in Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

18. Capella University – Minneapolis, MN


Capella University launched in 1993 when Stephen Shank and Dr. Harold Abel saw a need for higher education among working adults and decided to join forces. Capella University and the American Nurses Association have an educational alliance, and in 2018, Capella University announced that they won the 2018 Blackboard Catalyst Award for their FlexPath MEd courtroom design. CU’s diversity philosophy is, “We believe that a diverse learning community is vital to achieving our mission of supporting learner success.” Because this is an online school, Capella must cater to the needs of a community with a broad range of ages, backgrounds, beliefs, genders, economic strata, and more. Therefore, it’s their commitment to developing a set of values that are learner and employee centric, including one of the best online nursing informatics programs in the Midwest.

Those who enroll in Capella University’s online MSN in Nursing Informatics will complete all program courses online. Because transformation in technology is occurring rapidly, participation in this degree program will help students harness the ability to gain skills and expertise to make influences in these transformations. Those enrolling in Capella’s program will embrace the impacts of health informatics regarding change management, cost, operational efficiencies, and patient care. Students will also develop skills in clinical project management, decision-making, and strategic planning. Following graduation, professional paths include becoming a chief nursing informatics officer, clinical informatics officer, clinical systems team manager, clinical workflow analyst, Informatics nurse specialist, and more.

Degree: MSN in Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

19. Troy University – Troy, Alabama


With a student ratio of 15:1 and average class sizes of twenty-nine students, Troy University is known for its strong student support and campus culture. Founded in 1887, Troy currently maintains an undergraduate enrollment of 14,000. According to U.S. News, Troy University has been ranked one of the most innovative schools in the nation, as well as one of the top regional universities in the South. More than half of the university’s students take online courses while staying engaged in high touch and high tech educational experiences. TU was initially founded as a college for training teachers and has since grown into an international university.

Troy University’s online MSN in Healthcare Informatics and Nurse Leadership comes from the acclaimed School of Nursing. The purpose of this program is for those who are graduates of the baccalaureate in nursing to further develop the advanced clinical skills and knowledge leadership positions require in nursing. Students in this MSN program will have preparation as nurses in advanced roles including Family Nurse Practitioners, Informatics Specialists, and Nurse Administrators. MSN-prepared nurses have the option of receiving a Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate or Informatics and Nursing Leadership Certificate.

Degree: MSN in Healthcare Informatics and Nurse Leadership
Cost: $$$$$

20. Norwich University – Northfield, VT


Norwich University, the oldest of the US senior military colleges, was founded in 1819, providing the model for all military colleges that would come after. With a student ratio of 13:1 and the average class size being less than twenty students, Norwich makes it possible for students to receive a highly personal education. Norwich University has been ranked a Best Value by U.S. News & World Report, making it their mission to serve not only traditional on-campus students but those who are pursuing online degrees as well. The university’s master’s program in nursing received its accreditation through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and has been recognized among the best nursing schools in the US.

Norwich University’s MSN in Nursing Informatics degree program recognizes the need in the healthcare industry for nurses with expertise, leadership, and passion. Students enrolling Norwich’s master’s in nursing informatics program will find a curriculum beginning with three, six-credit core courses focusing on health care systems, policy, practice, and the roles of the advanced nurse. Additionally, these courses will focus on informatics, quality improvement practice, research for evidence-based practice, theoretical foundations of practice, and technology. Remaining courses will focus on the student’s chosen specialty including healthcare systems leadership, nursing education, or nursing informatics. Once students obtain this degree, they can pursue roles as a clinical nurse leader, health policy expert, or nurse administrator.

Degree: MSN in Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

21. Thomas Jefferson University – Philadelphia, PA


After merging with Philadelphia University in 2018, Thomas Jefferson University has enhanced its status as one of the top institutions in the City of Brotherly Love, dedicated to providing the highest quality professional education possible to their students. Since its founding as a medical school in 1825, Jefferson has been a leader in health sciences and professions. The Jefferson College of Nursing ranks among the best nursing colleges and online nursing curriculums within the country. Recently, the school was named a National League for Nursing Center of Excellence in Nursing Education for 2015-2019, one of the highest honors a school of nursing can earn.

Jefferson’s online MSN in Nursing Informatics degree program focuses on preparing nurses for clinical information management in a constantly changing healthcare realm. This online master’s program consists of 18 credits in core curriculum MSN classes plus another 18 credits specific to the nursing informatics specialty. The program, which can be completed in as few as 15 months or as long as 5 years, prepares graduates to be considered for the Nursing Informatics Clinical Nurse Specialist certification granted by the American Nursing Association. Jefferson nursing grads enjoy a 95% passing rate for all certification exams and 98% job placement rate in positions that easily enter six figures of compensation per year.

Degree: MSN in Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

22. Nova Southeastern University – Fort Lauderdale, FL


Nova Southeastern University, which was founded in 1964 as Nova University of Advanced Technology, is a private nonprofit school with deep roots in physical and social sciences. The Carnegie Foundation ranks Nova Southeastern as a Doctoral/Research University and the school also boasts numerous accolades conferred for its diversity practices. The school has more than 24 thousand students and an enormous 80 percent of them are enrolled in graduate level programs. The Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine at Nova Southeastern is accredited by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation and offers one of the best online nursing informatics programs in the South.

Nova Southeastern’s MSN with Nursing Informatics Track enables nursing grads to provide patients with point-of-care access to their protected health information as well as manage informatics within various facets of the healthcare industry. The program is available entirely online for students busily working in the nursing field already and consists of 36 credit hours designed to be taken over a six-semester span of time. Once the MSN in Nursing Informatics is completed, graduates are eligible to sit for the American Nurses Credentialing Center nursing informatics certification. Students can begin classes three times per year and need a minimum 3.0 undergrad GPA plus relevant experience in the healthcare field to be considered strong applicants to the program.

Degree: MSN – Nursing Informatics Track
Cost: $$$$$

23. University of South Alabama – Mobile, AL


The University of South Alabama, which many locals and alumni refer to simply as “South” is a public university known for research. The school was established by the Alabama legislature in 1963 to provide affordable higher education opportunities in southern Alabama, particularly as the growing city of Mobile was more than 200 miles from any public university. Originally an extension campus of the University of Alabama, demand in the greater Mobile area made USA a full research university in its own right, and it continues to play a crucial role in Alabama education with more than 16,000 students. As a key part of Alabama’s higher education landscape, USA is home to one of the state’s two public medical schools as well as the CCNE-accredited College of Nursing.

The University of South Alabama’s online MSN in Nursing Informatics provides post-BSN studies that enable nursing professionals to become extensively knowledgeable in the field of healthcare information practices in order to positively influence patient outcomes. The program offers multiple tracks, depending on a nurse’s individual background, including paths for professionals with non-nursing degrees who became RNs through alternative programs and those who need to complete bridging studies before the master’s program. As one of the best masters in nursing informatics programs in the South, USA’s degree can be completed in a total of six semesters with credit loads varying based on prior academic completion. The program is entirely online with practicums completed at facilities local to each student.

Degree: MSN in Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

24. Western Governors University – Salt Lake City, UT


Western Governors University was founded in the late 1990s when 19 state governors came together to develop a new paradigm for higher education available to a broader base of students. WGU was intended to be unique and experimental from the beginning, providing opportunity for Western people who lived too far from a conventional college to learn in an all-online format. Currently, students enrolled throughout the country number more than 90 thousand with about a third enrolled in graduate studies. The school’s competency-based model embraces non-traditional students who work under mentors and personalized academic plans.

Western Governors University’s Master of Science in Nursing Informatics is a BSN-to-MSN program designed for busy professionals to extend their academic experience while still working in their chosen fields. The school features a cost-effective tuition scheme that charges per semester instead of per credit hour, empowering students to determine the length and cost of their education. Most students in the MSN Informatics program finish within 15 months of beginning their degree studies. The curriculum is evidence-based and provides the opportunity for learning using real-world scenarios. This Master’s program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing as well as the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

Degree: MSN in Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

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26. Columbus State University + Georgia Southwestern State University – Columbus & Americus, GA


Columbus State University and Georgia Southwestern State University are two regional public universities that are part of the University System of Georgia, one of the most developed and trusted public higher education systems in the South. While they have very different histories – GSSU founded in 1906 as an agricultural school, and CSU beginning in 1958 as a junior college – they have in common a commitment to meeting the educational needs of people in their region, and throughout Georgia. In recent years, with the need to reach working adults, both have branched into fully online degree programs, including one of the best online nursing informatics programs in the South.

The joint Columbus State University and Georgia Southwestern State University Master of Science in Nursing Informatics concentration offers a pathway for professional nurses to fulfill expert nurse informaticist roles after graduation. The joint program, operating as the Georgia Intercollegiate Consortium for Graduate Nursing Education, is accredited by Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The master’s degree is composed of 36 credit hours and requires a 3.0 final GPA for degree conferral. Students can complete all courses in four full-time semesters or take longer to complete depending upon availability and professional career demands.

Degree: MSN in Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

27. Walden University – Minneapolis, MN


Walden University is part of the Laureate Education family, a group of 80 universities located throughout the world. The primarily-online university currently has more than 50,000 students and was founded in the 1970s to enable teachers to study for doctoral degrees without pausing their current careers. While Walden was highly experimental in its beginning, offering low-residency graduate degrees, times have caught up with Walden, which continues as a primarily online institution. Walden is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools and receives more education dollars from federal grants and loans than any other university in the United States.

Walden’s online MSN Nursing Informatics specialization is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education to confer the MSN degree to candidates who complete the 24-to-36-month program. The degree length depends on whether the candidate has a BSN and is an RN, or is an RN with a different degree or diploma type. Additionally, the school offers an accelerated program for candidates to finish their BSN and MSN in a shorter span of time. Walden begins new classes frequently, enabling students to start when most convenient instead of waiting for the next formal semester to begin. Graduates from Walden’s MSN program are eligible to sit for the Nurse Informatics board certification exam and can dive straight into information technology-based nursing careers that enable higher-level patient-centric care to diverse populations.

Degree: MSN in Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

28. DeSales University – Center Valley, PA


DeSales University is a private Catholic institution named for St. Francis de Sales; founded in 1964, DeSales boasts a small student population with just over a third enrolled in graduate degree programs. DeSales was elevated from college to university status in 2000 and is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and the Accreditation Commission for Education in Nursing. The school offers both in-person, online and blended education opportunities with low student-to-faculty ratios and class sizes.

The DeSales University online MSN in Nursing Informatics, and the corresponding Certification in Healthcare Information Management, offers students to learn in a customized setting. Full- and part-time course loads are available so students can finish in 2-3 years. The degree grounds students in both practical nursing learning opportunities as well as advanced information technology methodologies and paradigms. Graduates can apply to earn the Informatics Nursing certification available through the American Nurses Credentialing Center. The program is open to any currently licensed nurse, or nurses eligible for licensing in Pennsylvania who have completed an undergraduate degree in nursing and have practiced in their field for at least one of the past three calendar years.

Degree: MSN in Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

29. Jacksonville University – Jacksonville, FL


Jacksonville University is a private institution that has operated as a four-year university since 1956 after its founding as a two-year junior college two decades prior. Many notable individuals have attended Jacksonville University including local Florida politicians, NBA and MLB players (not to mention Leonard Skinner, ironic namesake of the southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd). This mid-sized university has three times as many undergraduate to graduate students, offers more than 100 undergrad and grad programs and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

The Jacksonville University online MSN Informatics specialization is offered through the Brooks Rehabilitation College of Healthcare Sciences in conjunction with the Keigwin School of Nursing. BSN and MSN degrees offered by the school were originally designed to be taught within local hospital settings to accommodate busy nurses with night classes. That program remains in place, with a new offering entirely in the online realm for students located in other geographic locations. The master’s degree can be completed in as little as 24 months with practicums scheduled locally to the enrolled student. The school begins a new eight-week session six times per year and students typically take only one class per session to fully immerse in the course content. The specialization in nursing informatics requires a total of ten courses before degree conferral.

Degree: MSN in Informatics
Cost: $$$$$

30. American Sentinel University – Denver, CO


American Sentinel University is an entirely distance-based institution focusing solely on degrees within the field of healthcare. Accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council, the school represents the merger of the American College of Computer & Information Sciences and the American Graduate School of Management. The school offers some of the lowest tuition rates among peer universities, enabling students to finish with less debt accumulated throughout the entire educational program than from some other schools in just a few semesters.

American Sentinel University’s online MSN in Nursing Informatics degree program focuses on empowering healthcare professionals to use valuable data to improve patient care outcomes. The program is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education and offers student-led pacing using monthly start dates and eight-week course lengths to complete the twelve required classes. Students can potentially finish their entire graduate degree having spent less than $20,000 and paid for with easily-spaced zero-interest flex payment options. Candidates must hold an active RN license and have completed a BSN or similar degree in good academic standing. Upon graduation, American Sentinel prepares students to be fully ready to work in a informatics-based nursing position.

Degree: MSN in Nursing Informatics
Cost: $$$$$