Nursing Informatics Certificate

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Information technology innovations in health care have led to an increasing demand for nursing specialists with a firm grounding in informatics. This certificate was created to meet that growing need.


Health care organizations across industries are rapidly adopting electronic information systems. This trend has created tremendous opportunity for informatics nurse specialists in a range of disciplines—from health care organizations to firms that develop and sell health care information technology. With the Certificate in Nursing Informatics (NI), you’ll be able to provide leadership in the conceptualization, design, and research of computer-based health care information systems in virtually any setting.

The NI certificate will prepare you to enhance the quality of patient care and outcomes through the assessment, development, implementation, use, and evaluation of information tools. If you’re a nurse with a master’s degree in another specialty area or field, the Nursing Informatics certificate program will provide you with essential knowledge and skills in nursing and health care informatics, allowing you to support evidence-based practice and improve patient care. This rigorous certificate program is based on UMSON’s established NI master’s program.

The certificate is offered entirely online except for the practicum hours that need to be completed in a select setting. For out-of-state students, practicum sites will be arranged where they reside.

Program Details

Sample Plans of Study

Spring Matriculation

Semester 1 (Spring)
NURS 786 Systems Analysis and Design 3
NURS 736 Technology Solutions for Generating Knowledge in Health Care 3
Semester II (Summer)
NURS 785 Health Care Database Systems 3
Semester III (Fall)
NURS 784 Information Technology Project Management 3
NURS 737* Nursing Informatics Concepts and Practice in Systems Adoption 3
Semester IV (Spring)
NURS 738* Practicum and Health Informatics 3/4**
 Total Credits 18/19**

Fall Matriculation

Semester 1 (Fall)
NURS 736 Technology Solutions for Generating Knowledge in Health Care 3
NURS 784 Information Technology Project Management 3
Semester II (Spring)
NURS 786 Systems Analysis and Design 3
Semester III (Summer)
NURS 785 Health Care Database Systems 3
Semester IV (Fall)
NURS 737* Nursing Informatics Concepts and Practice in Systems Adoption 3
Semester V (Spring)
NURS 738* Practicum and Health Informatics 3/4**
 Total Credits 18/19**

*Denotes courses that must be taken in this program. No waivers or transfer credits accepted.

**For students admitted spring 2014 and later, NURS 738 is 4 credits, making the certificate 19 credits total. 


NURS 736 Technology Solutions for Knowledge Generation in Health Care

This introductory course builds knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to work in an information technology enabled health care environment. It focuses on the analysis and application of information technologies that support the provision of care including social context, availability of technology, and type of information along with social-technical, legal, regulatory, and ethical concerns. Emerging technologies and contemporary issues are highlighted.

NURS 737 Nursing Informatics Concepts and Practice in System Adoption

This second-level nursing informatics course is designed to further develop the skills of information technology applications introduced in NURS 736 and to emphasize the principles and practices of nursing and health care informatics. The organizing framework introduced in NURS 736 is continued, with themes of social context, technology, information, and nursing and health care. Functions of the informatics nurse specialist, including system selection, implementation, research, and evaluation are explored in depth. Organizational theories are considered in relation to information system planning, implementation, and evaluation. In addition, the analysis of health care data and its language, the management of ongoing information systems for health care, and the use of technology standards in system development are examined. The impact of information systems on health care provider roles and on emerging information technology roles is also analyzed.

NURS 738 Practicum in Nursing and Health Informatics

Practical experience in selected agencies/businesses with preceptors reinforces and enhances the skills needed by informatics nurse specialists to analyze, select, develop, implement, and evaluate information systems that impact nursing and health care. Experiences also allow students to analyze the information technology roles of their preceptors. Experience in project management, consultation, user interface, systems design, evaluation of system and role effectiveness, and application of research skills are emphasized. During the practicum, students will work with informaticians who are functioning in the field of nursing/health informatics. Students will be assigned to health care agencies, health care information technology businesses, or health care consulting firms for the practicum.

NURS 784 Information Technology Project Management

The course provides an overview of the methodologies, procedures, and politics for the management of projects in the health care information technology marketplace. It provides a practical examination of how projects can be managed from start to finish, including specific emphasis on planning to avoid common pitfalls. Topics include essential project management concepts of needs identification, scope identification, scope change management, project planning, scheduling, resource allocation, roles, responsibilities, communication, work management, and what to do when challenges arise. The course will be based on a model for health care informatics practice and students will learn to plan, organize, direct, and control information technology projects.

NURS 785 Health Care Database Systems

This course addresses how data are captured, stored, structured, processed, and retrieved. The content will include relevant examples and practical applications of database design, construction, implementation, and maintenance within a health care context. Central topics include database design, data structures and modeling, development of database management systems, manipulation of data within a database using query languages, database security, and using a database to address relevant problems in varied health care settings. As a project-based course, students will be expected to design and implement a small scale database system to be deployed in an applied health care environment.

NURS 786 Systems Analysis and Design

Information systems development is a process in which technical, organizational, and human aspects of a system are analyzed and changed with the goal of creating an improved system. In spite of the advanced technology surrounding computer-based information systems, the process of systems analysis and design is still largely an art. There is a high dependence on the skills of individual analysts and designers even though there are established principles, methods, and tools. This course will give students an understanding of the most common tools, techniques, and theories currently used in systems analysis and design.


  Eun-Shim Nahm, PhD, RN, FAAN
Specialty Director, Nursing Informatics
  Arpad Kelemen, PhD
Associate Professor

Charlotte Seckman, PhD, RN-BC
Assistant Professor 

Admissions Requirements

The NI certificate program is open to individuals who meet the criteria below. The program may be completed through either full- or part-time study.

You should have:

  • A BS degree in nursing and a master’s degree in nursing or a different field, or applicants may be currently enrolled in a graduate program at the University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) and have completed a graduate-level research core course. Accepted graduate students may complete the certificate concurrently with their graduate studies.
  • An active U.S. registered nurse license for the state in which their practicum is located
  • A cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 for their undergraduate and graduate programs (strongly preferred)

To apply, please submit:

  • Official transcripts for all institutions of higher education they attended
  • Two recent professional references (in PDF format)
  • Professional résumé
  • Statement of goals and objectives

International Applicants

Only international students who are currently enrolled in a UMSON degree program can apply for the certificate program.

What You'll Do

After completing the Certificate in Nursing Informatics, you'll be able to:

  • Analyze nursing information requirements and design system alternatives
  • Manage information technology
  • Identify and implement user training strategies
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of clinical and/or management information systems