Nursing Informatics Graduate Programs and Schools in Georgia [2024 Guide]

When it comes to merging healthcare services and delivery with information science and technology, nursing informatics tops the industry. Using both traditional and novel strategies, healthcare providers can easily access electronic healthcare records (EHRs), prescribing systems, and similar health information technology (HIT) tools to improve patient access, treatment, and monitoring.

Georgia, in particular, has seen a large increase in efficiency when it comes to optimizing HIT tools in managing patient data. Despite the advancements, the Peach State has some challenges up ahead as health issues continue to rise.

According to the Bureau of Health Workforce, Georgia has the fifth lowest ratio when it comes to nurse-to-state population. Plus, the situation is expected to worsen if conditions are left unchecked.

Luckily, the state has several plans to counteract its shortage of nurses. There are several outstanding universities in Georgia that offer nursing informatics programs, and here are six of them.

Nursing Informatics Programs in Georgia

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

  • Georgia State University
  • Mercer University
  • Georgia Southwestern State University
  • Grand Canyon University
  • Wake Forest University

Georgia State University, Atlanta

As healthcare continues to welcome technology into its services and delivery, Georgia State University remains steadfast in its commitment to providing an exceptional educational experience for its students. As a result, the MSN program in Health Sciences, with a concentration in Health Informatics, was developed.

The Master of Science in Health Sciences with a Concentration in Health Informatics

This program was developed for aspiring or current professionals with undergraduate degrees working in clinical settings or IT-related fields. Georgia State University also accepts students from other fields, as long as they have approved and accredited undergraduate majors.

The MSN program in Health Sciences focusing on health informatics is entirely online, which makes it very convenient for many working professionals. Additionally, the program takes 36 semester hours to complete, with a mix of synchronous and asynchronous courses.

Students need to undergo interdisciplinary classes, which include the fundamentals and advanced aspects of nursing and health informatics. Students will be guided along the courses by experts in multiple fields of discipline, making the entire experience quite holistic in approach.

Graduates of the program can expect to find themselves in many different capacities, providing various services. These opportunities include such positions as health informatics specialists, directors of clinical informatics, directors of nursing informatics, pharmacy informatics specialists, healthcare analysts, healthcare consultants, security and privacy analysts, database administrators, and health IT project managers.

Mercer University, Atlanta

Offering MSN degrees in nursing informatics, Mercer University prepares its graduates to be leaders in their fields by using technology as a tool to improve patient care.

With a focus on providing online classes with the same quality as those on campus, students can expect to learn and apply valuable knowledge from highly experienced professors.

Master of Science in Health Informatics

The program is offered online as part of the university’s efforts to provide flexibility and convenience to its students, many of whom are working professionals. Students can opt to start in January, March, August, or October, making the program highly convenient for many professionals.

Part-time and full-time students can take advantage of this program’s flexibility, which runs through 18 months. Students can even opt for accelerated courses, which take eight weeks. During the 30-credit hour program, students will connect with their professors and peers online, making the whole learning experience immersive and personal.

Participants will encounter relevant courses, such as:

  • Informatics for healthcare systems
  • Healthcare data management
  • Electronic data interchange (EDI) technologies in interoperability standards and health informatics
  • IT healthcare project management
  • Research methodologies in health informatics
  • Capstone health informatics projects
  • Healthcare data analytics
  • Healthcare ethics and informatics risk assessment
  • Clinical decision support systems (CDSS) and health informatics telehealth
  • Healthcare software requirements, specifications, and systems analyses and designs

The major core courses take 18 credit hours, whereas elective courses take up 12. While in the program, students can expect to enjoy career service assistance through internships and job placements.

Graduates are expected to provide excellent value to their chosen fields by comparing health data management applications, evaluating health informatics solutions, and planning or managing informatics and telehealth projects and solutions.

Georgia Southwestern State University

Blending charm, tradition, and technology, Georgia Southwestern State University offers an online MSN program in nursing informatics to enhance the industry. The program aims to cut costs and increase efficiency while boosting the overall quality for patient care. The university emphasizes the integration of documentation, communication, and implementation of acquired skills and knowledge as its healthcare contribution.

Master of Science in Health Informatics

Focusing on catering to healthcare workers intent on enhancing their expertise, the program seeks to attract working professionals through its online learning system. Featuring full-time and part-time options, the program helps participants stay flexible at their own convenience. All courses are accessible through its dedicate portal.

Participants can expect to fully immerse themselves in the program, which takes a total of 36 credit hours. 15 hours will be dedicated to core courses, another 15 hours for informatics track, and 6 hours for a practicum, thesis, or project. Practicum internships will be arranged within the participant’s local area, if feasible. Here’s some courses students can expect to undergo:

  • Theory for graduate nursing practice
  • Research for evidence-based nursing
  • Advanced pharmacology
  • Advanced pathophysiology
  • Advanced health assessment
  • Applied statistics and data mining
  • Process improvement for health care
  • Health information and exchange standards and models
  • Health systems project management
  • Clinical decision support systems

Participants can also opt for independent study, which can take 1 to 2 credit hours. As an added feature, the learning management system requires a separate sign-on. One more useful feature of the system is its academic calendar, where specific deadlines per semester are provided in detail. While the theoretical courses are online, clinical participation will be in person.

As with most high-quality educational institutions, Georgia Southwestern State University requires its students to earn grades of at least B or A for all enrolled courses. Any lower than that may be subject to academic reviews. Participants are also required to complete the program within five years.

Grand Canyon University

These days, getting a Master’s degree in health informatics is no longer limited to physical institutions. With more flexibility and convenience, online programs are quickly becoming the norm rather than the outlier.

Focusing on high-quality education, Grand Canyon University offers participants the most adaptable program online.

Master of Science in Health Informatics

Prioritizing ease while adhering to strict quality standards, Grand Canyon University provides its students with the best health informatics experience. The program spans a total of 16 weeks with a total of 40 credit hours. Participants can expect to learn detailed information on healthcare system development, management, and analysis.

Aside from these, students will be more exposed to both sides of the system, which combines healthcare with technology. By promoting an increased concentration on data gathering, healthcare innovation, and technological integration, graduates can look forward to being leaders in their own respective fields. Core courses include:

  • Introduction to the principles of advanced registered nursing
  • Fundamentals of organizational leadership styles and informatics
  • Understanding translational research methods and population health management
  • Executing evidence-based practices and projects
  • Experiences in healthcare information systems and technology
  • Developing healthcare data management systems
  • Managing and analyzing electronic health records (EHRs)
  • Foundations of health data analytics
  • Creating interactive user interface design for healthcare informatics
  • Immersive nursing informatics practicum

It should be noted that most of the core courses take 8 weeks, except for the nursing informatics practicum. The experience requires participants to be personally involved for 16 weeks. For transfers, up to 12 credits are recognized. As an alternative, up to a third of the program can also be transferred, whichever is higher.

Grand Canyon University is accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE), which the Department of Education recognizes. CCNE is considered an independent organization ensuring the quality and integrity of all nursing programs, which include baccalaureate, graduate, and residency.

Salary and Nursing Informatics Career Opportunities in Georgia

On average, health informaticians in Georgia earn $138,984 at a managerial level. It has to be noted that the average salary can vary, depending on the position, employer, and other mitigating factors.

With Georgia running low on nurses, it can be a challenge for the state to rely on travel nurses alone. As it is, local universities have started to combat this trend with partnerships and strategic alliances.

Despite all of these encouraging developments, Georgia remains near the bottom when it comes to healthcare. This comes as no surprise because the average highest salary for registered nurses is $124,000 in California, while registered nurses in Georgia make $75,380.

The growing need for health informaticians just keeps going, as recent health outbreaks continue to change the healthcare landscape. With government agencies looking to expand its knowledge base, health informaticians will always be in demand.

Technology is the twin of healthcare when it comes to informatics. The very nature of technology demands constant improvements and, along with it, the constant up-skill requirements for health informaticians. With medical and health services projected to increase by 28 percent by 2031, health informaticians will be more essential to healthcare than ever.

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