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Best BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics Online Programs For 2021


Written By: Darby Faubion BSN, RN

Are you a registered nurse with a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a love of computer technology? Do you enjoy working with interprofessional teams and like the idea of transforming healthcare using digital technology? If you answered yes to these questions, pursuing one of the best BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics online programs for 2021 shared in this article could be a great career move for you! Students in online BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics programs learn to lead teams of healthcare providers with up-to-date information technology that links patients, healthcare providers, researchers, and the public, resulting in improved patient outcomes and overall public health.


What Exactly Is A BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics Program?


Nursing informatics is a nursing specialization that involves information, computer, cognitive and decision science combined with nursing science. BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatic Programs are programs designed to provide baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses the education they need to earn a terminal degree in nursing, the Doctor of Nursing Practice, and specialize in Nursing Informatics. In these programs, students gain skills to promote consumer health, enhance the delivery of patient care, use nursing research and information technology to provide education to healthcare professionals and clients.


3 Reasons Why You Should Pursue BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics Programs


If you are considering a career in nursing informatics, you may be wondering if it is a good choice and why. Maybe you are curious if a BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics program will help you reach your goals. Here are three reasons why pursuing BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics Programs could be a good career move.

1. You can leverage your degree to negotiate an excellent salary. Depending on the degree and specialty area, nurses can be among the highest-paid healthcare professionals. Programs like the BSN-to-DNP in Nursing Informatics online programs featured in this article prepare students with the level of expertise necessary to balance technical skills with medical and nursing knowledge. These skills are essential for nursing informatics specialists. As such, you may find that you can use your skills and experience to negotiate a salary you are happy with.
2. Have a career with high job satisfaction ratings: Finding a job that leaves you feeling satisfied or well-accomplished means a lot, especially if you hope to find long-term employment in one field. According to the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society’s 2020 Nursing Informatics Workforce Survey, more than seventy-five percent of nurse informatics specialists are “highly satisfied” with their careers. Online BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics programs are an excellent path for baccalaureate-prepared nurses to reach a doctorate in nursing and specialize in a concentration that offers job satisfaction.
3. Variety in Job Choices: As a graduate of any of the available BSN-to-DNP in Nursing Informatics online programs, you will find there are many settings in which to find work. Nurse Informaticists work in hospitals, multi-facility health systems, private or government health agencies, critical care centers, and more.


How Long Are BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics Online Programs?


BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics online programs typically take from two and a half to four years to complete. However, the decision to enroll part-time, the need to repeat a course or semester, or taking time off from a program may extend the time it takes some students to graduate. Below is a list of the featured programs in this article and information about how long each one takes to complete.

Students at the University of Minnesota can earn a BSN-to-DNP with Nursing Informatics concentration in as few as three years of full-time study. Part-time students typically complete the program in four years.

The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee also offers three- or four-year study plans for its BSN-to- DNP-Nursing Informatics program.

At Nova Southeastern University-Florida, the BSN-to-DNP program with Nursing Informatics specialization is formatted to be completed in nine semesters.

Full-time students in the BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics online program at the University of South Alabama can typically graduate in ten semesters. Part-time students may take up to twelve semesters. However, the university allows students up to seven years to complete the program in its entirety. The master's portion of the program must be accomplished within five years of matriculation.


How Much Do BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics Online Programs Cost?


The four accredited BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics programs online featured in this article cost between $33,000 and $112,000. As you research programs, keep in mind that some schools combine tuition and fees in the estimated costs they publish. Others may provide a cost estimate that includes separate rates for tuition and applicable fees. Students may have to pay standard fees or expenses, including the cost of criminal background checks, drug tests, immunizations, physicals, technology fees, and related program fees.

The following list reflects the estimated cost of the programs featured in this article.

1. The University of Minnesota provides international scholarly collaboration and leadership through the Center for Nursing Informatics and offers one of the best BSN-to-DNP programs for aspiring nursing informatics students. Per the University of Minnesota Board of Regents, the estimated cost of attendance is $1,003.00 per credit, an average of $67,201 for the program.

2. The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee calculates tuition on a per-credit basis, and rates differ for resident and non-resident students. The average tuition for Wisconsin state residents is $884.44 per credit hour, and non-resident students pay $1,723.99. This rate includes an Instructional Technology fee of ten dollars per credit earned in the online program. This sixty-five credit hour program ranges from $57,488.60 to $112,059.35, depending on the student’s state residency status.

3. The pathway for baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses at Nova Southeastern University-Florida to earn a DNP with Nursing Informatics concentration requires students to earn a Master of Science in Nursing en route to the Doctor of Nursing Practice. NSU Florida's tuition rate is $750 per semester credit hour, making the cost of the sixty-nine-credit program approximately $51,750.

4. At the University of South Alabama, tuition and fees are combined for online graduate students and are $525 per credit hour. The BSN-to-DNP program consists of sixty-four credits of coursework, making the program's total average $33,600.


Coursework


BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics online programs include in-depth coursework that covers a broad array of topics. In these programs, registered nurses with a BSN transition from an undergraduate degree to a terminal graduate degree as a Doctor of Nursing Practice with a specific concentration on Informatics in Nursing. Coursework includes topics such as Healthcare Policy and Advocacy, Systems Management, Healthcare Organizations & Delivery Systems, Health Law and Ethics, and Data Management & Design.

The following are examples of coursework students in our featured programs may be required to take.

• The University of Minnesota

Ranked #2 by U.S. News and World Report’s Best Grad Schools ranking, the University of Minnesota offers one of the best online BSN-to-DNP programs in Nursing Informatics. Graduates of the program are prepared to become part of an interprofessional team of computer technology staff, clinicians, and administrators equipped to transform healthcare using digital techniques and tools. The curriculum for the program consists of sixty-seven credit hours of coursework.

Sample Coursework:

◦ Quality Improvement & Implementation Science in Healthcare
◦ Health Innovation and Leadership
◦ Knowledge Representation and Interoperability
◦ Economics of Healthcare
◦ Human Factors and Human-Computer Interaction in Health Informatics

• The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

The accredited BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics online program at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee offers online course delivery combined with relevant clinical practice hours. The sixty-five-credit hour program prepares students for systems technology leadership positions.

Sample Coursework:

◦ Advanced Perspectives on Cultural Diversity and Disparities in Healthcare
◦ Epidemiological Principles for Population Health
◦ Information Systems for Clinical Decision-Making
◦ Translational and Implementation Science
◦ Theoretical Foundations of Advanced Nursing

• Nova Southeastern University-Florida

The BSN-to-DNP program at Nova Southeastern University-Florida is designed for baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses who want to advance their careers with a terminal degree. The program allows students to earn a master's and a doctorate in nursing together.

Sample Coursework:

◦ Survey of Biomedical Informatics
◦ Information Systems Project Management and Leadership in Healthcare
◦ Database Systems in Healthcare
◦ DNP Role in Healthcare Policy and Advocacy
◦ Clinical Decision Support Systems

• The University of South Alabama

Another of our featured programs is found at the University of South Alabama. Students enrolled in this nursing informatics program here complete all core and specialty MSN coursework, DNP Core, DNP Project Planning and Development, and a DNP Residency, totaling sixty-four credit hours.

Sample Coursework:

◦ Health Data Security and Computers
◦ Nursing Administration Finance
◦ Clinical Prevention and Population Health
◦ Informatics and Quality of Care Improvement
◦ Health Data Management and Decision Support Systems


Clinical Practicum


DNP typically follow clinical guidelines set forth by the DNP Essentials established by the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. The Essentials state that programs should provide at least 1,000 post-baccalaureate clinical hours to meet DNP competencies as part of a supervised academic program. Schools are within their right to designate the minimum number of acceptable clinical hours and how those hours are achieved. However, it is unlikely that post-baccalaureate students will be allowed to complete less than 1,000 hours minimum suggested by the DNP Essentials. The following paragraphs provide information about the clinical practicum requirements for each of the online BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics programs mentioned in this article.

The faculty of the BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics online program at the University of Minnesota arranges clinical hours for program participants. Students complete at least 1,000 clinical hours, including 160 hours devoted to a Scholarly Project, to meet graduation criteria.

As part of the BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, students are required to complete 1,000 hours of clinical practicum. Five hundred hours are earned in clinical practice and another five hundred in clinical leadership.

The BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics program at Nova Southeastern University-Florida (NSU Florida) requires students to accomplish a minimum of 1,000 post-baccalaureate clinical hours. Students complete at least five hundred clinical hours in the MSN portion of the program and another five hundred clinical hours in the DNP portion.

At the University of South Alabama, the BSN-to-DNP online Nursing Informatics program does not require a dissertation or thesis. Students are, however, required to complete the DNP Residency Coursework, which includes DNP Project Planning and Development, Residency I, II, and III. Students must submit an evidence-based DNP Scholarly Project that results in a quality improvement change and significant impact on patient and healthcare outcomes.


Admission Requirements


Admission to BSN-to-DNP online Nursing Informatics programs can be competitive. Most programs have minimum admission criteria that are similar, like the list below. However, it is crucial to verify the requirements for each program to which you plan to apply.

Minimum Admission Requirements Typically Include:

◦ Complete an accredited Bachelor of Science in Nursing program
◦ Hold a current, unencumbered license to practice as a registered nurse
◦ Submit official transcripts from all post-secondary schools
◦ Provide letters of professional reference
◦ Demonstrate English Language Proficiency
◦ Personal Essay or Statement of Goals

While all of the BSN-to-DNP online Nursing Informatics programs in this article share the minimum admission criteria listed above, they also have other requirements for admission.

The following are a few examples of additional requirements for admission.

1. The University of Minnesota

◦ Have a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 for most recent degree
◦ Provide a resume or curriculum vitae (preferred) with detailed professional activities and accomplishments

2. The University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee

◦ Have at least one year of clinical experience relevant to the specialty
◦ Complete an undergraduate statistics course with a minimum grade of “B” within the previous five years

3. Prospective students who wish to enroll in the BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics online program at Nova Southeastern University-Florida obtain their MSN and DNP together. Applicants must first be accepted to the MSN program and then to the DNP program when the MSN portion is complete.

◦ Show proof of a minimum 3.0 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale for baccalaureate-nursing coursework
◦ Provide a Statement of Goals in APA 6th Edition format that discusses personal and professional goals related to earning a DNP and a problem/issue relevant to the applicant’s professional practice that needs to be addressed from the perspective of a DNP

4. The University of South Alabama

◦ Applicant must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States
◦ Must have two years of nursing experience relevant to the specialty area
◦ Must be in good standing with all academic institutions/nursing programs they have previously attended to be considered for admission




FOLLOWING ARE THE 4 BEST BSN-TO-DNP NURSING INFORMATICS ONLINE PROGRAMS IN THE NATION FOR 2021


1. University of Minnesota - Minneapolis, MN


2. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee - Milwaukee, WI


3. Nova Southeastern University - Ft Lauderdale, FL


4. University of South Alabama - Mobile, AL




Career Opportunities After Graduating with This Degree


After graduating from any of the accredited BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics online programs, career opportunities may seem endless. A few examples of career opportunities for DNP-Informatics Nurses include the following.

• Senior Clinical Informatics Specialist: These individuals leverage clinical and informatics knowledge, utilizing best practices and standards to design and maintain system solutions. The Sr. Clinical Informatics Specialist acts as a liaison between a healthcare facility's IT and clinical departments.
• Nursing Informatics Specialist: Collaborates with clinical nursing and IT to facilitate clinical nursing-related informatics projects and initiatives; Works with IT and nursing teams to develop and deliver training materials and update policies and procedures
• Clinical Informatics Educator: Responsible for providing support and hands-on training to clinical staff regarding Electronic Medical Records and other computerized programs to ensure optimum utilization; addresses corporate concerns about clinical system changes and determines who needs education; conducts training for new users for computer technologies systems.
• Clinical Informatics Coordinator: In this position, the informatics nurse facilitates and promotes the use of information technology by physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, and other clinicians; assists in the development of training and orientation of new users to information systems, promotes communication within the healthcare team that supports competency with computer technology across the healthcare system.


Earning Potential for Graduates of This Degree


BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics online programs create excellent earning opportunities for graduates. Per data from ZipRecruiter, the average annual income for DNP-Informatics Nurses is $102,230. In many positions, nurses with this degree may see a salary increase of $4,000 to $6,000 with every five years of work experience.

Hourly$49.15
Monthly$8,520
Annual$102,230
(Source: Ziprecruiter.com)


Job Outlook for Graduates of This Degree


The Electronic Medical Records Mandate requires all healthcare providers to convert all medical records to a digital format. With the EMR Mandate, and as healthcare systems increasingly rely on information technology to run smoothly, it is natural to expect a favorable job outlook for graduates of BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics online programs. Evidence to support this can be found on the professional social platform LinkedIn, where there are currently over one thousand jobs posted for Informatics Nurses.


Bottomline


If you are a registered nurse interested in working in a non-clinical role and interested in computer technology, a career as a DNP-Informatics Nurse could be a perfect fit for you. The best BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics online programs for 2021 featured in this article offer the opportunity for baccalaureate-prepared registered nurses to earn a doctorate in nursing with an Informatics specialization.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


Is it better to enroll in BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics online programs part-time if I need to plan to continue working?

Working while enrolled in any college program is a personal decision, but one that you should consider carefully. BSN-to-DNP programs, like the ones mentioned in the above article, require a heavy course load and completion of DNP/Scholarly Projects, which may demand a great deal of your time.

Can I get financial assistance to help pay for BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics programs online?

Absolutely! There are several avenues through which you may get financial assistance to help pay for a BSN-to-DNP Nursing Informatics program. Some options include federally secured grants and loans, personal loans, and employer-sponsored education plans. If you feel you may need help paying for the program, it is good to apply early to prevent delays in your start time.


Darby Faubion BSN, RN
Darby Faubion is a nurse and Allied Health educator with over twenty years' experience. She has assisted in developing curriculum for nursing programs and has instructed students at both community college and university levels.