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The purpose of this article is to describe why earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) in informatics can be a wise choice for your healthcare career. It details the type of work you will do in informatics, how much you can earn, job demand, and more. Also included is an online MSN in informatics that is recommended.

What Is an MSN in Informatics?

A Master of Science in Nursing with a specialty in informatics is an advanced nursing degree in informatics. This specialty is defined as the practice and science of incorporating knowledge and information of nursing, with managing communication and information technology.

Informatics-trained nurses today play a vital role in improving the level of care at hospitals and other healthcare facilities. A nurse with an informatics degree has a deep knowledge of nursing science, and also is able to manage, analyze and communicate knowledge in a technical fashion so that patient outcomes improve.

These nursing professionals often work closely with other healthcare providers to help them in making decisions that are supported by healthcare and medical data.

The primary goal of the informatics discipline is to both promote and improve healthcare outcomes for patients of all ages and types. Informatics mixes both technology and the clinical skills that nurses practice every day. Professionals with an MSN in informatics or health informatics is often able to interpret communication between clinical nurses and IT professionals so that they can help each other to realize better patient outcomes and reduce costs.

Since the Affordable Care Act was implemented in 2010, the demand for nursing professionals with skills in informatics have grown a great deal. It is true that informatics professionals do not currently have to have an MSN, but it is very likely that this field will continue to advance; nurses with a graduate degree in informatics soon may become the standard in the field.

This statement is supported by a recent survey of 576 healthcare professionals done by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society conducted. It was found that most respondents felt that informatics nurses have a major impact on patient care quality. In particular, it is believed that informatics-trained nurses are able to have a major effect on implementation, workflow, optimization and patient safety.

Nurses who are earning their MSN will usually take core courses such as the following:

  • Translational Research for Practice and Populations
  • Advanced Information Management and the Application of Technology
  • 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

Core courses in informatics often includes ones such as these:

  • Foundations in Nursing Informatics
  • Data Science and Analytics
  • System Analysis and Design
  • Data Modeling & Database Management
  • Nursing Informatics Field Experience
  • Nursing Informatics Capstone

Some of the common duties for informatics nurses include:

  • Configure/maintain software that will enhance data regarding patient information and clinical services
  • Analyze, solve and identify issues with clinical information
  • Design components regarding information systems with input from both IT and clinical professionals

Why Earn an MSN in Informatics?

There are many reasons to earn a master of science in nursing degree today in all specialties, including informatics.

There is a serious nursing shortage in the US today with as baby boomers are getting older and there is more need for healthcare services for these older Americans. This problem is compounded by the fact that the country’s nursing schools have been struggling to deal with the rising demand for nurses.

The American Association of Colleges of Nurses or AACN reports that the RN profession is one of the top, most in demand professions in the country. It is anticipated that job demand for RNs will rise by 16% by 2024. But nurses with their MSN degree will be even in higher demand.

It is reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics or BLS that the demand for advanced practice nurses with a master’s degree will soar by 31% by 2024. Advanced practice nurses include nurse midwives, nurse anesthetists, nurse educators and nurse practitioners.

Nurses with an MSN and a speciality in informatics also should experience a major increase in demand as well. Monster.com reports that job demand for all nurses who have informatics training is rising quickly, almost as much as other nurses with an MSN.

The salary for MSN holders generally is excellent, as well. BLS states that the median salary for all advanced practice nurses is $107,400 per year.

According to payscale.com, the median salary for nursing informatics professionals is a healthy $82,600.

Online Option for MSN in Informatics

If you are interested in earning your MSN to pursue an informatics career, it is recommended to consider this online MSN program:

Jacksonville University

Jacksonville University offers a Master of Science in Nursing in Informatics for students who want to be nursing informatics leaders. The goal of this MSN program is to educate experienced RNs who are able to demonstrate behaviors and knowledge of advanced healthcare preparation.

Each graduate of this online MSN program is required to demonstrate critical thinking and skills in decision making in evaluating the level of illness and health in various populations. Graduates also will be able to formulate concepts and principles that are related to patient care management and nursing education.

The university recently added the MSN informatics speciality. Students who opt to complete this program will enjoy a highly focused and practical curriculum and practicum that is completely aligned with the American Nurses Credentialing Center Informatics Certification.

After you graduate from this program, the ANCC Informatics Nursing board certification will provide you with a reliable and valid assessment of your clinical knowledge and skills in this specialty. After you have completed all of the eligibility requirements to take your certification exam and you pass, you will be given the credential RN-Board Certified.

The required courses for this online, accredited MSN program include:

  • NUR 510 Nursing Theory & Research I
  • NUR 512 Organization, Delivery, and Policy in Healthcare
  • NUR 514 Nursing Leadership and Advanced Roles
  • NUR 516 Information Systems & Technology for Improved Healthcare
  • NUR 520 Nursing Research & Theory II
  • NUR 551 Advanced Role Practicum
  • NUR 580 Healthcare Informatics as a Profession
  • NUR 581 Law, Ethics and Public Issues in Healthcare Informatics
  • NUR 582 Leadership in Informatics for Healthcare Organizations and Public Health Strategy
  • NUR 583 Data Analytics and Impact on Patient Care

Summary

Nursing professionals who want to maximize their earning and career potential are wise to earn their MSN degree in informatics. There is a huge demand for nursing professionals today, and the need for highly trained nurses who are well versed in informatics will only grow in the coming years.

Additional Resources

References

Sady Brown
Written by Sady Brown
Sady Brown is Editorial Strategist for Nogre.com