Nurse informaticists help bridge the gap between medical knowledge and the information technology realm, assisting with the management of electronic health records systems as well as other medical information systems. Those who wish to pursue this field professionally should consider earning a post-graduate certificate in the field of nurse or health-care informatics. In this article, you can learn more about some common admission requirements to these graduate certificate programs, as well as some academic courses that enrolled students might take.
Graduate certificates in informatics are usually designed for those with prior training in the field of nursing, and applicants must hold an unrestricted RN license. Typically, students are required to hold a minimum of a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN). Some programs also recommend a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) or a master's degree in a closely related area. Transcripts from undergraduate and graduate schools should be provided to the certificate program. Frequently, applicants will be requested to submit a resume, recommendations, and an essay or personal statement.
A graduate certificate in nurse or healthcare informatics typically requires four to five courses as well as a practicum to gain hands-on experience. Programs are available in online or campus-based options. Some academic courses that students might encounter during their graduate certificate program include:
Technical Solutions for Health Care
Technical solutions for health care courses can act as an introductory course in the role of a nurse informaticist. Students may gain knowledge of the components of computer technology and the different functions of IT systems. How these components relate to health care is likely to be discussed as well.
Database Systems in Health Care
A course of this nature may provide an introduction to the creation and management of health care database systems. Specific topics might include query language, database security, and modeling of data. The application of databases to health care questions could be addressed.
Nurse informaticists must often take a leadership role in new projects in the implementation and improvement of electronic health records and other information technology solutions. A project management course may introduce students to needs identification, costing, and vendor management. Project management software might be used.
Systems Analysis and Design
In a systems analysis and design course, students may think about the different aspects of information systems. Students are likely to evaluate and analyze a range of systems, and consider how they will interact within a larger context. Current trends in health informatics might be considered as well.
Patient Engagement and Connected Health
One of the advantages of well-managed health information systems is the ability to support patient engagement to manage their own health care. A course of this nature may consider the different tools that are available for consumers. Issues of concern with customer-facing systems, including privacy and legal considerations, might be addressed as well.
Registered nurses with a BSN might consider earning a graduate certificate in nursing informatics. In a graduate certificate program, students might encounter courses about database management and patient engagement.