Accredited Nursing Informatics Degrees and Schools in Massachusetts [2024 Guide]

Nursing informatics is proving to be more in demand in the United States, and even more so in Massachusetts. With the trend of technology becoming more heavily integrated into healthcare services, nursing informatics is geared toward providing greater health equity for everyone.

While both industries are subject to frequent innovations, healthcare needs to catch up with technology in terms of data gathering, analyses, management, and application. With the exciting advancements in artificial intelligence (AI), the medical sector is bound to require experts in health informatics.

Despite Massachusetts being one of the healthiest states in the country, it still needs to focus on other issues like drug addiction and obesity. These health concerns will need variable data that requires accurate collection, interpretation, and dissemination.

This means that the screening and prevention of certain diseases can benefit from improvements using technology as a tool. Also, with the state being such an advocate for AI integration, residents can only look forward to more healthcare advancements.

Nursing Informatics Programs Massachusetts

  • University of Massachusetts
  • The Regis College
  • Walden University
  • Duke University
  • Wake Forest University
  • Capella University

The University of Massachusetts

This online university has a diverse range of online courses and programs, including its Medical School department. The Health Information Management program is offered through the university’s Lowell School and under the Zuckerberg College of Health Sciences. As a result, the program merges healthcare quality and delivery with technical and technological applications.

Master of Science in Health Information

This multidisciplinary program is designed to empower healthcare management professionals and health informatics personnel. By infusing cost-effective healthcare services with high-quality systems, participants and graduates can expect to excel in their specific fields of expertise.

The online Master’s degree can be earned in as little as 18 months. Within this period, participants are expected to complete the 9 courses, which are equivalent to 27 credit hours. Students can even customize their concentration into two fields: Health Informatics and Health Service Management.

Under the Health Informatics option, students can expect to go through the following required core courses:

  • Fundaments of organizational behavior with a focus on healthcare
  • Understanding quantitative methods used in healthcare management
  • Healthcare finance management
  • Principles in the operations analysis for quality improvement
  • Principles of healthcare management
  • Introduction to health informatics
  • The law and ethics in the healthcare industry
  • Understanding healthcare policies

Aside from the core courses, students can choose three of the following elective subjects:

  • Allocation of applied healthcare economics
  • Understanding and developing healthcare information systems
  • Designing and analyzing health information systems
  • Developing and designing healthcare databases
  • Learning healthcare project management
  • Creating and planning strategic health information technology (HIT) systems
  • Principles of electronic health record (EHR) systems

Near the end of the program, participants need to register for the capstone project. Under this activity, students are exposed to real-world case studies, reports, and presentations. This encourages students to apply learned theories and skills into practice.

Participants will be glad to know that the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) has provided accreditation to the university. It is a voluntary non-profit membership organization that is peer-based. Evaluation and accreditation are similarly conducted on public and private educational institutions in the United States, as well as in other countries.

The Regis College

A noteworthy educational institution, Regis College offers a Master’s degree in Health Informatics. While its physical location is in Weston, Massachusetts, it allows students to participate in its programs online.

By developing, managing, and analyzing healthcare data through technological tools, graduates can look forward to enhancing current systems and protocols.

Master of Science in Health Informatics

With the field being so vast and diverse, the university has shifted this Master’s program online to better serve its students. An online course program will go a long way in helping students and working professionals further their knowledge and skills through convenience and flexibility.

Students are expected to complete the program with 42 credits, which will allow them to participate in leadership roles in various fields of expertise. The core courses, which total 27 credits, are as follows:

  • Introduction to nursing theories
  • Fundamental concepts of nursing leadership
  • Principles of organizational and structure development in nursing leadership
  • Understanding healthcare policies, politics, and perspectives
  • Learning the regulatory issues involved in nursing leadership
  • Utilizing scientific inquiry methodologies for evidence-based practices
  • Introduction to healthcare ethics and laws
  • Understanding healthcare quality management
  • Principles of healthcare economics

Meanwhile, the health informatics concentration courses are as follows:

  • Healthcare database development and design
  • Principles of health information systems
  • Creating and implementing healthcare strategic leadership
  • Focus on healthcare and informatics
  • Mentorship on health informatics

The mentorship program requires participants to experience real-world activities under the guidance of the faculty. By applying acquired knowledge of theories, participants can expect to work for 8 to 10 hours a week for the semester. Students are matched with mentors, who will facilitate the collaborative experiences that allow them to be actively involved in a structured discussion platform.

Walden University

Another exceptional online university joins this list as one of the foremost educational institutions in nursing informatics. Walden University boasts an extensive list of online programs that allow busy professionals to improve their knowledge and skills.

Master of Science in Nursing Informatics

Accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education, this university offers nurses and graduates the opportunity to pursue higher education in three ways. The first and second involve having RN and BSN graduates fast-track their way into a Master’s degree. The third allows non-medical students to transition into healthcare and informatics.

The program has a total of 53 quarter credits. Core courses take up to 23 credits, specialization courses are 25 credits, and the capstone is 5 credits. Participants in the Master’s program can expect to undergo the following core courses:

  • Updates on issues and trends related to nursing
  • Fundamentals of nursing research
  • Understanding the role of nurse leaders in population health
  • Foundational topics regarding clinical nursing
  • Leadership competencies in healthcare and nursing

For core courses, students can look forward to taking up the following:

  • Introduction to Policies and Advocacies in improving population health
  • Using technology to transform nursing and healthcare
  • Essentials of applying evidence-based practices
  • Learning inter-professional, organizational, and systems leadership
  • Fundamentals in nursing and healthcare informatics
  • Understanding information and knowledge management
  • Supporting healthcare systems workflow
  • Healthcare information technology project management
  • Healthcare information technology evaluation methods

Aside from these, students can also opt to take up transitions to graduate studies for nurses, especially if they are transferring from non-nursing studies. Near the end of the program, participants are required to experience a capstone project to test their knowledge and skills.

Participants can also select from the standard structured pace or the flexible convenient pace. Graduates can expect to complete the program at the required length of time or at a pace more suited to their speed.

Duke University

With a focus on advancing health equity with social justice, Duke University aims to prepare nurses to be healthcare transformation leaders. Using available modern mechanisms to influence the social determinants of healthcare, this university looks to develop nurse-led programs to boost services using technology.

Master of Science in Nursing Informatics

The online course program requires participants to complete a total of 38 credit hours. The online learning model allows career professionals to further their expertise without interrupting their daily lives. As a result, most participants complete the program after two years.

Students can expect to acquire the core knowledge, which totals 12 credit hours, through the following courses:

  • The study, design, and statistics of science development
  • Instigating evidence-based practices
  • Understanding the role of population health in a global setting
  • Advanced nursing practices and professional transitions

For concentration courses, participants can expect to learn the following:

  • Healthcare data systems design, management, and connectivity
  • Introduction into healthcare informatics
  • Fundamental standards, methods, and models of healthcare information exchange
  • Designing, implementing, evaluating, and maintaining system designs
  • Assessing and facilitating learning in a non-academic setting
  • Specialty practice synthesis
  • Principles of effective leadership
  • Quality improvement methods in healthcare
  • Data analytics in a clinical setting

The concentration courses total 26 credit hours. Participants of the program can expect to have the dedicated support of nationally recognized researchers and educators. With Fellows in the American Medical Informatics Association, participants enjoy dedicated success centers and services.

With tutors that promote educational and emotional health, students can look forward to workshops that center around academics, stress management, and interpersonal challenges.

Aside from these, the university promotes the mental health and well-being of its students to keep their holistic experience well-rounded and balanced.

Expected Salaries for MS Health Informatics Degree Holders in Massachusetts

Graduates of nursing informatics are expected to earn an average of $103,935 in Massachusetts, with those having a Master’s degree making somewhere between $94,690 and $121,990. Of course, this can vary depending on the employer as well as the work experience of the nurse.

There is a shortage of nurses that the state has to address due to recent health concerns and outbreaks. This can also be attributed to the low count of administrative medical work, which is usually fulfilled by many nursing informatics graduates.

With the increasing need for nursing and health informaticians, Massachusetts proves to be one of the best places to study and work. In fact, it ranks seventh out of 50 states when it comes to salaries and job opportunities.

With telemedicine becoming more the norm than the exception, people well-versed in gathering, processing, analyzing, and applying knowledge gained from data are even more in demand. Not only will patient-centered healthcare services matter at this point, but they will also promote equity.

Healthcare and technology will always be important when it comes to beneficial societal changes. A projected increase of 28 percent is foreseen for medical and health services, and a career in nursing informatics is deemed to become more important than ever.

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