This article talks about master’s degree programs in nursing informatics and their educational requirements, coursework, job and wage outlook, and continuing education options.
Master’s Programs in Nursing Informatics
Computer science, nursing science, and information analysis are in the specialized, data-driven field of nursing informatics aimed at strengthening the quality of choices made by healthcare professionals including nurses and registered nurses. Those seeking careers in the field are typically required to hold a master’s degree in nursing informatics.
Enrollees become adept in collecting, interpreting and implementing data relevant to nursing research and practice. A strong grasp of statistics and various analytical methods will prove useful to students. Additionally, an easy comfort with technology would also help in a field that requires computer-based data analysis and the necessity for effectively safeguarding sensitive medical information. Many schools offer these programs in distance learning formats with flexible scheduling options to suit working nurses. A practicum is necessary, but they are often allowed to complete it at a facility close to the nurse’s home or the nurse’s place of employment. About 40 credit hours have to be completed by program graduates.
Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree also find admission into some programs, provided the incoming students have an associate degree in nursing. Applicants are also required to hold an active nursing license.
Program coursework combines classroom-based instruction on research and data with hands-on clinical training, where tests of theories and informatics applications may be available. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:
•Legal and ethical issues in nursing informatics
•Issues in nursing research
•Nursing informatics utilization
Job and Wage Outlook
Over the 2017-2027 decade, registered nurses, in general, are expected to see a job growth of 15%. Medical records and health information technicians, in general, are predicted to witness a job growth of 13%. In May 2017, registered nurses brought in an average annual wage of $70,000 while medical records and health information technicians earned a median wage of $39,180 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics).
Continuing Education Options
Nursing informaticists may pursue certification options offered through organizations such as the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) or the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS). Those who volunteer for this certification can demonstrate that they are committed to standards of excellence in education and experience. Certification may be gained through the passage of a written exam after they have graduated out of a master’s degree program in nursing informatics and accumulated many years of work experience. A Ph.D. in Nursing Informatics can lead to a career in post-secondary-level teaching. Program graduates who seek continued education may pursue a doctorate.