Best Online Degrees in: Nursing Informatics
Explore a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing Informatics
While typically only offered at the post-baccalaureate level, the field of nursing informatics is growing rapidly, and programs are emerging that combine traditional bachelor’s degree programs for Registered Nurses (RNs), and combining them with an emphasis in nursing informatics. Nursing informatics combines blends information science, and computer science with traditional nursing practices to identify, collect, process, and manage data and information to support the nursing program of a particular hospital, clinic, or private physician’s office. Typically, an online degree in nursing informatics will take four to five years to complete, however some programs may take up to six years to complete because they combine a bachelor’s degree in nursing with a post-baccalaureate certificate in informatics.
Online bachelor’s degree programs in nursing informatics teach students about modern nursing theories, practices, research processes and healthcare information systems. Students must first complete core curricula in biology, physiology, anatomy, English, and composition before moving on to more advanced courses. Courses specific to the major include several nursing informatics courses, healthcare delivery systems, advanced nursing practice, and healthcare management.Some actual courses offered in a nursing informatics program are:
- Clinical Information Systems. In this course students learn about human-computer interface and systems design, health care decision support, system selection and evaluation, and regulatory policies. Students also learn about the impact of the internet, and the economic impacts of health care information technologies.
- Network and Internet Applications for Health Care Providers. This course provides students with a knowledge of the structure and function of networks and internet applications as they relate to healthcare. Students practice basic concepts of network architecture, standard protocols, information services, and network security.
- Consumer Health Informatics. This course addresses how consumers use electronic information systems and applications to improve medical outcomes and make informed health care decisions. Students must review a number of technology and applications that empower consumers in medical decisions.
Most online bachelor’s degree programs in nursing informatics allow students to complete coursework at their own pace within an allotted time for a specific class or assignment. However, almost all programs require the completion of an internship in a hospital, clinical, or other health care informatics setting. Some programs may even require the completion of a capstone project that can be applied to the field.
Additionally, all states require all nursing care facility administrators to be licensed in the state where they work. In most cases, professional administrators, including nursing informatics employees, must have a bachelor’s degree, pass a licensing exam, and complete a state-approved training program.
Building a Career
Graduates holding an online bachelor’s degree in nursing informatics should be able to obtain an entry level position in the field, but some jobs may require individuals to be licensed in the state where they work before being hired. On the job, nursing informatics employees are responsible for the maintenance and security of all nursing records. They also must have an ability to use modern health care information technology, and stay current on evolving technology and law regarding health information systems. They must also ensure that all databases are accurate and properly maintained.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that employment for health care information managers is expected to increase faster than average for all occupations, with jobs increasing by 22% through 2020. the Bureau also reported that the median annual income for health information managers was $84,270 in 2010. However, those in entry-level positions typically earn considerably less. The Bureau reported that the lowest 10% of workers in the field earned less than $51,280 in 2010.