The Best Online MSN in Health Informatics Programs

January 25, 2022 · 6 Min Read

Interested in working as an informaticist, researcher, or data analyst? Then earning an MSN with an emphasis on healthcare informatics might be the right option for you.

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The Best Online MSN in Health Informatics Programs
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If you are passionate about healthcare and love data and analytics, you might enjoy a career as an informatics nurse. Informatics nurses use patient, hospital, medical, and often community data to identify problems or opportunities for improvement and find solutions.

This guide explores the best online nursing informatics programs, along with how to choose and apply to a program. We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best online MSN in health informatics programs, making it easier for you to choose the right option. Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Keep reading to learn more, or go straight to our list of the best online MSN in health informatics programs.

Featured Online Programs

What Can You Do With an MSN in Health Informatics?

A master of science in nursing (MSN) in health informatics is one of a few MSN degrees that let you apply your nursing expertise to areas beyond direct patient care. An MSN informatics program prepares candidates to collect and prepare data for analysis, identify the right analytics tools to use for different situations, and communicate results to leadership, administrators, and other healthcare staff.

Graduates with an online nursing informatics MSN work in hospital and healthcare systems, private practices, research companies, insurance firms, and government offices. According to Payscale data from December 2021, the median annual salary for an informatics nurse is $85,000.

Nurse Informaticist

MSN required

Nurse informaticists identify and collect data, run analyses, design reports, and explain the results. They must effectively collaborate with administrators, IT specialists, researchers, and other nurses. They should also be good at identifying patterns, solving problems, and performing statistical analysis.

Learn more about nurse informatics careers


Clinical Informaticist

MSN required

A clinical informaticist performs many of the same duties as a nurse informaticist, but works with a wider variety of data and on a broader spectrum of issues. The essential skills of problem identification, data management, analytics, and communication are the same, as is the need to collaborate effectively across the organization.

Learn more about clinical informatics careers


Chief Medical Information Officer

MSN required

A chief medical information officer is responsible for all medical data and analytics. They often work with upper-level executives, including chief information officers and chief technology officers. They must demonstrate strong leadership skills, identify problems and opportunities for improvement, and drive change in the organization.

Learn more about nurse executive careers


What To Look For in an Online MSN in Health Informatics Program

The best online nursing informatics program for you depends on your interests, academic background, and career goals, along with program format and cost. Many programs include group projects and tasks, so you should be sure that you understand or can learn your program's team collaboration tools.

Admission requirements suggest how likely you are to be admitted to an MSN informatics program, and how challenging the coursework may be. These guidelines also indicate what the school values in its students. An online nursing informatics program's curriculum details what students learn and how they complete coursework. Classes should be accessible, and should provide you with the skills you need to excel in your future career. Do the clinical requirements use a format that fits your lifestyle and schedule? Online MSN informatics programs often let students fulfill their practicum requirements virtually. If you must complete your practicum in person, can you find a placement in your community? Most employers prefer to hire graduates of accredited programs, and accredited schools rarely accept transfer credits from unaccredited programs. Attending an unaccredited online nursing informatics program can severely restrict your career prospects and financial aid opportunities. Most MSN informatics programs require two years of full-time study, or up to four years for part-time students. If you hold an informatics certification from an accredited program, you may be able to apply the credits to your online nursing informatics program and graduate sooner. A school's NCLEX pass rate hints at how well-prepared students are for their nursing careers. A high pass rate suggests that students receive a solid education, while a low pass rate may be a warning sign. Overall graduation rates are another indicator of school quality. A low graduation rate suggests that instruction is poor, or that students lack the right amount of academic support. An MSN informatics program's format should suit your learning style and schedule, especially if you plan to work full time while studying. Some formats offer more structure and support, while others feature flexible or self-paced schedules.

Applying to an Online MSN in Health Informatics Program

While applying to an MSN informatics program might seem daunting, early preparation can help you succeed and make the process less stressful. Discuss the program with your mentors and be sure your references are ready to speak to your strengths.

Admission Materials

Undergraduate transcripts; resume or CV; standardized test scores (such as GRE); at least two references; application with personal statement or essay

GPA Requirements

Most online nursing informatics programs require a 3.0 GPA or higher. However, relevant work experience, strong analytical skills, or positive references might make up for a borderline GPA. Talk to the admission department if you have questions about your GPA.

Other Requirements

Programs often require or look for undergraduate coursework in analytics or other evidence of relevant skills or talents. If you didn't complete undergraduate coursework in the field, some schools offer certificate programs that may later be applied to a full program.

Why Is Online MSN Program Accreditation Important?

Accreditation is an independent evaluation used to determine a program's quality. An accrediting body, or official group of professionals and academics, examines the program to see if it effectively prepares students for the workforce. Accreditation is vital to your success because:

  • Most employers strongly prefer to hire graduates of accredited programs.
  • Most accredited schools only accept transfer credits from other accredited programs.
  • Students must attend an accredited institution to receive federal financial aid.
  • Attending an unaccredited program may raise questions in employers' minds about your abilities.

Paying for Online MSN in Health Informatics Programs

Distance learners can use the same financial aid options to pay for an online nursing informatics program as on-campus students. Most schools offer scholarships and loans to help pay for your nursing degree. You can also get scholarships and grants from government programs, nonprofit associations, corporations, and foundations.

Some candidates choose to take out private loans, or apply for federal student loans. Your employer may also cover some of your program costs; often if you agree to work for them for a certain period after graduation.

Learn More About the Top Online MSN in Health Informatics Programs & Schools

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill true View School Profile $$ Chapel Hill, NC 89% 27% 14% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers an online master of professional science in biomedical and health informatics program, designed for students to gain managerial, leadership, and analytical skills in clinical and public health care. This MPS non-thesis program requires students to complete 35 credits of coursework to earn their degree.

UNC-Chapel Hill's MPS degree also provides students with the option to finish their degree in one year, 1.5 years, or 2-4 years. Along with the required coursework, students in this program must also complete a 400-hour internship.

  • Program: Master of professional science in biomedical and health informatics
  • Campus: Boone, North Carolina
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $1,319 for 0 - 2.9 credits for North Carolina residents; $3,534 for 0 - 2.9 credits for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Unofficial transcript from each university attended; current letters of recommendation; statement of purpose; updated resume; TOEFL or IELTS score
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 94% first-time pass rate
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
Northwestern University true View School Profile Evanston, IL 95% 21% 3% Higher Learning Commission

Northwestern University offers an online master's in health informatics program through the school's partnership with the Feinberg School of Medicine. Northwestern's MHI program allows students to choose from areas of concentration in clinical informatics, health technology informatics, and health administration informatics.

Students must successfully complete a total of 12 courses to earn their degree. Towards the end of the program, students must also develop and implement a health informatics project in a real-world workplace or other academic organization.

  • Program: Master's in health informatics
  • Campus: Evanston, Illinois
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $4,693 per course
  • Admission Requirements: Official transcripts of records; letters of recommendation; statement of purpose; updated resume; writing sample
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 56% first-time pass rate
  • School Site: Tuition | Financial aid
George Mason University true View School Profile $$$ Fairfax, VA 71% 44% 34% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

Recognized as Virginia's largest public research university, George Mason University offers an online master of science in health informatics degree, with concentrations in health data analytics and health informatics management.

This MS program delivers a fully online curriculum and requires students to complete a total of 39 credits to earn their degree. Students of this program study in-depth courses in health informatics, including IT tools, data standards, information systems, and databases.

  • Program: Master of science in health informatics
  • Campus: Fairfax, Virginia
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $9,446 per academic year for in-state students; $25,430 per academic year for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Minimum 3.0 GPA in baccalaureate study; Transcripts of records from a regionally accredited institution
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: N/A
  • School site: Tuition | Financial aid
Brandeis University true View School Profile Waltham, MA 88% 42% 8% New England Commission on Higher Education

Brandeis University offers an online master of science in health informatics program designed for students interested in diverse career options in the health informatics industry. Brandeis' health informatics MS program requires students to finish 30 credits to earn their degree.

This MS program features small class sizes and a fully online, asynchronous course delivery. Graduates of Brandeis' health informatics MS degree go on to work as pharmacy technicians, health systems specialists, life sciences analysts, research scientists, and clinical data managers.

  • Program: Master of science in health informatics
  • Campus: Waltham, Massachusetts
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Tuition: $3,535 per course
  • Admission Requirements: Official academic transcripts of records; statement of goals; letters of recommendation; updated resume
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: N/A
  • School site: Tuition | Financial aid
East Carolina University true View School Profile $$ Greenville, NC 65% 55% 45% Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges

East Carolina University offers an online master of science in health informatics and information management program designed for students interested in an advanced career in healthcare technology. Students in this program must complete 30 credits of core courses to earn their degree.

ECU's HIIM program allows students to take courses on-campus or fully online. Students take a wide array of intensive health care technology courses, including decision support systems, database systems in health care, health information privacy and security, and evaluation methods in health informatics.

  • Program: Master of science in health informatics and information management
  • Campus: Greenville, North Carolina
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC)
  • Tuition: $433 per credit for North Carolina residents; $1,164 per credit for non-residents
  • Admission Requirements: Official transcripts of records; minimum GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate study; three letters of recommendation; updated resume
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 98% first-time pass rate
  • School site: Tuition | Financial aid
DePaul University View School Profile Chicago, IL 71% 55% 29% Higher Learning Commission

DePaul University offers an online master of science in health informatics degree to provide students with in-depth knowledge in information technology solutions for health sector organizations. Students can choose to take courses entirely online or on-campus.

Students of this online MS degree must complete 52 graduate credit hours and maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher. DePaul's MS in health informatics graduate also provides professional skills in the areas of health information processing and exchange, healthcare analytics, enterprise management, and information storage and security management.

  • Program: Master of science in health informatics
  • Campus: Chicago, Illinois
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $882 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution; minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5; test of English proficiency for international students
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91% first-time pass rate
  • School site: Tuition | Financial aid
University of Cincinnati-Main Campus View School Profile $$$$ Cincinnati, OH 68% 46% 45% Higher Learning Commission

The University of Cincinnati-Main Campus offers an online master of health informatics program to prepare graduates to utilize information technology and systems to improve patient care and safety. This MHI program requires students to complete 36 course credits within the span of two years.

UC's MHI graduates now assume advanced health informatics roles as system analysts, software developers, information scientists, system administrators, and information security analysts. UC offers six enrollment periods every year, providing students with an affordable and flexible program.

  • Program: Master of health informatics in health informatics
  • Campus: Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $746 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution; minimum of a "B" average in undergraduate coursework
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: N/A
  • School site: Tuition | Financial aid
University of Scranton View School Profile Scranton, PA 82% 65% 18% Middle States Commission on Higher Education

The University of Scranton offers an online master of science in health informatics program that students can finish within two years. Scranton offers this program fully online, giving students the option to finish courses at their own pace.

Scranton requires health informatics students to complete a total of 33 credits of coursework, including courses in database management, public policy, community health, and information technology for health informatics. Completion of this MS program paves the way for students to take the Certified Professional in Healthcare Information and Management Systems (CPHIMS) exam.

  • Program: Master of science in health informatics
  • Campus: Scranton, Pennsylvania
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $757 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution; minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.0; official transcripts of records from all previously attended institutions
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 90% first-time pass rate
  • School site: Tuition | Financial aid
Michigan Technological University View School Profile $$$ Houghton, MI 68% 56% 7% Higher Learning Commission

Michigan Technological University offers an online master of health informatics degree for students wanting to assume advanced roles in healthcare organizations. Michigan Tech's online programs do not schedule specific class times, allowing more flexibility for students.

Michigan Tech's health informatics degree offers areas of concentration in health information management, medical decision support systems, medical sciences and management, mobile applications in health, healthcare cybersecurity, and telemedicine and e-health.

  • Program: Masters of health informatics
  • Campus: Houghton, Michigan
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $1,182 per credit
  • Admission Requirements: Official transcripts of records; minimum GPA of 3.0 in undergraduate study; three letters of recommendation; updated resume
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 12 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: N/A
  • School site: Tuition | Financial aid
Drexel University View School Profile Philadelphia, PA 74% 50% 12% Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Drexel University offers an online master of science in health informatics degree that focuses on emerging technology-based roles in the healthcare industry. This accredited online MS program offers courses in healthcare, business intelligence, information technology and systems, and data analytics.

Drexel organizes its health informatics graduate program into four 10-week quarters per year, allowing students to take more courses in a shorter time period. To earn their graduate degree, health informatics students must complete 45 credits of coursework.

  • Program: Master of science in health informatics
  • Campus: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE)
  • Tuition: $1,355 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: Four-year bachelor's degree from an accredited institution; minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0; official transcripts; one letter of recommendation; statement of purpose
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 96% first-time pass rate
  • School site: Tuition | Financial aid
University of Mary View School Profile Bismarck, ND 55% 59% 46% Higher Learning Commission

The University of Mary offers an online master of science in nursing and health informatics program designed for nurses aiming for a career in informatics. Students of this program must complete 38 credits, along with a total of 360 clinical hours.

This fully online MSN program prepares graduates for work as nursing informatics specialists, nursing information systems coordinators, clinical informatics officers, and nursing information project directors. Prospective MSN students should hold a current unencumbered Registered Nurse (RN) license.

  • Program: Master's of science in nursing and health informatics
  • Campus: Bismarck, North Dakota
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $450 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: Official transcripts showing a Bachelor's degree with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75; current unencumbered RN license
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 100% first-time pass rate
  • School site: Tuition | Financial aid
Dakota State University View School Profile $$$ Madison, SD 47% 46% 65% Higher Learning Commission

Dakota State University offers an online master of science in health informatics and information management degree under the College of Business and Information Systems. Students in this program must demonstrate competency in information systems, health care, and statistics.

In addition, DSU requires MSHIIM students to complete 33 credits of core courses and maintain a GPA of 3.0. Graduates of this program take intensive courses in researching, designing, developing, and managing health information systems.

  • Program: Master of science in health informatics and information management
  • Campus: Madison, South Dakota
  • Type: Public
  • Accreditations: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $470 per credit for South Dakota residents; $580 per credit for out-of-state students
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution; minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7; satisfactory GRE scores
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: N/A
  • School site: Tuition | Financial aid
The University of Findlay View School Profile Findlay, OH 61% 51% 32% Higher Learning Commission

The University of Findlay offers a master of science in health informatics program to prepare students for professional roles in emerging healthcare fields. Students in this program also have the option to take courses either fully online or in a hybrid format.

Graduates of UF's health informatics MS degree specialize in the areas of biomedical informatics, genomics, imaging informatics, clinical informatics, population informatics, and telemedicine and mobile computing informatics. This program requires students to complete 33 semester hours of graduate credit to earn their degree.

  • Program: Master of science in health informatics
  • Campus: Findlay, Ohio
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $815 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution; minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0; official transcripts of records
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: N/A
  • School site: Tuition | Financial aid
Regis University View School Profile Denver, CO 69% 47% 63% Higher Learning Commission

Regis University offers an online master of science in health informatics program for students aiming for professional career paths using technology in healthcare settings. This online MS program features a fully online course delivered in eight-week terms.

To earn their degree, students must complete 36 credit hours, including six credits of practicum courses. Graduates of this online MS degree now work as health services managers, clinical informaticists, informatics managers, clinical analysts, and medical data managers.

  • Program: Master of science in health informatics
  • Campus: Denver, Colorado
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: Higher Learning Commission (HLC)
  • Tuition: $845 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: Official degree-bearing transcript; resume; essay; completed online application
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 98% first-time pass rate
  • School site: Tuition | Financial aid
University of New England View School Profile Biddeford, ME 63% 47% 50% New England Commission on Higher Education

The University of New England offers an online master of science in health informatics degree with optional focus areas in healthcare leadership, health data analytics, and training and development. Students can finish this program entirely online without needing to visit campus.

This health informatics MS degree requires students to complete 36 credits of coursework within two years. UNE's online students receive unlimited access to the university's support resources, including 24/7 information technology support, access to library services, and academic support via the Student Academic Success Center.

  • Program: Master of science in health informatics
  • Campus: Biddeford, Maine
  • Type: Private
  • Accreditations: New England Commission on Higher Education (NECHE)
  • Tuition: $750 per credit hour
  • Admission Requirements: Bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited program; 2.75 cumulative undergraduate GPA; computer with internet connection
  • Minimum Time Commitment: 24 months
  • On-Campus Requirements: No
  • School NCLEX-RN Pass Rate: 91% first-time pass rate
  • School site: Tuition | Financial aid

Frequently Asked Questions About Online MSN in Health Informatics Programs


How much does someone with an MSN in informatics make?

Informatics jobs pay well, offering a median annual salary of $85,000. An online MSN informatics program can prepare you for an even more lucrative informatics job, such as chief medical information officer or consultant.

What can I do with an MSN in informatics?

You can use your degree to work for a hospital or health system, identifying ways to improve the organization's efficiency and efficacy. Some graduates find jobs in public healthcare policy, at insurance companies, or with healthcare organizations.

What is an MSN in health informatics?

Students pursuing an MSN in informatics learn to analyze and apply health data to improve patient outcomes. They gain the skills needed to gather, clean, analyze, and report on nursing data and make recommendations based on their combined nursing and analytics expertise.

Are nurse informaticists in demand?

Nurse informaticists are in demand at hospitals and health systems, insurance companies, consultancies, nurse temporary agencies, and government offices. Demand for nurse informaticists is likely to grow as organizations seek to improve safety, efficiency, and patient outcomes.

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