Nurses Can Prepare for Informatics Career With New Penn State Program

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Registered nurses who want to work in the rapidly growing field of electronic health records and data management can prepare with Penn State’s new Nursing Informatics certificate program, delivered online by Penn State’s World Campus.

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Informatics is the direction of the future for health care. Nurses who have this added credential will be in high demand.

As hospitals and health organizations move from paper to electronic health records, a new profession is emerging. Nursing informatics combines nursing, computer and information sciences for managing and communicating information to benefit patients. Registered nurses (RNs) who want to prepare for this new health care role can earn a Nursing Informatics certificate online through Penn State’s World Campus.

“Informatics is the direction of the future for health care,” said Madeline Mattern, coordinator for Outreach Programs and instructor in Penn State’s School of Nursing. “Nurses who have this added credential will be in high demand.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects job opportunities for RNs will grow 22 percent this decade. Some of these jobs will be in informatics, requiring nurse informaticists to use electronic health records, clinical decision support tools, database management and data mining, and patient safety technologies to improve patient care.

Penn State’s School of Nursing offers the 9 credit undergraduate certificate program, which is delivered online through the World Campus. The courses provide an introduction to nursing informatics, an exploration of ethical challenges in health care informatics and an examination of clinical informatics tools. Six of the 9 credits also can be applied toward electives in Penn State's online RN to B.S. in nursing degree.

Nurses who earn the certificate will be prepared for nursing informatics positions in hospitals, corporate offices of health care systems, consulting firms and health care vendors, home health agencies, managed care or insurance companies, and government agencies and facilities.

Applications are being accepted for summer and fall courses in the Nursing Informatics certificate program. Visit the website online or via smartphone for information.

Penn State World Campus specializes in adult online education, delivering more than 70 of Penn State’s most highly regarded graduate, undergraduate and professional education programs through convenient online formats. Founded in 1998, Penn State World Campus is the University’s 25th campus serving more than 10,300 students in all 50 states and around the world. World Campus is part of Penn State Outreach, the largest unified outreach organization in American higher education. Penn State Outreach serves more than 5 million people each year, delivering more than 2,000 programs to people in all 67 Pennsylvania counties, all 50 states and 115 countries worldwide.

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Deborah A. Benedetti