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Healthcare Informatics program

Nursing, MSN – Healthcare Informatics

College of Nursing
Overview

Enrolling in the online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) program at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus with a concentration in Health Care Informatics is a great way to combine your clinical expertise as a nurse with your interest in clinical informatics. As an interdisciplinary profession, the discipline is built upon health care and contributes to the fields of computer and information science, decision, management, and cognitive sciences as well as organizational theory.

When you enroll in the MS in Nursing program through CU Online, you complete your MS in core graduate nursing, core informatics and six credits of specialty informatics courses. This program allows you to complete your degree in two years and empowers you to either start a new career or move forward in the one you already have. If you are passionate about nursing but want to add exciting opportunities for growth and professional development, this is the program for you.


 

Program Details

When you apply to complete your online MS in Nursing with a concentration in Healthcare Informatics through CU Anschutz, you can trust that you are making a great professional decision. Our graduates seek career opportunities in hospitals, primary care facilities, specialist offices, health technology companies, and consulting firms.

We are a fully accredited program through the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE). In addition, we have been offering online nursing degrees for more than twenty years, and we provide outstanding instruction that is determined by your own background and experience. Instead of teaching through video lectures and narrated presentations, we provide learning guides to take you through the content for each course and show you how to achieve the learning outcomes. The learning guide is tailored for those who are new to the field and those that may already be practicing in informatics. Based on your existing knowledge and familiarity with the topic at hand, each learner creates their own learning pathway to achieve course outcomes.

The curriculum provides students with the essential knowledge and skills for an informatics specialist role. It is built upon broad precepts and concepts from the American Nurses Association (ANA) Scope and Standards of Nursing Informatics Practice and the competencies and foundational domains put forth by the American Medical Informatics Association (AMIA) for graduate-level education in health informatics.

The core informatics courses provide learners with a framework for information management and decision support, nursing and healthcare terminologies and the life cycle of an information system. A practicum that focuses on a particular role in informatics is also arranged in the learner’s own community. All of these components form the core structure of our informatics curriculum. In addition, learners select two specialty courses that round out their program plan. These specialty courses focus on database management, knowledge management, human-computer interaction design and digital health tools such as mobile apps, wearable sensors, patient portals, and smart houses.


Tuition and Fees

Investing in your future is a big decision. However, becoming a fully online student at the University of Colorado is a high-quality and affordable option for learners of all types. Tuition and fees are based largely on the degree program you enroll in.

The tuition amount assessed is determined based on which University of Colorado campus, school, or college is offering your degree program, as well as if it is at the undergrad or graduate level, and finally your resident status. Visit our tuition and financial aid page for more information.

Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.

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Timeline

At 34 credits total, including the MS in Nursing Core, you can complete this degree in as little as two years if you schedule a full-time course load. That would mean taking two courses per semester. However, we recognize that not all students can schedule full-time classes on top of their work, family, and personal responsibilities. That’s why we allow you to also take part-time credits, with as little as one course per term.

If you enroll as a part-time graduate student, you can finish the program in three to four years. Although you do have seven years to complete our program, it is unusual for a student to take more than five. We want to get you onto the next stage of your career as quickly as possible while providing the flexibility needed for a nursing professional working full-time.


Admissions

Admission requirements and deadlines vary based on program. In addition, you will have different requirements depending on if you are a first time student, a transfer student, or an international student.

Learn more about the admissions process by filling out the form above or contacting an Enrollment Navigator today.


Career Outlook

Healthcare Informatics specialists play a vital role in our health care ecosystem. They have many roles, depending on where they are employed and what their position is within the organization, but their primary focus is on harnessing the power of digital health tools to provide safe and quality patient-centric care. The power of health information technology is the collection and translation of data into information and knowledge to support clinical and administrative decision making in an organization. These tools allow the creation of a patient-centered ecosystem that engages patients, families, and caregivers with their health care providers to ensure better health, better care, and lower costs. 

Informaticists can be employed in hospitals, specialists’ offices, primary care facilities, technology companies, consulting firms, and insurance companies. Many are employed as analysts, trainers, nursing/clinical informatics specialists, project managers, directors of clinical informatics, telehealth coordinators and even Chief Nursing Informatics Officers.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) categorizes Health Informatics specialists as part of Medical and Health Services Management and identifies the median pay in the field as $98,350 per year, as of 2017. BLS also anticipates much faster than average growth in this field in the next 10 years.

Here are some of the career opportunities that you could expect after graduation:

  • Healthcare Informatics Specialist
  • Healthcare Program Director
  • Chief Nursing Informations Officer

Courses

As a student in the online Informatics program, you will take the required courses in the MS in Nursing, the Informatics core (including a preceptored internship), and two specialty courses. The required MS courses allow you to learn how research, theory and policy will serve as a foundation to your informatics practice. The Informatics core provides you with a framework for information management and decision support, nursing and healthcare terminologies, and the life cycle of an information system.

Specialty courses are chosen based on your personal career goals and fields of study. As part of the Informatics core, you will participate in a preceptored internship for a hands-on experience that allows you to apply your knowledge and skills to real-world informatics problems. We help you find your practicum by utilizing our extensive network of professional connections. 

Example Courses

NURS 6009 — Theory Foundations for Advanced Nursing
The course provides an introduction to nursing's philosophical, ethical, and theoretical frameworks as guides for practice. Nursing theories, grand, middle-range, and ways of knowing will be analyzed. Students will develop a beginning model for practice based on their nursing philosophy.

NURS 6286 — Foundations of Healthcare Informatics
Introductory course focusing on core concepts, skills, tools that define the informatics field, including the examination of health information technologies to promote safety, improve quality, and foster consumer-centered care and efficiency. 

NURS 6794 — Decision Support
Informatics Core Course
Course that focuses on the identification, acquisition, analysis, interpretation and application of data. The application of decision-making strategies for advanced practice nurses will be emphasized in the areas of quality management and clinical decision support. Information management tools will be explored.​​

NURS 6274 — Semantic Representation
Informatics Core Course
Course that introduces the concept of classifying nursing phenomena to facilitate data management and retrieval. Topics include: minimum data sets, nursing language, classification systems and vocabularies, and relates each topic to nursing practice, administration and research.