Nurse working on computer and taking notes

Undergraduate Certificate inNursing Informatics

Program summary

Learn to support the implementation and use of informatics tools in technology-rich health care environments. The curriculum in this online certificate program includes courses on electronic health records, clinical decision support tools, and other topics geared specifically for registered nurses.

Application deadline

Apply by August 18 to start August 26

Credits and costs

9 Credits$626/$671 per credit

Become Proficient in Information Technology for Health Care with a Certificate in Nursing Informatics

This is a 9-credit course series designed to provide you with informatics knowledge and to prepare you to support, promote, and assist in the implementation and efficient, ethical, and safe use of informatics tools in information- and technology-rich health care environments. Courses in the certificate emphasize the use of informatics tools, such as electronic health records, clinical decision support tools, database management and data mining, patient safety technologies such as Bar Code Medication Administration (BCMA), RFID technologies, and smart pumps.

Through this dynamic curriculum, you can learn new skills, including system evaluations, quality improvement, and patient safety, to support organizational knowledge management and to promote public health.

Why Penn State World Campus?

Earn a renowned credential — The Undergraduate Certificate in Nursing Informatics is an outreach program of the highly respected Penn State Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing and delivered online through the innovative World Campus.

Build a solid foundation — As you work to complete the nursing informatics certificate program, you can apply 6 of the certificate credits toward electives in Penn State's online RN to BSN degree. In addition, courses in the certificate program may satisfy continuing professional education requirements.

Usable skills — The 9 credits in the online nursing informatics certificate include course work in electronic health records, clinical decision support tools, and database management. You can learn the type of information that you can apply immediately to demonstrate your competency and advance your career.

Flexibility — The online learning format offered by Penn State World Campus makes it possible for you to fit a degree program into your life, even with your current responsibilities. The flexibility of studying when and where you want can give you the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge you need to stand out among your peers.

Who Should Apply?

If you have a valid RN license and wish to enhance your professional credentials or take courses that will provide an introduction to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree program, Penn State Ross and Carol Nese College of Nursing's online nursing informatics certificate program was designed for you.


The online nursing informatics certificate is a 9-credit program of study, which may be earned as part of the RN to BSN program or as a stand-alone certificate. To earn this certificate, you must successfully complete a grade of "C" or better.

Note: The curriculum in Penn State's online nursing informatics certificate will help prepare you for national certification and you will receive a certificate from Penn State upon successful completion of the courses. However, you will still need to pass the official certification exam and meet all of the eligibility requirements in order to be awarded the national credential.

Prescribed Courses (9 credits)

  • 3

    An introduction to nursing informatics focusing on technology applications to the nursing profession.

  • 3

    A case-based collaboratory designed for the exploration and analysis of the ethical dilemmas facing health care informatics practitioners.

  • 3

    An exploration of clinical informatics tools to support informatics practice.

Course Availability

If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.

Costs and Financial Aid

Undergraduate Tuition

Undergraduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register and the number of total credits you have accrued at or transferred to Penn State.

Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.

2023–24 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2023, spring 2024, and summer 2024 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$626 per credit$671 per credit
12–19$7,602 per semester$8,206 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

2024–25 Academic Year Rates

Tuition rates for the fall 2024, spring 2025, and summer 2025 semesters.

How many credits do you plan to take per semester?If you have 59 or fewer creditsIf you have 60 or more credits
11 or fewer$632 per credit$678 per credit
12–19$7,678 per semester$8,288 per semester

Undergraduate students taking more than 19 credits will be charged the flat tuition rate plus the regular per credit hour rate for each credit above 19. 

Paying for Your Certificate

Students pursuing a certificate are considered "nondegree," a status that is not eligible for federal student aid, including the Federal Direct Stafford Loan program. A private alternative loan may be an option to consider.

Additionally, Penn State offers many ways to pay for your education, including an installment plan and third-party payments. Penn State World Campus also offers an Employer Reimbursement and Tuition Deferment Plan. Learn more about the options for paying for your education.

Students pursuing a degree and meeting all other eligibility requirements may qualify for financial aid.

Financial Aid and Military Benefits

Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.

To view the detailed list of cost of attendance elements, select “World Campus” as the location on the tuition site.

How to Apply

Deadlines and Important Dates

  • Fall DeadlineApply by August 18 to start August 26
  • Spring DeadlineApply by January 1 to start January 13
  • Summer DeadlineApply by May 5, 2025, to start May 19, 2025

All supporting materials should be sent following the submission of your application.

For current and future course registration deadlines, visit the Registrar's website to view the academic calendar by semester

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, email
[email protected]
or call 814-865-1146.

Admission Requirements 

To apply for this program, you must be a high school graduate, or have completed your GED.

Additionally, persons who want to enroll in any or all of these courses must be a currently licensed registered nurse.

Technical Requirements 

Review the technical requirements for this program.

Ready to Learn More?

Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.

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Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State undergraduate certificate?

Apply by August 18 to start August 26. How to Apply 

Start or Advance Your Career

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You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.

Career Opportunities for Graduates

Steady job growth in health care is projected for the next several years. As a graduate of the nursing informatics certificate program, you could obtain a position within the informatics area of various organizations, including:

  • hospitals
  • corporate offices of health care systems
  • consulting firm or health care vendor
  • home health agencies
  • managed care or insurance companies
  • government military facilities

Career Services to Set You Up for Success

Student having a virtual meeting on a laptop with a career counselor

From the day you're accepted as a student, you can access resources and tools provided by Penn State World Campus Career Services to further your career. These resources are beneficial whether you're searching for a job or advancing in an established career.

  • Opportunities to connect with employers
  • Career counselor/coach support
  • Occupation and salary information
  • Internships
  • Graduate school resources 

Contact Us

For questions about admissions and applications, please contact World Campus Central:

World Campus Central
Phone: 814-865-1146
[email protected]


  • Darlene Clark, RN

    • Degree
      MSN, Penn State
    • Degree
      BSN, Penn State

    Darlene Clark's teaching interests include physical assessment; legal, ethical, and genetic issues in nursing; the senior clinical capstone experience; Women's Leadership Initiative faculty liaison; and fundamentals of nursing. Her research interests center on the nursing shortage and labor-management cooperation in the nursing workplace, in both the United States and in Scotland.

  • Lisa Firestine, RN

    • Degree
      MSN, Indiana University
    • Degree
      BSN, University of Michigan

    Lisa Firestine has been a nursing instructor with Penn State World Campus since 2008. Prior to joining World Campus, she taught in a traditional classroom at Penn State University Park, as well as at Purdue University. She has taught courses in medical-surgical nursing, health assessment, nursing ethics, informatics, nursing research, and leadership. She has also developed several electives in such areas as medical-surgical nursing, critical care nursing, and health assessment. Her thesis focused on the relationship between perceived threat, coping, and coping effectiveness of individuals with coronary artery disease. She has also published in the area of psychosocial issues in cardiac patients.

  • Mary Alyce Nelson

    • Degree
      DNP, Penn State
    • Degree
      MSN, Bloomsburg University
    • Degree
      BSN, Villa Maria College

    Dr. Mary Alyce Nelson is the coordinator of the Penn State World Campus RN to BSN program and an assistant professor/undergraduate nursing coordinator at Penn State University Park. She has held various administrative roles in inpatient, outpatient, and educational settings, and her areas of expertise are mental health and health care leadership. Her research area of interest is alternative models of mental health treatment in rural outpatient clinics.


Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State undergraduate certificate?

Apply by August 18 to start August 26. How to Apply