Accredited Nursing Informatics Programs in Pennsylvania [2023]

Nursing Informatics Programs and Colleges in Pennsylvania

Nursing informatics is a rapidly growing field. A large part of this growth is attributed to the increasing reliance on health data to drive decision-making processes in healthcare settings.

With a degree in nursing informatics, you will blend your clinical background in nursing with training in computer science, information technology, and many other fields to provide improved services to patients and help healthcare organizations run more smoothly. It’s a win-win!

The question is, where can you get a quality nursing informatics degree? You will find the answer to that question on the following list of popular nursing informatics programs available in Pennsylvania.

University of Pittsburgh

With nearly 35,000 students, the University of Pittsburgh is a large school. Yet, unlike some large schools, Pitt prides itself on academic excellence. In fact, throughout its more than 230-year history, Pitt has been regarded as one of the best public colleges in the nation. It’s the top-ranked public university in the Northeast, the best-value public college in Pennsylvania, and is among the top five percent of universities in the world.

Aside from its many accolades, Pitt offers a diverse campus where you can study alongside people from all 50 states and dozens of nations throughout the world. Your studies will be emphasized by Pitt’s commitment to high research activity, the school’s small class sizes, and the faculty’s commitment to being leaders in their field.

Nursing Informatics Program Information

The University of Pittsburgh offers a straightforward track for you to get a high-quality education in nursing informatics. The school’s Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Nursing Informatics is an online program that requires two years to complete.

During your studies, you will draw on your clinical expertise as a nurse and expand on your skills by taking courses like:

  • Studies in Advanced Nursing Ethics
  • Methods in Technology Evaluation and Usability
  • Applied Statistics for Evidence-Based Practice
  • Clinical Information Systems
  • Public Policy in Healthcare

Since this is an interdisciplinary degree with a focus on nursing, computer science, information science, and cognitive science, you can expect to explore these topics in most of the coursework you’re required to complete. Likewise, you will participate in hands-on experiences in which you practice the skills you need to be a competent leader in this field upon graduation.

Pitt has a number of requirements for admission to this program. For example, you must have an undergraduate degree in nursing from a program that’s accredited by CCNE, ACEN (NLN), or ACICS. Additionally, you must submit the following to apply:

  • A graduate school application
  • Official undergraduate transcripts showing that you’ve passed a statistics course
  • A resume or CV, professional references, and a copy of your current nursing license
  • An essay

Pennsylvania State University

When Penn State was founded in 1855, it was known as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania. From those humble beginnings has grown one of the largest universities in the United States. Today, Penn State has more than 100,000 students and 17,000 faculty members across multiple physical campuses and a large online campus.

Throughout its history, Penn State has had an excellent reputation for its quality of education. That trend continues today with various rankings that show it’s one of the best universities in the world. The school ranks 31st in the nation among national public universities.

Penn State also has highly-ranked undergraduate and graduate programs. For example, the school ranks in the top 40 undergraduate nursing programs (out of nearly 700 schools).

Nursing Informatics Program Information

If you are an undergraduate student interested in nursing informatics, the undergraduate certificate program in this field from Penn State is a great place to start preparing for your future career.

Just nine credits are required to obtain this certification, so you can easily add it to your core studies without adding additional semesters to your graduation timeline. In fact, this certificate program is an ideal complement to Penn State’s RN to BSN program. The three courses you must take include the following:

  • Introduction to Nursing Informatics
  • Ethical Challenges in Healthcare Informatics
  • Advanced Concepts in Clinical Nursing Informatics

In each case, these courses challenge your thinking, help you develop new knowledge and skills, and give you a basis of understanding to study nursing informatics in more detail in a graduate program. All courses must be passed with a grade of C or higher to earn the certificate.

Armed with this certificate and an undergraduate degree in nursing, you can pursue many different types of employment. For example, you might work in a managed care setting, a hospital, or for a home healthcare agency. Furthermore, job opportunities might exist with insurance companies, government agencies, or healthcare consulting firms.

To apply, you must be a high school graduate or have a GED. You must also be currently licensed as a registered nurse.

Temple University

Temple University, which was founded in 1884 by Russell H. Conwell, is in the City of Brotherly Love, Philadelphia. The school’s location in such a vibrant and diverse city gives you ample opportunities to take part in social and recreational events throughout the city. And while on campus, you can join one of more than 330 clubs and organizations specifically for Temple students.

With more than 27,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Temple is a sizable university. Roughly half of the school’s student body lives on or near campus, which adds to the vibrancy and diversity of the learning environment. The academic challenges you’ll face at Temple are recognized by various awards – the school ranks in the top 60 public national universities and is a top-100 best value school as well.

Nursing Informatics Program Information

The College of Public Health at Temple offers a Master of Science in Health Informatics that nicely supplements your undergraduate education in nursing. This program requires 36 credits to graduate, which takes most students about two years to complete.

You can take this program in person or online, depending on which format best fits your needs and learning style. If you opt for the online program, you will have greater flexibility due to its asynchronous format that allows you to work independently and at your own pace. Regardless of whether you pursue this degree online or in person, you will take courses like:

  • Applications of Computer Programming in Health Informatics
  • Current and Emerging Issues in Public Health and Health Professions
  • Database Administration for Health Informatics Professionals
  • Fundamentals of Health Informatics
  • Health Data Analysis

You can supplement these core courses by selecting electives that help you meet your specific educational goals. Sample elective courses include Technology for Population Health, Global Health Informatics, and Applications of Machine Learning for Health Informatics.

This program also requires the completion of a capstone project during the final year. The capstone explores a specific health information issue (e.g., electronic health records, healthcare legal issues) for which you devise strategies for improved performance.

You can apply to this program if you have an undergraduate degree in a related field from an accredited institution. You must have a 3.0 GPA for your undergraduate studies to be considered for admission. Additionally, you must submit the following:

  • An application for admission
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • A 1-2 page goals statement
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities you’ve attended
  • A resume

Drexel University

While Drexel University might not have the same level of name recognition as some of the other schools on this list, it’s nevertheless a large, comprehensive university with a solid reputation for academic performance. With more than 22,000 students, you’ll enjoy a lively campus environment, yet, you’ll also enjoy small class sizes that enable you to get the individualized attention you need to be successful.

Drexel offers more than 200 academic programs for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students. These programs are offered by no less than 15 schools and colleges. In each school and college, you’ll find a commitment to conducting research. As a Global R1-level Research University, Drexel has the facilities and the budget to support experiential learning in many different academic areas – 75 majors and programs, in fact!

Nursing Informatics Program Information

The Master of Science in Health Informatics from Drexel University is offered in both part-time and full-time formats. The part-time program requires about 2.5 years to complete, while the full-time program takes just 1.5 years.

This 45-credit program is offered entirely online and gives you the flexibility you need to complete your degree while minimizing the impact your studies have on your everyday life. There are 11 required courses and three elective courses needed to meet the 45-credit requirement to graduate. Among these are classes in:

  • Perspectives on Information Systems
  • Database Management Systems
  • Communication and Self-Awareness for Leadership
  • Information Systems Analysis and Design
  • Information Assurance

Furthermore, you must complete a capstone project that explores an area of interest to you in a real-world health informatics setting. The capstone must be successfully completed prior to graduation.

The admissions requirements to apply for this program include the following:

  • You must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited school with a 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Submit the following:
    • An online application
    • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities you’ve attended
    • One letter of recommendation (though two letters are preferred)
    • A 500-word essay
    • A current resume

Nursing Informatics Work Opportunities in Pennsylvania

While nursing jobs, and more specifically, nursing informatics jobs, are available virtually anywhere, states with large cities like Pennsylvania offer more job opportunities due to their sheer size.

For example, there are more than 60 hospitals in the greater Philadelphia area – a number that exceeds the number of hospitals in some rural states! As such, the likelihood that you can find work as a health informaticist or a nurse informaticist is quite high.

Another factor that can help you find employment in Pennsylvania is that more populous states have more people seeking healthcare. Again, the more people seeking care, the more information that needs to be gathered, studied, and reported. And that’s where you come in!

The types of jobs you can pursue are varied, too. For example, as a nurse informaticist in Philadelphia, you might work at a large hospital or HMO to collect patient data to inform improved nursing practices.

Alternatively, you might work for the City of Pittsburgh, using your expertise in medicine and information technology to help the city devise improved responses to health emergencies.

No matter the specific work location or job title, your work as a nurse informaticist is incredibly valuable. With your education in nursing informatics from one of the programs discussed above, you can help improve treatment for individual patients, guide patient-centered changes in hospital settings, and help devise policies that make communities healthier.

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Copyright © 2023 All Rights Reserved. Program outcomes vary according to each institution's curriculum and job opportunities are not guaranteed. This site is for informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional help.