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Top 10 Nursing / Health Informatics Degree Programs

nursing informatics at workIn today’s economy, it has become almost necessary to find methods to enhance one’s skills and experience in order to become competitive and promotion-worthy. While working in a specific field for many years is one method, others are beginning to notice that earning a graduate degree is much more worthwhile. This is especially true for those that are pursuing a career in nursing informatics. Those that are looking to get into the field of nursing informatics typically require a graduate degree from a well-known school. However, when it comes to graduate programs, it is extremely different to choose the right one. For this reason, bellow is a list that is compiled of the top 10 nursing informatics degree programs so that choosing the right school becomes so much easier.

Sponsored Informatics Programs:

The following is an overview of the criteria that the schools are reviewed upon:

  • Program Features and Length
    This includes what the main features of the program are, what the main points of teaching are, and anything else that may stand out.
  • National Ranking
    We used other reliable ranking sources to help make this ranking (US News & World Report, etc…)
  • Awards
    Some schools truly find a way to stand out in a positive manner. The awards section of this list does not appear for every school, only those that have gone above and beyond in distinguishing themselves among the others. While an award is not fully reflective of a school’s program, it does indicate recognition and in some way, an excelling factor about the program.
  • Admissions and Tuition
    The final factor is the admissions process to the program and the tuition that one can expect when beginning the program. These factors are provided to give students an idea of the competitive nature of the program and the costs, which configure into any decision when applying to a program.

While many of the below programs seem like they can be quite costly, there is excellent career outlook for the field of nursing informatics. According to NurseJournal, the job market for nursing informatics specialists is expected to rise about 26%. In addition, specialists in this field can expect to earn a median of $81,000 per year. Therefore, graduates will be able to find nursing employment in some of the country’s best nursing jobs.

The Schools:

1. Duke University

Duke University logoDuke University is perhaps one of the most well-known schools that is featured on this list. The program is held through Duke’s School of Nursing, which is ranked as the 7th top nursing schools in the United States. Students that attend the informatics degree program can expect to be taught by renowned faculty that uses synchronous and asynchronous teaching methods and a challenging environment.

Program Features and Length

Duke University recognizes two critical features that nursing informatics students must learn, which are the ability to leverage electronic health care data that improves human health and an understanding of interdisciplinary informatics. These two features are the main components of the program, which are designed to health students truly focus on the most necessary traits of an informatics nurse.

Another great feature about the program is that it is designed to accommodate working professionals. Those that attend the program only have class two evenings per week. Courses provide emphasis on both clinical information and real-work examples so that students are able to apply their knowledge in a fair and useful manner. Once the program is complete, students will be able to apply technology to improve health, build and evaluate health systems, understand and articulate health systems, and improve the data and knowledge that is used in health care. Through these abilities, students that graduate are some of the most competitive individuals on the market. Those that attend this program can expect to complete it in 2 years.


When choosing a graduate school, recognition is an indicator of how well-renowned the program is. When it comes to Duke’s informatics nursing program, there have been donors such as the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act that have donated more than $4 million dollar to the program. Such a major investment indicates the success of the program and helps it grow into one of the greatest institutions for graduate students.

Admissions and Tuition

As one of the top nursing informatics programs in the country, it is no surprise that there is a low acceptance rate. Students that attend this program are evaluated by their undergraduate nursing degree performance, GRE score, GPA, essays, work experience, and leadership skills. The best candidates are outstanding in each category. The tuition is $1,495 per credit hour, and requires 40 credit hours to complete.

Duke University Nursing Informatics Department

2. Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University logoThe second school on the list is Vanderbilt. According to U.S. News, its nursing school is ranked within the top-15 nursing schools and features a very strong nursing informatics program. What makes Vanderbilt second on this list is the brand name and the amazing faculty that provides students with all-encompassing knowledge and real-word experience regarding nursing informatics.

Features and Length

The main feature Vanderbilt’s Nursing Informatics Program is that it is designed to help students not only perform the necessary informatics skills, but also to create new and innovative solutions that differ from the stale results that most provide. The faculty of this program is very focused on innovation, while also maintain a strong connection with the patients, which are at the heart of the situation.

The ways the Vanderbilt maintains its high ranking and ability to churn out high-quality students it its dynamic and stimulating teaching environment. Students study in the new state-of-the-art nursing center that includes cutting edge research tools and theories. The material taught in the nursing program is in strategic relation to Vanderbilt’s renowned medical students, enabling the students to fully grasp the nature of their program and enhance their knowledge in a positive and useful manner. The length of the program is two years, and students are required to visit campus only 2 evenings per week, helping them retain their current employment and grow where they are.


This year has been an exciting year for Vanderbilt’s Nursing Informatics Program. It has been awarded the 2014 Healthcare Innovator Awards, which has recognized Vanderbilt for its ability to bring innovative and personalized medicine to the real world. Such an award only works to enhance the image of the school and to provide it with the recognition that it deserves.

Admission and Tuition

Like duke, Vanderbilt’s Nursing Informatics Program is highly competitive. Students that apply to the program require a GRE score, a high GPA, personal statements, references, resume, and a portfolio (depending on the nurse type). The cost per credit hour is $1,160 and the program itself requires 40 credits to complete.

Vanderbilt Nursing Informatics Department

3. New York University

New York University logoNew York University is one of the most well-known schools in the country that features a top-notch faculty, an excellent student body, and a hub that is the heart of energy and ambition. Those that attend this program will find it to be a fulfilling and worthy experience that prepares them for advanced nursing degree that they are looking for, which will help them achieve the competitive nursing jobs with well paying salaries.

Features and Length

The greatest feature about this program is that it is taught in a premier teaching hospital center that believes in fostering an environment that helps students to grow and excel in their careers. To aid in coursework, the program has specialized nursing informatics preceptors, where are always there to help students understand and evaluate the material from a well-rounded point of view. In addition, the program’s faculty aids students with placement post-program in all areas of the tri-state area.

NYU is ranked third on this list for the opportunities that it provides students. Not only do students gain the prestigious name of NYU, but they also are offered numerous and nursing employment opportunities that are unavailable elsewhere. The main focus of the program is clinical informatics, which is in high demand in the New York area. To complete the program, 45 credits and 616 practicum hours are required. The program takes about 2 years to complete.


While the following information is not particularly an award, it is an indication of the school’s ability to create high-quality students through its strong curriculum and teaching methods. According to Washington Square News, the students that graduate from NYU’s nursing school are some of the highest paid in the country. The nursing salary is about $70,00 after graduation. With that, an advanced nursing degree from NYU as a nursing informatics specialist pushes this number much higher. What makes students from NYU’s nursing program so appealing is their dedication to the patient and the school’s focus on implementing a certain innovative mindset in its students. Those that attend the school are easily hirable.

Admissions and Tuition

Like the above three informatics nursing program, NYU is also extremely competitive and has a daunting but worthwhile application process. Applicants to the program must complete certain courses during their undergraduate education, they must have earned strong grades throughout their undergraduate career, there is a bit of pre-requisit knowledge required, and more. To fully understand the required admissions information, which is not featured on the website, speaking to an administrator is necessary.

To attend the program, tuition per credit hour is $1,450, and the whole program is 45 credits to complete. Living expenses are also high in New York, which is something that should be taken into account when choosing a school. Also, luckily, students also have the option to continue working while attending the program, which can help supplement tuition and living expenses. There are also awards available for this program.

NYU Nursing Informatics Department

4. Maryland University

Maryland University logoMaryland University is one of the most thriving hubs for nursing informatics professionals and students. Each year, this university features conferences that include speeches by top professionals in the field concerning progress, the school’s innovation, and the latest aspects in the field of nursing informatics. Those that attend this school will not only be able to join an elite nursing school, but also to learn from some of the most highly-regarded faculty in the country.

Features and Length

One of the main features of this program is that it puts an emphasis on patient care while also focusing on teaching students to develop quality technology techniques by enhancing the quality of information tools. Students are taught to aptly analyze nursing information requirements, design system alternatives, manage information technology, identify and implement training strategies, and manage/evaluate clinical information systems.

Another great feature of the program is the faculty that teaches it. The professors that are chosen to lead the cohort are individuals that are highly educated and experienced in the field of nursing informatics. Their backgrounds are diverse and varied so students are exposed to an array of specialists that have held prominent positions in the field.

Finally, one of the most useful features of this program (for some) is that it can be completed online. This online degree option from a prominent school allows students to take control of their own learning schedule while also maintain a strong professional career outside of the academic field. Due to some individual’s difficult with online courses, the school offers students the option to consult regularly with advisors in their area and it also offers students resources that can help make the online transition easier and more understandable.

The length of the program is about 2 years which requires a total of 40 credits. Because it can be completed online, the program is fully at the pace of the student, making it great option for working professionals.


As mentioned above, the University of Maryland’s nursing program has a number of distinguished faculty and many other professionals that truly make the program the great choice that it is. Recently, one of Maryland’s nursing faculty received a distinguished researcher award. Another indication of the fantastic leadership of the nursing program is one of the nursing directors was recently named as one among of Maryland’s 100 top women.

Admissions and Tuition

As Maryland is one of the highly ranked schools in the country, the admissions process is reflective of that. As their informational packet states, the process is “very competitive.” To gain admissions into the program, students are required to have an undergraduate nursing degree, all transcripts from undergraduate universities and colleges with a grade point average of 3.0, a GRE score, a nursing license, a professional resume, a personal essay, and a few professional references. Apart from the application process, the tuition for the program for a non-resident is $1,106 per credit hour and $604 per hour for a resident. Therefore, if you are a resident of Maryland and are interested in nursing informatics, then this program is a very good option due to the rank, quality of the program, and the professional atmosphere.

University of Maryland Nursing Informatics Department

5. University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh logoThe University of Pittsburgh is truly a program that recognizes the need for upcoming nursing informatics students to be equipped with the right technological tools and the science of patient care in order to provide their workplace’s systems with the right technology and support that enhance that care.

Features and Length

This program combines observation, application, and analytical tools to build student’s understanding and experience in the field. In addition to this, the program is also highly leadership centered, as it believes in creating professionals that can do more than get the job done, but also guide.

Upon completion of the program, students have the option to take the Nursing Informatics Certificate Exam, which is offered by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. In addition, students will also be prepared for the theoretical components of the Certified Professionals in Healthcare Information and Management Systems, which is offered by the Certified Professionals in Healthcare and Management Systems. These two exams will enable students to boost their credentials and make them more marketable to the many career opportunities that graduates find available to them. Those that complete the program usually are involved in administration, research, corporate settings, public and private workplaces, and consultation.

Finally, one of the greatest features of this program is that it can be completed online and onsite. This makes this program very useful for busy working professionals that would like to concentrate both on their career and their educational development.

Admissions and Tuition

As with the above schools on this list, this degree option is very competitive. Students interested in applying must have a B.S. degree in nursing, have a current RN license, a GPA over 3.0, relevant clinical experience, a pre-admission interview, completion of a statistics course, three letters of recommendation, a typed essay, a professional resume, and an official transcript. For the full academic year, the program cost is $20,992, and the entire program takes two years to complete.

University of Pittsburgh Nursing Informatics Department

6. Rutgers University

Rutgers logoThe next option on this list is the degree option by Rutgers University. This degree option focuses on advanced preparation of students to understand and execute nursing information systems. The program also realizes the necessity of consider patient care, and therefore it also touches upon that field in relation to nursing informatics.

Program Features and Length

The main features of this program is that it helps students learn how to integrate nursing science, computer science, and information science to manage and communicate data, information, and knowledge into the nursing practice. Students that attend this program can expect to gain a firm grasp in information structures, information processes, and information technology. This nursing program requires a bit more coursework than other programs on this list, as it is nearly 40 credits.

Despite the program being 40 credits, it can be completed online at the pace of the student, also making it a good fit for working professionals. As it is on the bottom half of the list, it is one of the less competitive options in terms of admissions. It should be noted though that the lack of a highly competitive admissions process does not make this program any less than the other options on this list. It is still one of the top 10 nursing informatics programs. The length of this program takes two years to complete, but again, it can be completed online at the pace of the student.

Admissions Process and Tuition

The admissions process is less strenuous than other programs. Students are required to have a registered nurses license, at least a 3.2 in their undergraduate nursing career, official transcripts from all previous universities, a personal statement, professional references from other nurses, and two scholarly papers. Unlike other programs, this program does not require completion of the GRE, which may be a benefit for many professionals that are looking for a program. The GRE is an intensive exam that is often difficult to balance with professional obligations.

One truly helpful aspect of this program is that those that have already completed partial coursework at a different institution in the same field may transfer their credits and thus complete the program faster. The program also has other campuses students can take coursework in, saving time in and money due to the lack of a need to commute.

The tuition for the program for 12 credits is $8,592 for Jersey residents and $14,040 for non-residents. These tuition fees can vary depending upon which campus you choose for your studies. These particular rates are for the main Newark Campus. For more information regarding tuition fees for other campuses, just check out the following link.

Rutgers Nursing Informatics Department

7. University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix logoThe next option on this list is at the University of Phoenix. Two of the most unique aspects of this program are that it is in a great location with stellar weather year-round and students that decide to go with this option can also add another focus field to their students such as masters in health administration, business administration, and healthcare management.

Program Features and Length

The program is accredited by the Commission of Collegiate College Nursing. It prepares students for leadership roles in the field of nursing informatics by incorporating leadership, nursing theory, and evidence based practice. Students have the option of studying in one of the nation’s largest nursing schools and enjoy the local nursing opportunities at facilities such as hospitals in Phoenix and the highly renowned Mayo Clinic.

The length of the program is the standard two years, and it can range anywhere from 30-40 credits. If one does choose to add another degree concentration, the student can expect the program to take a bit longer, but with results that are well worth it. The more credentials that one has, the greater hireability one enjoys when faced with the job market.

Admissions Process and Tuition

The admissions process of this program is less competitive than other programs. Students must have earned a BS degree from an accredited university of college with a cumulative GPA of 2.5. They must also have their RN license that is valid in the United States, be a citizen or resident of the United States, and verification of at least 3 years of post-graduate work in the field of nursing. Unlike other program’s requirements, this program does not require a GRE or professional references. For more information regarding the process, prospective students an contact an advisor.

While the tuition figures do not appear on the website, the school will work with interested students to find the tuition payment plan that works well for them. There are also a number of scholarships and payment opportunities that can help students ease the financial burden of tuition.

University of Phoenix Nursing Informatics Department

8. The University of Minnesota

University of Minnesota logoThe next top nursing informatics school on the list is that of the University of Minnesota’s nursing school. It is considered to be among some of the best nursing informatics programs in the United States due to the international leadership and the connection that the university provides its students to other nursing departments and organizations around the country.

Program Features and Length

This particular program is designed to focus upon providing students with a foundation in nursing informatics in order to improve the quality of healthcare. One of the greatest features about this program is that there are many opportunities that students can undertake once completing the degree, as this degree option teaches a wide range of nursing informatics concentrations. For example, students have options to delve into informatics in the field of clinical health, population and health control, research, knowledge, systems analysis, project management, human factors and usability, and clinical decision support.

Graduates are also prepared to work in interprofessional teams that are made up of clinicians, computer technology staff, and administrators. The graduate will be able to provide input in how to effectively provide technology for the right person, at the right time, that will be the most supportive at that moment. Among these program features, students are gain the knowledge and experience in order to sit in on the certification examination for nursing informatics. This will provide students with more credentials and a greater chances of being hired.

The length of the program can vary, however for students to gain the right tools and necessary skills, it is recommended that the program is completed in 3 years. This will allow students to pursue a professional career while also giving enough focus to their studies so they complete the program with the most success. During studies, students are also able to gain practicum experience during the program, which is organized by the university’s nursing department.

Admissions and Tuition

Due to the competitive nature of the program, it is recommended that students apply early. Students are required to submit all post-secondary transcripts, their RN license, a valid GRE score, professional experience, references, and other supplemental documents that include essays and a personal statement. The current estimated cost of attendance per semester is $11,500. However, all students will be considered for a $20,000 scholarship upon submitting their application.

University of Minnesota Nursing Informatics Department

9. University of South Alabama

University of South Alabama logoThis degree option is an online degree, although it can be partially completed on-campus should the student wish to do so. It prepares current professionals in the nurse field to gain the right nursing informatics tools to give patients better care and services.

Program Features and Length

The program is designed to provide professionals with the tools to perform better patient care through the development, implementation, and evaluation of health systems and management tools. These tools work to influence patient outcomes for the better by utilizing discussion, problem solving, critical thinking, and research.

A further feature of the program is that students can have the option to begin it in the spring or fall semester, and to complete the program at their own pace. The faculty of the program work with the student ensure that assignments and information is properly distributed and understood. There also is a schedule in place that helps keep students on track, especially when they are also pursuing their own employment goals.

A final feature is that students of this program also have the option to add a “nurse educator” track. This track is especially unique among these programs, and is great for those that are looking to enter the field of teaching and nursing informatics research and academia.

The length of the program is a couple of years, with over 30 credits required for completion. Due to the online nursing degree option, this can also be done in cohort with one’s professional obligations.

Admissions and Tuition

The admissions process for this degree option is like most other degree options. Students must submit all their transcripts from previous institutions, an RN license, a GRE score, professional references, and a personal statement. Students must also complete a number of prerequisites before enrolling in courses. These prerequisites can be verified with the nursing department. Furthermore, in terms of tuition, for information, it is also necessary to contact the department.

University of South Alabama Nursing Informatics Department

10. University of Illinois-Chicago

University of Illinois - Chicago logoThe final option on this list is the University of Illinois’s degree option. The great thing about this degree option is that it is not designed for just nursing professionals, but generally for professionals in the healthcare profession that are looking for skills and experience in health informatics. The schedule is flexible, the faculty is great, and the program also has prominent industry connections to help its students succeed and advance in the professional workplace.

Program Features and Length

This particular program believe in providing students with a comprehensive and thorough approach to health informatics. It integrates nursing informatics with patient care to give a strong basis in the implementation and organization of information systems within the healthcare industry.

The program also focuses on using the latest technology from the industry in order to teach its students. Without the latest technology, students will not be able to keep up with the high demand and constant transition that is occurring. In addition to these skills, students are also given leadership and management skills that enable them to advance in their careers.

Lastly, the length of the program is the general two years. However, students that are working professionals can also continue their employment while completing the program. This program works with its students in a flexible and comfortable manner.

Admissions and Tuition

The admissions information can be attained by clicking the link. However, as with most programs, chances are that the program requires all college transcripts, professional experience, references, an RN license, and personal statements. One admissions factor that is not required is the GRE. This takes a great deal of stress out of the admissions process and can truly help one get their career on track. The program’s tuition is around $1,000 per credit hour, a figure which can vary depending on residency.

University of Illinois Health Informatics Department


Choosing a nursing informatics school is a serious decision. Based on each of these schools, the most promising ones are in the top half, while the second half are also decent options. The main issue when choosing a nursing informatics institution is that there are not many options to choose from. The list above is a comprehensive list of the most recognized programs in the country that indicate that they have the proper credentials and faculty to create the nursing informatics leaders of tomorrow. With these degrees, graduates are able to find nursing jobs in a number of fields.

Because graduate school is such a serious investment, it is recommended that in addition to the above information, that interested students contact the departments and further review the websites and requirements. All sources were taken from the school’s websites.


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