Ready to make a difference in patient care and your career? Harness your passion for nursing, data, and technology to improve healthcare delivery.
Recent healthcare legislation has called for more widespread use of information technology to enhance the quality of patient care. Because nurses are at the center of care coordination for patients, knowledge and competence in nursing informatics is becoming increasingly important in the healthcare field. With this specialization, you can study how technology systems and workflows can improve and expedite communication and patient data. Coursework in the Nursing Informatics specialization focuses on such key areas as information systems, database concepts, effective project management, information protection, and knowledge management in a healthcare practice setting. Fieldwork experience provides you with the opportunity to use your new knowledge in a real-world environment.
The RN Track is for registered nurses who hold a hospital diploma, associate degree in nursing, or bachelor’s degree (other than BSN).
This track requires that you fulfill general education requirements. Once you meet these requirements, you can begin the foundations courses for the MSN.
If you already hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), see the BSN Track.
This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of your time to completion, call an enrollment specialist at 855-646-5286.
|Course Code||NURS 3101||Course||Issues and Trends in Nursing||Credits||(6 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 3151||Course||Foundations of Nursing Research||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 4211||Course||Role of the Nurse Leader in Population Health||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 4006||Course||Topics in Clinical Nursing||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 4221||Course||Leadership Competencies in Nursing and Healthcare||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6002/6003||Course||Transition to Graduate Study for Nursing||Credits||(3 cr.)|
In this course, students are provided with an overview of the evolution of nursing as a profession and introduced to their new role as scholar-practitioners. They examine changes in the U.S. healthcare delivery system, the importance of information technology, and measures that promote quality, safety, and better health outcomes in patient care. Students consider major issues and trends in contemporary nursing and healthcare practice, including the influence of socioeconomic, ethical, legal, and political variables and professional values. Through weekly discussions and assignments, students explore and share personal experiences in the context of contemporary nursing issues, such as the nursing shortage, workforce challenges, healthcare financing, professional organizations, and diversity. They are challenged to examine and propose solutions to these nursing issues in addition to those in their workplace. Students reflect on Walden's mission of social change and its impact on their future nursing practice as a scholar-practitioner. Because this is the first nursing course within the RN/BSN program, students learn to use Walden University's resources to enhance writing skills. Students are also introduced to the tools essential to success at Walden.
Nurses must understand research in order to effectively participate in the provision of evidence-based nursing care. Students in this course learn the foundational elements of the research process, refine information-literacy skills, and develop an understanding of ethical research. Students investigate each step of the research process and complete a critical examination of quantitative and qualitative research relevant to their nursing practice. Students are given the tools to analyze nurse-sensitive indicators and clinical practice guidelines.
Students in this course focus on application of theories and concepts from nursing and public health sciences in assessing health status; preventing and controlling disease; and promoting a healthier population by working with families, aggregates, communities, and healthcare systems. Students apply systems thinking by using epidemiological and community assessment techniques to examine populations at risk, health promotion, and levels of prevention with special emphasis on ethnically diverse and vulnerable populations. Major local, state, and national health issues are considered, including communicable disease, chronic illness, environmental and occupational health, bioterrorism, emergency and disaster preparedness, and response. Practice experiences provide learning experiences in population-based health promotion by collaborating with interdisciplinary public health partners in a local community. (1 credit of practicum equates to 72 clock hours of student practice experience hours.)
Nurses play a critical role in the care of patients with major acute and chronic health problems. They are accountable for clinical outcomes and for promoting quality and safety in patient care through the use of information technology. Students in this course will examine their role in the evaluation of nurse-sensitive indicators, standards, and core measures to develop an evidence-based practice approach to care. Students explore the relationship of genetics and genomics to health and illness as well as infection-control issues. The nurse's role in palliative and end-of-life care and complementary and alternative therapies is also explored. Students apply course concepts and demonstrate an understanding of nursing interventions and agency policy to improve nursing practice.
Contemporary nurses who wish to influence the current healthcare system must equip themselves with the knowledge and competencies to lead in times of pressure, constant change, and innovation. Quality Improvement science provides a rich set of tools and techniques and has been adopted by most nursing leaders. Nurses are expected to lead with quality improvement knowledge and competencies. Students in this course work toward gaining these skills by focusing on real practice problems and developing evidence-based solutions. They also learn skills and techniques in team building; strengthening interpersonal, communication, and interdisciplinary collaboration; promoting meaningful use of data to gauge improvements and problem solving; translating day to day practice problems to long term strategy for organizational growth; and identify strategies to manage organizational change. Students apply course concepts through case studies. Through this practice experience, students gain professional knowledge from nursing leaders in practice the application of quality improvement science. (1 credit of practicum equates to 72 clock hours of student practice experience hours.)
In this course students are introduced to Walden University and online learning. Students explore strategies for the successful participation in an online curriculum. Students also will receive a foundation for academic and professional success as scholar-practitioners and social change agents. Course assignments introduce students to resources that support success, development of graduate-level writing skills and use of APA Style, academic integrity, and the creation of a professional development plan based on each student’s chosen specialization.
|Course Code||NURS 6050||Course||Policy and Advocacy for Improving Population Health||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6051||Course||Transforming Nursing and Healthcare Through Technology||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6052||Course||Essentials of Evidence-Based Practice||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6053||Course||Interprofessional Organizational and Systems Leadership||Credits||(5 cr.)|
In today's rapidly changing healthcare delivery system, decisions made within the political arena impact the future of health delivery systems, healthcare professionals, and the populations they serve. In this course, students examine the policy process and its impact on healthcare delivery, cost, quality, and access. Students examine the importance of getting healthcare issues on federal and state agenda, investigate governmental response through legislation and regulation, and identify where they can advocate for positive outcomes in program/policy design, implementation, and evaluation. Global health issues are examined for their relevance and impact on the development of the nurse advocate. Through discussions, reflection, case studies, and the application of professional communications techniques as political tactics to influence policy outcomes, students demonstrate integration of policy decision-making into professional nurse practice for the benefit of individuals and populations.
Nursing informatics is essential to the provision of effective and efficient care. This course examines nursing informatics as a nursing competency and a nursing specialty. Students examine the role of the nurse informaticist in current practices related to the collection, access, and use of health information and knowledge, as well as the implementation of clinical systems. Through this course, students gain an understanding of how informatics is used to improve advanced nursing practice and healthcare outcomes across organizations, public health, and consumer health settings.
Nurses base practice on sound and tested evidence to ensure the safety, high quality, and cost-effectiveness of patient care. This course provides students the opportunity to gain a better understanding of evidence-based practice (EBP) and how it interacts and aligns with research and quality improvement. Students will examine how to use databases to discover evidence and how to apply their knowledge of research methodologies to critically appraise literature. They will also examine opportunities to strengthen their synthesis and integration skills to determine whether a change in practice is needed, based on a body of evidence. Through exploration of implementation, evaluation, and dissemination strategies, students will explore the intricacies of leading and mentoring change within an organization to enhance nursing practice.
Students in this course will develop leadership skills to transform nursing and adapt organizations in response to the turbulent healthcare environment. They will develop and apply theory-based leadership competencies to create the organizational cultures needed to achieve quality patient outcomes. Students will also explore evidence-based strategies to create healthy work environments that empower nurses and build collaborative interprofessional teams.
|Course Code||NURS 6401||Course||Informatics in Nursing and Healthcare||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6411||Course||Information and Knowledge Management||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6421||Course||Supporting Workflow in Healthcare Systems||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6441||Course||Project Management: Healthcare Information Technology||Credits||(5 cr.)|
|Course Code||NURS 6451||Course||Evaluation Methods for Health Information Technology||Credits||(5 cr.)|
Nursing informatics is a rapidly evolving discipline that impacts all areas of nursing practice. Students in this course establish foundational knowledge for understanding and practicing nursing informatics in healthcare settings. Students increase their awareness of the innovative ways the informatics discipline is helping transform healthcare policies and procedures by appraising the many roles of nurse informaticists. Students explore models and theories that support nursing informatics and examine the use of information technology in support of decisions that promote safety and quality in patient-centered care. They also differentiate concerns about information protection and system integrity. Using concepts learned in the course, students engage in assignments through which they focus on healthcare applications, thus acquiring necessary skills to improve the management of healthcare through nursing informatics practice.
Effectively managing healthcare data is essential to the practice of nursing informatics. In this course, students examine database systems, including database design and manipulation. Students also explore concepts of information and knowledge management in the healthcare practice setting. Course assignments provide students with the opportunity to work efficiently in teams and build essential skills to execute database design. Through this course, students examine nursing's contributions to knowledge management in healthcare organizations.
Nurses are at the center of care coordination for patients, and informatics nurses are central to the design and development of information systems that support workflow in nursing practice. This course examines the analysis, design, development, and implementation of electronic information systems in health care. Students compare, contrast, and critique methods of system design. Course assignments focus on workflow modeling in systems design, including assessment of current-state workflow and design of future-state workflow. Through this course, students have the opportunity to apply workflow design best practices to support the implementation and optimization of electronic health records.
Project management is the foundation of healthcare information technology and the implementation of electronic health records. In this course, students learn the foundational principles of health information technology project management and apply it to real-world experiences. Using project management software, students create a project management plan and schedule, and they control and close tasks related to a health informatics project. Through projects and applications, students build skills and confidence that support the implementation of healthcare information technology to improve the quality of care and patient outcomes.
Healthcare policy, including the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (2009) and Meaningful Use demand that electronic documentation systems are interoperable, integrated, and effective. In this course, students explore the history, process, and methodology in evaluation of healthcare informatics. Through discussion of real-world practice that includes public health and community-based settings, students evaluate the impact of the implementation of information technology throughout the organization. Students create a plan for systems evaluation. Through individual applications, they build skills and confidence that support collaborative, interdisciplinary system evaluation plans to improve the effectiveness of care.
|Course Code||NURS 6461||Course||Capstone Synthesis Practicum||Credits||(5 cr.)|
Students in this course apply the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) curriculum experience by translating knowledge into practice through participation in professional activities and the development of a culminating project. Students apply theory, principles, and concepts related to their area of specialization in order to enhance nursing practice and promote positive social change.
*The baccalaureate degree program in nursing (BSN), master’s degree program in nursing (MSN), and Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) program at Walden University are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (www.ccneaccreditation.org). Officially recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a national accreditation agency, the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) is an autonomous accrediting agency, contributing to the improvement of the public's health. CCNE ensures the quality and integrity of baccalaureate, graduate, and residency programs in nursing.
Note on Field Experience and Relocating
Students who are considering relocating are advised to contact their Student Success Advisor prior to any decision to relocate in order to determine how relocation may impact progress in their program. Advisors can provide information and guidance on how relocating may result in possible changes, restrictions, and/or additional requirements affecting field experience. Each Board of Nursing and Higher Education Authority governs the field experience rules and regulations in their respective states, and students may be unable to complete field experience in the state in which they plan to relocate. While Walden is committed to working collaboratively with students to secure field sites across the United States, it is imperative that students contact their Student Success Advisor immediately when considering relocating.