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Master of Science in Health Informatics

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M.S. Degree Requirements

The M.S. in Health Informatics requires completion of an approved curriculum with a grade-point average of B or above, a capstone project, and a general oral examination. The program’s goal is to educate professionals in health informatics who have skills in analysis, design, implementation, and evaluation of information systems that support a full range of clinical and patient care functions. Working as a translation specialist, the graduate is prepared for entry and mid-level positions with IT departments, medical practice departments, advanced nursing departments, public health organizations, and as consultants and/or staff in organizations that specialize in computer operations and knowledge management. Graduates also have the skills to enter the growing field of health information exchange, which includes regional health information organizations and the emerging personal health records field. In addition to a foundation in information technology, students acquire special skills in organizational change, project management, and impact evaluation.

Program Components

Students in health informatics complete 40 credit hours. The curriculum is divided into 3 cores: informatics, leadership, and discipline focus (matching that of the faculty partners). Many of the courses are online. A strength of the program is the close relationship between the student and faculty adviser. The student and adviser develop a plan of study that meets the student's career goals. The program concludes with a capstone project and a practicum, which combines research with hands-on experience and provides an opportunity for students to take advantage of the resources at numerous clinical and business partners.

Health Informatics Core

The health informatics core courses (17 credit hours) provide the core knowledge and skills essential to the practice of health informatics. Courses in this area are IPHI 850, IPHI 851, IPHI 852, IPHI 853, IPHI 854, and IPHI 856.

Discipline-Specific Core

Courses in this category (8-10 credit hours) are determined by the adviser and the student based on the student's background and career goals.

Leadership Core

The following courses qualify for credit toward the leadership selective requirement (8-10 required credit hours). The student must take 1 course in health policy; there is a choice of 2 courses to meet this requirement. Courses that may be taken in this category are NRSG 808, HP&M 837, NRSG 820, HP&M 833, NRSG 880, HP&M 840, NRSG 885, NRSG 882, and HP&M 850.

Research

Research courses focus on the ability of the nurse to understand and use research and to participate in the development of new knowledge in nursing and health care. Courses in this category are NRSG 754 or HP&M 819 plus a capstone project. 5 credit hours must be taken.

Capstone Project

The student must complete a capstone project for 2 credit hours. The project involves applying aspects of the research process to the student’s area of health informatics practice. A number of options are available for the project.

Flexible Scheduling

Most students in the M.S. program attend part time. Most are employed full time. Therefore, many courses are offered online. In addition, most on-campus classes are scheduled to accommodate employed students. These flexible schedules allow students to combine graduate study with work responsibilities.

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