Popular Nursing Informatics Programs and Schools in Virginia [Updated for 2024]

Nursing informatics is a growing field that focuses on using healthcare data to improve patient services. As part of this, nursing informaticists learn how to use and maintain electronic health records systems, analyze data, and use that data to inform changes to patient care.

You can learn how to do all these things in a nursing informatics program in Virginia.

Virginia is a great place to study nursing. You have your choice of many different schools and programs in various informatics specialties. What’s more, you can have your pick of small or large schools, learning on campus, or learning online. Many of Virginia’s nursing informatics programs are also affordable.

Accredited Nursing Informatics Programs in Virginia

Listed below are some of the popular schools offering nursing informatics programs in Virginia:

  • Liberty University
  • Norfolk State University
  • George Mason University
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Wake Forest University

Liberty University

Founded in 1971, Liberty University began as a small, Baptist-affiliated college. But over the years, the university has experienced incredible growth. Today, Liberty is a leader in online education and boasts one of the largest enrollments in the country. Over 130,000 students study at Liberty, most of which are enrolled in fully online courses and programs.

One of the reasons for the exponential growth of the university is its robust offering of cutting-edge online programs. Liberty offers over 700 programs in all, with 300 of those on campus and over 450 others online.

Whether you study on campus or online, you will work with experienced professors that are able to give you the individual attention you need for success in the classroom.

Nursing Informatics Program

Liberty University’s Master of Science in Nursing with a concentration in Nursing Informatics is a 36-credit program that requires about 1.5 years of full-time study. This program is entirely online, giving you the flexibility needed to continue working in your role as a nurse while getting your degree.

The program’s format is unique in that you take eight-week courses rather than traditional 16-week-long courses. This accelerated format allows you to take fewer classes at a time while still having a deep level of instruction in each course.

The coursework in this program is diverse and includes topics like:

  • Health Policy and Ethics
  • Nursing Issues, Informatics, and Technology
  • Financial and Resource Management for Nurse Leaders
  • Systems Management and Leadership for Nurse Leaders
  • Managing Population Health

A practicum is required for this degree. Liberty University will work with you and your state’s Board of Nursing to find an appropriate site for your practicum to take place.

To apply, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and have a 3.0 GPA or higher for your undergraduate studies. You also need a current license to practice as an RN and at least one year of practice as a registered nurse. Additionally, you must submit the following:

  • An application for admission and a $50 deferred application fee
  • Contact information for one recommender
  • A statement of your essential attributes
  • Official college transcripts from all institutions you have attended

Norfolk State University

Founded in 1935 in Norfolk, Virginia, Norfolk State University offers a unique setting in which to study. Its location near downtown allows for easy access to restaurants, shopping, museums, and other amenities the city has to offer.

Norfolk has other points of interest, too, including the world’s largest naval base, the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and one of the best beaches on the east coast – Virginia Beach.

The school’s 134-acre campus is a beautiful setting in which to learn. You can enroll in an undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral program offered by one of the university’s nine colleges, schools, and programs. All told, the university offers three dozen undergraduate degrees, more than a dozen master’s degrees, and a handful of doctoral degrees.

You can also participate in one of dozens of student activities that range from club sports to honor societies to fraternities and sororities.

Nursing Informatics Program

Norfolk State’s Master of Health Informatics is an interdisciplinary program administered by the Department of Nursing and Allied Health. The program is overseen by the College of Science, Engineering, and Technology, making it a STEM option for your future career.

This is a fully online program that requires four semesters of full-time study. The 33-credit curriculum includes coursework such as:

  • Health Informatics
  • Epidemiology and Population Health
  • Health Equity and Health Informatics
  • Electronic Health Records and Interoperability
  • Health Data Management

You must also participate in a health informatics internship. This 240-hour internship is six weeks long and takes place during the second-to-last semester of the program. It’s a paid internship as well.

Norfolk State provides you with a variety of supplies to help you in your studies. You will receive a stipend each semester to pay for books. You also get a laptop and printer.

You can apply to this program, provided you have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited institution. You must have a 2.8 undergraduate GPA or higher, and you must provide official transcripts of your undergraduate studies. You must also submit a professional resume.

George Mason University

George Mason University is a public research institution near Washington, D.C. In fact, George Mason is the largest public research university in the state with nearly 40,000 students. The school wasn’t always so large, though. It was founded in 1949 as a satellite campus of the University of Virginia. But as it grew, the university became independent in 1972.

Once George Mason became an independent university and continued to grow, its reputation began to grow with it. Today, the school ranks among the best in the nation. The school is also among just 131 universities in the nation to hold the highest research designation from the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education.

Nursing Informatics Program

The Master of Science in Health Informatics from George Mason offers you the flexibility of choice – you can either complete the degree on campus or online. Additionally, you can choose between a capstone practicum experience or a thesis as your summative program experience.

Another aspect of choice in this program is the area of concentration. You get three options: Health Data Analytics, Health Informatics Management, or Population Health Informatics.

No matter which concentration you choose, you will need about two years of full-time study or three years of part-time study to complete the requirements for graduation.

Each concentration area has specific courses you must take. However, they share some courses in common, like:

  • Computational Tools In Health Informatics
  • Health Data: Vocabulary and Standards
  • Health Care Databases
  • Introduction to the U.S. Health System
  • Introduction to Health Informatics

You will need two semesters to complete the capstone practicum or thesis as well.

Admission to this program requires that you have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally-accredited college or university. You must also have a 3.0 GPA or higher undergraduate GPA, though a 3.25 GPA or higher is preferred. Other requirements are as follows:

  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges and universities you’ve attended
  • Provide two letters of recommendation
  • Submit a goals statement
  • You must demonstrate English proficiency if English is not your native language

Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU)

Virginia Commonwealth University was founded in 1838 as a medical school. It operated as such until 1968 when the school merged with the Virginia General Assembly to form the institution we know today. Since then, VCU has experienced rapid growth and is now one of the biggest universities in the state, with nearly 30,000 students.

VCU offers a broad selection of programs – around 200, in fact – at the undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral levels. Some of these programs rank very highly, too. For example, VCU’s nurse anesthesia program ranks first in the nation, while its online master’s in nursing ranks 11th. VCU’s undergraduate nursing program ranks 22nd in the country, while its nursing school ranks 34th in the nation.

Nursing Informatics Program

At VCU, you can pursue a Master of Science in Health Administration that puts you in a managerial position that enables you to apply informatics to improve patient outcomes. This is a 41-credit program that requires you to complete 14 courses to graduate.

Your coursework and learning experiences occur both on campus and off. Classwork is held on campus in six different week-long sessions. Off-campus sessions include at-home study and experiences at local work sites. Coursework includes studies in:

  • Health Care Law and Bioethics
  • Management of Healthcare Organizations
  • Health Care Organization and Leadership
  • Financial Management in Health Organizations
  • Health Systems Organization, Financing, and Performance

You must also participate in an integrative capstone project. The purpose of the capstone is to evaluate your competency in the areas of study throughout the program.

This program is offered in part-time and full-time tracks. The part-time track takes about three years to complete. The full-time track requires about two years of study.

Admission to this program requires that you have an undergraduate degree from an accredited college or university. You must have a 2.75 undergraduate GPA (or higher) and five years of professional experience in health care or management positions in health care.

Additionally, you must submit the following:

  • An online application
  • Professional resume
  • Three letters of reference
  • Official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended.

You must also participate in an interview with the admissions committee.

Nursing Informatics Work Opportunities in Virginia

Nursing informatics is a growing industry nationwide. In fact, the medical and health services managers sector is one of the fastest growing areas of employment. That bodes well for you as a future member of that specific workforce.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that job growth in this field will be around 28 percent through 2032. This represents extraordinary growth with more than 136,000 new jobs available nationwide. Virginia is a prime location to find some of these jobs.

One of the reasons Virginia is attractive for nursing informatics is the broad application of informatics in the state. On the one hand, you might work for a hospital or medical clinic in rural Virginia, where you use your informaticist training to help managers devise improved systems of care. On the other hand, you might work for a federal agency in the Washington, D.C. area where you use your expertise to help guide policymaking for the healthcare industry or advocate on behalf of patient care organizations.

Virginia offers many other employment opportunities as well. You might work for a healthcare technology company to improve how electronic health records are recorded and accessed. You might also go to work for a healthcare staffing agency to help organizations find the right nursing informaticist for their needs.

Whatever path you take, you can likely find opportunities in Virginia!

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