Nursing Informatics Degree Programs in Illinois [2023]

Study Nursing Informatics in Illinois

Healthcare jobs are always in demand. There is a constant need for people to work as nurses, emergency services personnel, doctors, and administrators.

Another area that’s seeing rapid growth is nursing informatics. According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, nursing informatics is a specialty field that blends nursing science and analytical sciences. The purpose of doing so is to collect data and knowledge that helps improve nursing practice.

The rapid rise of nursing informatics has led to a similar growth in nursing informatics programs. If you wish to complete your studies in Illinois, there are many excellent undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs from which to choose.

To help you narrow your search, we have included a list of four of the most popular nursing informatics programs in Illinois. Reference the list below for details about each.

Nursing Informatics Programs in Illinois

Chamberlain University

School Information

Though Chamberlain University has an extensive online campus and physical campuses around the United States, its main campus is in Addison, Illinois. Addison is a suburb of Chicago, which means attendance at this campus gives you easy access to all the social, recreational, and entertainment amenities that the Windy City has to offer.

Chamberlain is a private, for-profit university that focuses specifically on nursing education. The school’s roots are in the Deaconess model of nursing, which was popularized by famed nurse Florence Nightingale, who studied at a Deaconess facility in Germany. This model of nursing emphasizes patient service and addressing community needs. Likewise, Chamberlain prepares its students to be the primary caregivers of patients and the coordinator of patient care.

Program Information

Chamberlain’s Master of Science in Nursing – Nursing Informatics is specially designed for online studies. In fact, the coursework is 100 percent online with 24/7 access to course materials and university services.

Additionally, this program doesn’t require mandatory login times, so you can study when it’s most convenient. Another convenient feature is that you take just one course at a time. Rather than being overwhelmed by three or more classes each semester, you can focus your studies on a single topic.

Some of the courses you will take include:

  • Practice of Nursing Informatics
  • Information Workflow in Healthcare
  • Managing Data and Information
  • Leadership & Nursing Practice: Role Development

This curriculum focuses on interpreting, analyzing, and using electronic health record technology. Moreover, you will gain skills that enable you to be a more efficient and effective nurse.

By completing these and other courses, you will also gain expertise in healthcare information systems that you can integrate with your existing nursing skills to optimize clinical systems. The result of this is improved quality of patient care. Nursing informatics also focuses on delivering services that reduce overall costs, too.

To apply, you must have an unencumbered, current license to practice as a registered nurse. You must also have at least a bachelor’s degree in nursing with a minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale. Once admitted to the program, you must maintain a B average or higher and complete the graduation requirements within seven years of enrolling.

Southern Illinois University (SIU)

School Information

Southern Illinois University was founded in 1869 as a teacher’s college. In the years since, it’s grown to be the flagship school in the Southern Illinois University System. The system is public, research-oriented, and offers programs of study to students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries around the world.

SIU is well-known for its commitment to research. It ranks among the top five percent of all universities in the nation for research, which is good news if you wish to pursue a research-heavy degree like nurse informatics! But, SIU offers many other areas of study, including three associate’s degree programs, 100 bachelor’s degree programs, 73 master’s programs, and 36 doctoral programs.

Program Information

The Master of Health Informatics at Southern Illinois University is ideally suited for you if you are an experienced nurse who wants to expand your skill set. As a full-time nurse, it’s no doubt difficult to attend on-campus classes and study full-time. This program is designed to help you complete your degree with the flexibility of online learning.

You must complete 45 credits to graduate. This includes coursework in the following areas:

  • Effective Healthcare Operations
  • Health Information Exchange
  • Consumer Informatics
  • Systems Analysis, Design, and Database Management in Healthcare
  • Managing Health Information

The core courses listed above (along with a course in Systems Analysis, Design, and Database Management in Healthcare) comprise 18 of the 45 hours needed to finish this degree. The other credits include major courses, electives, and a graduate project or residency.

No matter if you choose the graduate project or the graduate residency, you will learn problem-solving skills, analytical skills, and expand your understanding of informatics research, all of which will help you give your patients a more thorough and meaningful program of care.

If interested in applying to this program, you must have at least a 2.7 GPA on a 4.0 scale for your undergraduate studies. Alternatively, if you have between a 2.5 and a 2.7 GPA, you can gain non-declared status and begin working on the degree requirements. Provided you maintain at least a 3.0 GPA in your graduate courses, you can continue on in the program.

Northwestern University

School Information

When it comes to prestigious universities, Northwestern might be at the top of the list in Illinois. Founded in 1851 in Evanston, the university was originally intended to serve the Northwest Territory. Over the years, the United States expanded westward. And while Northwestern University is no longer in the Northwestern part of the country, it has grown to be one of the most respected universities in the nation.

Today, Northwestern enjoys many top rankings, including a top 25 ranking among global universities and a top ten ranking among national universities. Furthermore, many of Northwestern’s colleges and schools are recognized worldwide for their quality of programming. In fact, many of Northwestern’s degree programs rank among the top 20 in the country.

Program Information

Northwestern’s Master of Science in Health Informatics is a flexible program in that you don’t have to be a nurse to enroll. Instead, this program includes 12 courses that are ideal for you if you have an undergraduate degree in nursing, health informatics, or a related field.

The curriculum includes five required core courses and seven elective courses. The core courses include the following:

  • The American Health Care System
  • Introduction to Health Informatics
  • Legal, Ethical, and Social Issues
  • Health Analytics Leadership

The fifth required component is either a capstone project or a thesis. A capstone project is a hands-on research experience that seeks to identify and solve a critical problem in health informatics. The thesis option, meanwhile, more heavily focuses on research in health informatics.

The elective courses depend on the specialization you choose. You can select from the following:

  • Clinical Informatics
  • Health Technology Informatics
  • Health Administration Informatics

In each case, you have a wealth of elective courses from which you can choose. This enables you to tailor your studies more specifically to your career goals.

To apply, you must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution. You must submit a personal statement, a resume, and two letters of recommendation, as well as a writing sample and official transcripts.

University of Illinois – Chicago (UIC)

School Information

Like Chamberlain University, the University of Illinois – Chicago offers the benefits of being in one of the most vibrant and exciting cities in the United States. And like Northwestern University, UIC is known across the nation and the world for being a prestigious research university. In fact, UIC is a Level 1 Carnegie Research Institution, which means the school has a “very high” level of research.

UIC isn’t the largest school in Illinois, but it has a wide selection of degree programs – more than 160 for graduate and doctoral students alone. The university also boasts sixteen individual colleges in which you can choose the degree program that fits your specific goals. No matter what you choose to study, you can do so knowing that UIC is ranked highly among public universities and best value schools by respected publications.

Program Information

UIC’s Master of Science in Health Informatics is an entirely online degree that blends the studies of data science, digital health, and leadership. As a graduate of this program, you will have the tools necessary to pursue any number of informatics-related careers, such as Nurse Informaticist, Clinical Data Analyst, or Healthcare Analyst.

This 38-credit program requires you to complete 26 credits of core courses and 12 credits of electives. Core courses include:

  • Ethics and Legal Issues in Health Informatics
  • Social and Organizational Issues in Health Informatics
  • Information Sources in Biomedical and Health Information Sciences
  • Health Information Systems Analysis and Design
  • Communication Skills in Health Informatics

Your 12 elective credits can be used to earn a field specialty as well. These specialties include three options:

  • Health Data Science, which prepares you to use data analysis and interpretation skills for working on analytic teams.
  • Consumer and Mobile Health, which focuses on the patient’s perspective and helps you build consumer understanding of healthcare services through mobile and digital technology.
  • Leadership, which helps you develop the skills needed to address organizational change and use health informatics to meet organizational objectives.

Before applying to this program, you must take two prerequisite courses. The first is a basic medical terminology course that familiarizes you with healthcare lingo. The second is Fundamentals of Health Information Management, which gives you insight into the nation’s healthcare system.

If you wish to apply to this program, you must first have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale. Additionally, you must submit official transcripts from each school you’ve attended.

Work Opportunities in Illinois

As noted in the introduction, this field is rapidly growing as the role of technology and big data becomes more prevalent in healthcare. Throughout Illinois and the nation, nursing informatics jobs are consistently available for graduates that have the proper combination of training and experience.

In Illinois, the largest number of jobs in this field is unsurprisingly in the Chicago area. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Chicago ranks fourth in the nation for the highest level of employment of medical and health services managers. These jobs are most commonly in hospitals, doctor’s offices, and outpatient health centers, though nursing informatics can be applied to many other areas, too.

For example, you might apply nursing informatics to improve the delivery of services to residents in a nursing home. Likewise, nursing informatics can help improve the quality of services for home healthcare consumers.

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