Earn an affordable MSN designed for nurses who love technology as much as they love nursing.

If you love technology as much as you love nursing, choosing Aspen’s CCNE-accredited RN to MSN program with an Informatics specialization is the perfect path.

The field of Nursing Informatics is rapidly growing. With that growth is an increasing demand for the adoption of electronic information systems and specialists who understand industry-standard tools and software.

Your ability to gather and analyze data can directly improve the health of individuals and populations.

This program prepares you for a range of employment areas including hospitals, government organizations, health insurance providers, medical vendors, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, and consulting firms.

This specialization equips students with:

  • Ability to manage resources
  • Skills to interpret and analyze data (not crunching numbers)
  • Knowledge of information security
  • Data analytics skills
  • Understanding of legal, ethical, and public issues
  • Comprehension of regulations, privacy, security, fraud issues
  • Market-relevant knowledge and practical experience

Aspen MSN (Informatics) graduates can:

  • Solve health care and nursing problems with computers
  • Create projects geared toward the graduate’s passion
  • Develop computer-based solutions to common nursing issues
  • Use data to improve care management
  • Impact implementation, optimization, workflow, and patient safety
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of clinical and/or management information systems
  • Leverage clinical knowledge with data-driven insights
  • Manage regulatory compliance

Is this program for me?

If you are an RN who does not yet have a BSN – and need an accredited, adaptable, and affordable online MSN program – then this program is for you!

What is the Capstone Project?

This degree program requires the successful completion of a capstone project. It provides you the opportunity to demonstrate your competency and commitment to ultimately improving health outcomes. Be proud of your Capstone and show off your knowledge!

Practicum courses are performed within a clinical practice or academic setting allowing students to apply concepts under the direct supervision of a Preceptor.

Other RN-MSN Specializations

Download the 2018 MSN Handbook

Download the 2018 MSN Preceptor Handbook

Admission Requirements

  • Application – A completed application.
  • Associate Degree in Nursing – Official transcript demonstrating an associate degree in nursing (ADN or ASN) or diploma in nursing, from an institution that is accredited by a CHEA recognized accrediting body or an international equivalent, with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or greater.
  • Registered Nurse Licensure – Current, unrestricted licensure as a registered nurse in the United States, a US territory, or Canada. Registered nurses licensed outside of these areas are not eligible.
  • Nursing Experience – A minimum of one year of nursing experience completed within the past five years.
  • Liberal Arts Courses – Completion of 50 semester credit hours of liberal arts education coursework. Students who are short liberal arts credits may take liberal arts courses while enrolled in the program. All required liberal arts courses must be completed prior to registering for the bridge proctored exam.
  • Military Documentation (Optional) – A copy of the most recent orders; or a copy of DD214 (This can be requested from the National Archives.)

Courses:

    Issues and Trends in Professional Nursing analyzes the impact of economic, demographic and technological forces on health care delivery, and the concerns relating to ethical, legal, and social issues that influence nursing practice. A historical background gives perspective to current nursing problems, and future trends are considered in terms of their impact on roles and practice. Issues impacting professional nursing are examined within a framework set forth by the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) five core competencies on quality and healthcare. The potential transformation of nursing practice in response to societal changes will be explored as well as the new opportunities these challenges have for career development.

    3 Credits
    Required Books

    Concepts and Theories in Nursing provides an introduction to theory and reasoning in nursing. The significance of theory for nursing as a profession is explored, thus providing students with a foundation for professional nursing practice and research. This course provides an overview of theory, theory development, important nursing theories and nursing theorists, as well as a method for critiquing theory. Students are guided to develop a foundation of reasoning skills that are necessary to integrate the components of knowledge, skills, values, meanings, and experiences into nursing practice.

    3 Credits
    Required Books

    N492 Community Health Nursing I provides a solid foundation in community and public health nursing concepts and interventions for individuals, families, and communities. Various roles of the nurse are explored in relation to primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention with target populations across the lifespan. The impact of political, economic, social, environmental, and cultural concerns on the health of populations is examined. Health promotion and disease prevention concepts are integrated into the multifaceted role of population-focused, community-oriented nursing practice. This course requires 20-30 hours of practicum experience.

    3 Credits
    Required Books

    Essentials of Nursing Research introduces the steps of the research process and the role of research in the practice of professional nursing. The methods and analytical tools required to critically evaluate nursing research literature are emphasized. Quantitative and qualitative approaches are highlighted. The focus of this course is on accessing and analyzing current nursing research literature to enable the professional nurse to apply research to current practice and issues. The skills of using technology to locate research information are developed, and the essential role of databases is explored. An understanding of ethical research practices is explored. This course prepares students to be critical consumers of evidence based research, and serves as a foundation for graduate-level nursing research courses.

    3 Credits
    Required Books

    N493 Community Health Nursing II builds upon the foundation provided in N492 Community Health Nursing I.  From a theoretical and scientific framework, the concepts of epidemiology and disease transmission, comprehensive assessment of risk factors and health problems, program planning and intervention, environmental health, and collaboration with the interdisciplinary team are explored. The clinical component focuses upon developing and evaluating health promotion programs, family assessment, community assessment, and community-based home care within the context of the community. The nursing process is applied with the goal of promoting and preserving the health of populations. This course requires 70-100 hours of practicum experience.

    3 Credits
    Required Books
    Prerequisites: N492

    Health Assessment focuses on the complete health assessment, the nursing process, and its relationship to the prevention and early detection of disease in diverse patients across the life span. The process of health assessment is introduced, including: interviewing, history-taking, and physical assessment. Health assessment occurs within the context of the family and community and incorporates cultural and developmental variations and needs of the patient. Normal findings and cultural and age variations are emphasized. Incorporated throughout the course is the importance of communication and collaboration with patients and health care professionals. This course prepares the professional nurse to apply the concepts, knowledge and skills necessary to complete a health assessment for patients in all age groups, emphasizing the major elements, sequence and methodology of health assessment. This course also serves as a foundation for a graduate-level health assessment course.

    3 Credits
    Required Books

    Nursing Leadership and Management provides broad and comprehensive coverage of leadership and management theories and processes that are critical to the creation of a work environment that is efficient, cost-effective, and committed to quality nursing care. The emphasis is on understanding the key skills employed by highly successful nurse leaders/managers such as critical thinking, effective communication, conflict resolution, successful delegation, team building, controlling resources, quality improvement, stress management, utilization of information technology, and leading change.  Students are engaged with opportunities to participate in learning activities that integrate knowledge about the activities, roles, and responsibilities of nurse managers/leaders and enable students to practice conceptual, technical, and interpersonal management and leadership skills. This course prepares the student for an entry position into the professional nurse manager role, and serves as a foundation for graduate-level leadership and management courses.

    3 Credits
    Required Books

    This graduate-level course introduces students to the historical development, structure, operation, and current and future directions of the major components of the American health care delivery system. It reviews the historical evolution of the health care system's features and examines the ways in which health care services are organized and delivered, the influences that affect health care public policy decisions, factors that determine priorities for the allocation of health care resources, and the relationship of health care costs to measurable benefits. The course enables students to assess the role of organized efforts to influence health policy formulation, and the contributions of medical technology, research findings, and societal values on our evolving health care delivery system.

    3 Credits
    Required Books

    This graduate-level course in theory and research for advanced nursing practice is designed to develop and refine the knowledge and skills necessary to critique theory and research from nursing and related fields. The focus of this course is on the examination of the research process with applicability to advanced nursing practice. Emphasis is placed on the critique, evaluation, and utilization of nursing and related research that applies to advanced nursing practice and a comprehensive approach to care. Ethical and technological aspects of scholarly inquiry are explored. This course supports the development of the research design, theoretical framework, methods of analysis, and creating an abstract for the capstone project proposal.

    3 Credits
    Required Books

    This graduate-level course provides an in-depth study of cultural diversity, delineating ethnocultural congruent health-care practices in a pluralistic society. Assessment, planning, and interventions for health promotion and maintenance, illness and disease prevention, health restoration, and health policy are explored. The course examines the meanings of health and illness across ethnocultural groups and communities.

    3 Credits
    Required Books

    This graduate-level course focuses on the legal and ethical rights, responsibilities, and obligations of the practicing nurse in a changing health environment. It is intended to provide graduate nursing students with the theory, knowledge and application necessary to deal with pressing legal and ethical issues in nursing practice. Learners will develop a framework for working through increasingly complex legal and ethical issues that affect nurses. This framework and broadened perspective will help practitioners recognize and respond to dilemmas within diverse health care settings and nursing roles. This course will provide an overview of regulatory action and the legislative and judicial processes, enabling learners to become familiar with changes affecting the health care system such as patient rights, technological advances, and managed care. Within an ethical framework, ethical and professional issues affecting the individual, the practice of professional nursing, and the profession will be explored.

    3 Credits
    Required Books

    This graduate-level course covers the history of healthcare informatics, current issues, basic informatics concepts, and health information management applications. Health informatics is the intersection of information science, computer science, and health care. It deals with the resources, devices, and methods required to optimize the acquisition, storage, retrieval, and use of information in health care settings. Health informatics tools include not only computers but also clinical guidelines, formal medical terminologies, and information and communication systems. This course focuses on the application of health care informatics from a nursing perspective. Based on the Foundation of Knowledge model, this course demonstrates how nursing and healthcare informatics relate to knowledge acquisition, knowledge processing, knowledge generation, knowledge dissemination, and feedback, all of which build the science of nursing.

    3 Credits
    Required Books

    This graduate-level course will help nurse managers to understand and implement processes for management of financial issues in health care. Finance is a complicated and frequently confusing part of providing healthcare in the United States. Regulatory bodies, multiple payer sources, and complicated reimbursement schedules are just of few of the things that contribute to the state of healthcare finance in the 21st century. This course will introduce the concepts of reimbursement based on meeting the needs of the client rather than meeting the bottom line. Budgetary considerations, cash flow, cost to benefit analysis, and salaries are discussed in a forthright and comprehensive manner. Understanding how clients view healthcare and then understanding the role of healthcare payment will assist nursing leaders to make quality decisions that will benefit the patient and the facility. This course will assist the nurse manager to implement financial considerations into quality patient care.

    3 Credits
    Required Books

    This course imparts valuable insight into the planning, organizing, and controlling of user services. Managing the essential technologies as well as the management of the traditional information systems development process is explored. This course also incorporates investigation into organizational learning curves, dealing with vendors, budgeting, accounting, management reporting, and legal considerations of information systems (IS). Each module in this course melds textbook material with additional content from external resources. This course addresses issues and strategies enabled through creative exercises and brief research projects designed to help students synthesize new learning and apply the concepts presented. Each encourages critical thinking about the subject matter. A broad range of analysis and synthesis skills, such as inference, recognition of assumptions, deduction, evaluation of arguments, and interpretation are enlisted through such project-oriented assignments. Investigating articles and case studies that present timely and different approaches to information systems management assists in emulating real MIS challenges. Discussion questions afford online interactive students the opportunity to exchange ideas with peer learners on current topics concerning this dynamic field.

    3 Credits
    Required Books

    In this course we will provide you with both a strong foundation for understanding what is meant by information technology and the business side of managing it. We will explain information technology in the context of organizations and their use of it. This course focuses on business pressures and the strategies used to counter them, especially through the use of Web-based strategic information systems.

    3 Credits
    Required Books

    The relationship between technology-based products and the consumers of these products comes under investigation in this course. This course also teaches methods for designing, developing, and delivering technology-based products that can solve real-world problems. Students will examine best practices for integrating technology solutions and metrics managers can apply to measure the return on an IT investment. Throughout the course, students will learn skills they can use to increase their own creative skills.

    3 Credits
    Required Books

    This course will build on previous informatics knowledge to apply problem-solving skills to complex nursing informatics problems. Healthcare organizations face many issues that will be covered in this course including interoperability, integration, health information exchange, and electronic health records. Applying successful solutions through the lens of quality, meaningful use, education, public health and evidence-based practice will be emphasized. 

    3 Credits
    Required Books

    This graduate level course focuses on the implementation of the specialist nurse role through the application of theoretical concepts and strategies for a selected learner population in an academic, legal, or clinical setting. Emphasis is on effective communication and sensitivity to varying needs of the learner based on cultural and educational background. The specialist nurse role will be analyzed and applied in collaboration with a master's prepared nurse preceptor with experience in the specialty. Evidence-based strategies will be developed into a comprehensive activity or teaching plan to engage learners in active learning and implemented to meet mutually determined outcomes. Activities might include, but are not limited to: creating toolkit of resource references, developing a PowerPoint®   or Prezi® for presentation, creating a survey to measure satisfaction with activity, attending professional meetings, writing a publishable article, presenting a topic to patients, creating a webinar, delivering a training module to staff nurses, developing software to meet a need, creating a Review of Literature, developing an advocacy agenda, or proposing a change in process or procedure. This course requires 180 hours of practicum experience. PLEASE NOTE: PRIOR to registering for this class, all required practicum documents must be submitted to the Nursing Practicum Center classroom and approved by the NP Coordinator. Please contact npcoordinator@aspen.edu if you have questions. 

    3 Credits
    Required Books

    The purpose of this individualized learning experience is to enable you to develop an original comprehensive nursing research project on a topic of professional or personal interest. This project-based course is intended to enable you to research, design and develop a substantial original applied project of your own authorship. This project is intended to encourage the application of theories, principles, and processes that you have studied in the Aspen graduate courses to an actual nursing related problem or issue of interest and relevance to you in your professional activities. PLEASE NOTE: Students cannot start the Capstone concurrently with the Practicum, as the Capstone is based upon the data collected from the Practicum.

    3 Credits