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The Best Online MSN in Health Informatics Programs

Joey Morris
Updated April 8, 2024
Reviewed by
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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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Are you ready to earn your online nursing degree?

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If you are passionate about healthcare and love data and analytics, you might consider a career as an informatics nurse. Informatics nurses analyze medical data from various sources to identify improvement areas and find solutions.

Nurses who receive their master of science in nursing (MSN) degree gain advanced training in diagnostics and prescribing medication as well as “soft skills” like critical thinking. Many MSN programs provide a special focus on nursing informatics.

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 easy for you to choose the best option for you.

Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

Our methodology is based on metrics that we believe matter most to students, including: academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings.

At a Glance: The Top Online MSN in Health Informatics Programs

  1. Rutgers University–New Brunswick
  2. Western Governers University
  3. University of Utah
  4. Excelsior College

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

See our methodology to learn more about how we create our rankings.
#1 The Best Online MSN in Health Informatics Programs

Rutgers University-New Brunswick

  • Location-markerNew Brunswick, NJ
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$12,230
  • Out-of-state$29,012
  • Retention Rate93%
  • Acceptance Rate67%
  • Students Enrolled50,411
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment33%
  • AccreditationYes
#2 The Best Online MSN in Health Informatics Programs

Western Governors University

  • Location-markerSalt Lake City, UT
  • 4 year
  • Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$6,380
  • Out-of-state$6,380
  • Retention Rate75%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled147,866
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment0%
  • AccreditationYes
#3 The Best Online MSN in Health Informatics Programs

University of Utah

  • Location-markerSalt Lake City, UT
  • 4 year
  • Campus + Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$7,412
  • Out-of-state$26,017
  • Retention Rate89%
  • Acceptance Rate79%
  • Students Enrolled33,081
  • Institution TypePublic
  • Percent Online Enrollment90%
  • AccreditationYes
#4 The Best Online MSN in Health Informatics Programs

Excelsior College

  • Location-markerAlbany, NY
  • 4 year
  • Online
Average Tuition
  • In-State$0
  • Out-of-state$0
  • Retention Rate0%
  • Acceptance Rate0%
  • Students Enrolled21,974
  • Institution TypePrivate
  • Percent Online Enrollment0%
  • AccreditationYes

How We Rank Schools

We use a data-driven methodology to rank the best MSN in health informatics programs, making it easy to find a program that meets your needs. Informed by data from the most reputable sources, including the U.S. Department of Education, our methodology is based on metrics that matter most to nursing students, including academic quality, affordability, reputation, and program offerings. This ranking is from 2023.

Using Our Rankings: What To Look For in an Online MSN in Health Informatics Program

When you’re ready to apply for an online MSN in health informatics program, check the program’s curriculum, accreditation, graduation rate, and admission requirements. These factors help determine whether the program is right for you and are key elements in our program rankings.

Admission Requirements

Admission requirements suggest how likely you are to be admitted to an MSN informatics program, and how challenging the program may be. These requirements also indicate what the school values in its students and usually require a minimum GPA.

Program Curriculum

The program’s curriculum tells you specific information about the concepts and skills taught, so you can decide if the program gives you the skills needed to pursue your desired career.

Practicum Experience

Health informatics practicums may be online or in-person. Check the program’s practicum format, whether the school will help you find a placement in your area, and if the requirements fit into your schedule.


Enrolling in an accredited school is important since it can affect your eligibility for financial aid. Many healthcare employers require that applicants graduate from accredited programs.

If you attend an accredited program, you will have more job opportunities, more financial aid opportunities, and more academic opportunities to transfer credits or continue your education. All programs that NurseJournal.org ranks are accredited.

Program Length

Most MSN in health informatics programs have between 35-40 credits and take 24 months to complete if you take them full-time. Full-time enrollment may include summer terms, so if you don’t take summer courses, you may take longer to finish.

School Graduation Rate

School graduation rates tell you how well the program supports students on their path to success. A high graduation rate tells you that most students have enough support to complete the program.

Online Learning Format and Requirements

Many online MSNs in informatics programs feature flexible formats to 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.

Featured Online MSN Programs

Learn about start dates, transferring credits, availability of financial aid, and more by contacting the universities below.

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Why Is Accreditation Important for an Online MSN in Health Informatics Program?

The Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM) accredits health informatics programs. CAHIIM’s Health Informatics Accreditation Council (HIAC) is made of subject matter experts who review programs to determine whether they meet accreditation requirements.

Accreditation shows that a program prepares students for a profession by meeting rigorous education standards. Ensure your program is accredited by the CAHIIM because attending an accredited program can make it easier to receive financial aid, transfer credits, continue your education, and find a job. Other benefits of accreditation include:

  • Many state boards require graduation from an accredited school to apply for licensure.
  • 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.

How Online Health Informatics MSN Programs Work

Most accredited online MSN programs in health informatics take 24 months to complete if you enroll full time. The full-time schedule may require summer semesters. If you choose not to take summer classes or take fewer classes per semester than recommended, you will take longer to finish.

Programs have between 35-40 credit hours and between 130-150 practicum hours. Unlike in-person classes, online courses can be:

  • chevron-rightAsynchronous, which allows you to complete coursework whenever your schedule allows
  • chevron-rightSynchronous, which requires you to log in and attend lectures at the same time as your classmates

Practicums can be completed online or in-person at a clinical site near you. Most programs require you to earn an RN license in the state where you live or work to help you complete practicum hours locally.

Check with your program to see if they’ll help you find a clinical site, or if you have to find your own clinical site and get it approved.

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 Requirements: Unrestricted RN license in state or NCSBN jurisdiction where you live or work, BSN-degree
  • Admission Materials: Criminal background check, application fee between $50-$75, official college transcripts from all universities attended, statement of purpose
  • GPA Requirement: 3.0

Paying for Online MSN in Health Informatics Programs

The same financial aid options apply to distance learners 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 students 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.

What Can You Do With an MSN in Health Informatics?

An MSN in health informatics teaches you how healthcare and information technology intersect. This degree prepares you to collect, analyze, manage, and report on data. You’ll take courses such as managerial health finance, systems analysis and design, and a health informatics practicum.

Then, you’ll learn how to use that knowledge to implement programs, manage projects, or suggest changes to current practices. Your work will improve workflow, healthcare costs, and patient care.

After graduation, you may find a position at a hospital or healthcare system as a nursing informatics specialist, clinical analyst, or director or manager of clinical informatics.

The average salary for nursing informatics specialists is $84,109, according to 2024 estimates from Payscale. Nursing informatics specialists may earn more if they have an informatics certification, 11 or more years of experience, and a doctoral degree.

According to the 2023 Nursing Informatics Workforce survey from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, 60% of nursing informaticists reported earning a base annual salary of $100,000 or more. This includes:

of nursing informatics specialists with 11 or more years of experience

of doctoral degree holders

of certified nursing informatics specialists

Frequently Asked Questions About Online MSN in Health Informatics Programs

What is an MSN in health informatics?

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

How much does someone with an MSN in informatics make?

The average annual salary for nurse informaticists is $84,109, according to current Payscale data. Further, 60% of nurse informaticists reported earning at least $100,000 annually.

What can I do with an MSN degree in nursing informatics?

Graduates can pursue jobs as nurse informaticists, clinical informaticists, and chief medical officers. These people collect, analyze, manage, and report data. They need communication, problem-solving and identification, and data management skills. Hospitals and healthcare systems usually hire these roles.

Are nurse informatics professionals 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.

Related MSN and Health Informatics Resources

Last Reviewed on April 8, 2024. Note: The ranking list and school descriptions on this page were created and reviewed independently by our Rankings Team.