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The Master of Science degree in Nursing Informatics is a competency-based
program that prepares graduates for a rewarding career as a
specialist in the field of Nursing Informatics. Informatics Nurse
Specialists have the knowledge, skills, and expertise to design,
develop, implement, and evaluate Health Information Systems that
support the delivery of safe, efficient and high-quality healthcare
services. Students in the WGU M.S. Nursing Informatics program apply
systems-thinking strategies to transform data to wisdom for
understanding the determinants and distribution of healthcare needs in
diverse populations. This program prepares students to select and use
contemporary technologies to collaborate with interprofessional teams
for the development and implementation of health education
programs, evidence-based practices, and point-of-care policies.
Through the integration of nursing science, computer science and
information science, students will develop competencies for
performing advanced informatics skills to improve health outcomes,
such as data capture, management, mining, and analysis. This masters
degree program supports students in applying their knowledge and
conceptual understanding of nursing informatics to real-world
situations where the use of information and communication
technologies are essential for delivering and coordinating care across
multiple settings. Graduates of the WGU masters-degree Nursing
Informatics program are prepared to gather, document, and analyze
outcome data that will serve as a foundation for data-driven decisions
that inform practice processes and the implementation of interventions
or strategies to improve healthcare outcomes.
Professional Presence and Influence
Who we are and how we behave affects others. Our professional presence in therapeutic settings can support or inhibit
well-being not only in patients, but also in the rest of the health care team, in the family and support system of the
patients, and in the health care organization as a whole.
This course will help registered nurses manage this impact by recognizing situations and practices that support a positive
environment and cultivating actions and responses to achieve and maintain this environment. The growth of self-knowledge
will expand nurses’ ability to direct influence in ways that are intended rather than in random or destructive
Translational Research for Practice and Populations
This graduate-level course builds on your baccalaureate-level statistical knowledge to help you develop skills in analyzing,
interpreting, and translating research into nursing practice using principles of patient-centered care and applications to
individuals and populations.
Organizational Leadership and Interprofessional Team Development
This graduate-level course builds on baccalaureate-level leadership knowledge to develop application skills in complex
healthcare environments with diverse teams. Graduates will develop knowledge and competencies in the following areas:
Knowledge, skills, and abilities related to creating cultures of safety and leading quality improvement are key parts of this
course and of contemporary leadership. Most importantly, students will develop and establish deep understanding of
leadership roles within organizations, a central theme in the course.
Upon successful completion of this course, Students will demonstrate: critical decision making, critical analysis, and visionary thinking to lead and affect positive healthcare environments;
the ability to build consensus and communicate a compelling vision that facilitates teamwork.
Pathopharmacological Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice
In Pathopharmacological Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice, students will gain application skills by examining
syndromes rather than looking at body systems independently. The course includes pathophysiologies, the associated
pharmacological treatments, and social and environmental impacts. Pathopharmacological Foundations for Advanced Nursing Practice is an integrated examination of five common and
important disease processes:
These processes are relevant to advanced nursing practice because of their prevalence and impact on the healthcare
system and the health of the nation.
Comprehensive Health Assessment for Patients and Populations
In this course, students will learn about the principles of health assessment from the individual to the global level. Students
will learn to perform a comprehensive functional health assessment that includes social structures, family history, and
environmental situations, from the individual patient to the population.
This course builds on prior knowledge gained in previous courses and in nursing practice, in areas such as pathophysiology, pharmacology, and epidemiology, and focus on applying this knowledge in various populations with
common disorders. This course is roughly divided into three parts:
Essentials of Advanced Nursing Practice Field Experience
The Essentials of Advanced Nursing Practice Field Experience course gives you an opportunity to apply leadership
knowledge to evaluate a healthcare facility and then recommend an organizational change to improve population health. In this course you will integrate and apply your learning in a clinical experience working with a nurse leader. You will demonstrate and document the following skills:
Policy, Politics, and Global Health Trends
Social, political, and economic factors influence policies that impact health outcomes in acute care settings in communities,
nationally and globally. Nurse leaders need to understand the determinants of health as well as how legal and regulatory
processes, healthcare finances, research, the role of professional organizations, and special interest groups/lobbyists
impact health outcomes.This course provides a framework for understanding the organization of healthcare delivery and
financing systems in the U.S. and other nations. It addresses how policies are made and factors that influence policies at
local, national, and global levels that impact health/wellness and the nursing profession. The roles of values, ethical
theories, stakeholder interests, research, and recent legislation related to health policy and health outcomes will be
explored. The nurse leader will gain expertise in effecting change through active participation in influencing or developing
policies that impact health.
Advanced Information Management and the Application of Technology
In this course you will examine the complementary roles of the master’s level-prepared nursing information technology
professionals, including informaticists and quality officers. You will analyze current and emerging technologies, data
management, ethical, legal and regulatory, best-practice evidence, and bio-health informatics using decision-making
support systems at the point of care.
Foundations in Nursing Informatics
This course addresses the integration of technology to improve and support nursing practice. It provides nurses with a
foundational understanding of nursing informatics theory, practice, and applications. Topics include the role of nursing in
informatics; use of computer technology for clinical documentation, communication, and workflows; problem identification;
project implementation; and best practices.
Data Science and Analytics
This course addresses the interdisciplinary and emerging field of data science in healthcare. Students will learn to combine
tools and techniques from statistics, computer science, data visualization, and the social sciences to solve problems using
data. Topics include data analysis, database management, inferential and descriptive statistics, statistical inference, and
Informatics System Analysis and Design
In Informatics System Analysis and Design, a broad understanding of data systems is covered to build upon the
Foundations in Nursing Informatics course. The importance of effective interoperability, functionality, data access, and user
satisfaction are addressed. The student will be analyzing reports and integrating federal regulations, research principles,
and principles of environmental health in the construction of a real-world systems analysis and design project. This course
will be directly applicable to healthcare settings as electronic records management has become compulsory for healthcare
providers. All of the information in this course will be directly tied to the delivery of quality patient care and patient safety.
Data Modeling and Database Management Systems
This graduate course is designed to engage the student in planning, analyzing, and designing a relational database
management system (DBMS) for use by nurse administrators, clinicians, educators, and informaticists. This experience will
provide the knowledge needed to advocate for nursing informatics needs within the field of healthcare.
Nursing Informatics Field Experience
In the Nursing Informatics Field Experience, you will complete a hands-on field experience while working with a preceptor
in a setting relevant to your professional situation and nursing informatics. Today’s rapidly changing health delivery system
requires nurse informaticists to be prepared to effectively lead change and facilitate learning that is dynamic and meets the
needs of a diverse student and professional nursing population. To help you develop competency in this area, you will
apply methods and solutions to support clinical decisions and improve health outcomes by designing data collection
instruments, developing a database management system and analyzing data using statistical and geospatial techniques in
a simulated environment.
Nursing Informatics Capstone
The Nursing Informatics Capstone is the final leg in your journey to graduation. During this course, you will demonstrate
the knowledge you gained during this program and the skills you developed during your assessments and field
experiences by completing a comprehensive evaluation of a health information system and developing a multimedia
presentation that reviews and reflects on your learning experiences during the Nursing Informatics Program. This scholarly
presentation is a synthesis that demonstrates the acquisition of nursing informatics knowledge, skills, and competencies.
Your final presentation should demonstrate how the integration of nursing informatics with multiple information and analytical sciences facilitates the transformation of data and information to knowledge and wisdom in nursing practice.
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