DSU, USD partner for master’s degree in nursing

Dec. 14, 2020

This paid piece is sponsored by Dakota State University.

Devoted. Empathetic. Compassionate. Selfless.

These are just a few words that only begin to describe the admirable 3.8 million nurses nationwide.

Now, these nurses are gaining an opportunity to advance themselves in their field, thanks to a partnership between Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota.

The two universities have come together to create a Master of Science in Nursing, or MSN, with a specialization in nursing informatics and e-health.

“This is a highly valued degree that will be recognized nationally and globally by employers, health care systems and the government,” said Dr. Renae Spohn, director of the Health Information Management, or HIM, program and coordinator for the Master of Science in Health Informatics and Information Management, or MSHIIM, program at DSU.


Set to start in the fall of 2021, the online MSN program will be maintained by USD, with Dakota State providing two classes to enrich students’ learning about health informatics within the nursing field.

The first class is HIMS 742: Health Informatics, Information Systems and Technology.

As a three-credit course, it introduces the discipline of health informatics to students and covers emerging trends. Other topic include how various information systems, technologies and applications are used in the content of health care.

Furthermore, students will gain valuable insight on key information systems, such as electronic health records, health information exchanges, personal health records, public health information systems, mobile health technologies, interoperability and telemedicine.

“Our ultimate goal was to integrate classes from DSU’s MSHIIM program that included the content required for the MSN degree,” Spohn said.

The second class, HIMS 743: Advanced Topics in Health Informatics and Health Information Management, is also a three-credit course. However, this one is set to introduce students to vulnerabilities and risks associated with health care technology security breaches and promote ethical and safe use of health care technologies.

It also will enhance students’ knowledge and skills in electronic health record classification systems, standard nomenclatures, metadata and semantic representation of data, applications, hardware solutions and telecommunications.

“Both classes are a win-win as students from both DSU and USD will expand the richness of interdisciplinary discussion by adding a good mix on the perspectives of nursing with health information management,” Spohn said.

Classes not only will teach students about the characteristics, strengths and challenges within the nursing field but also emphasize the impact this career and its correlating technologies can have on consumers, populations, health care providers and more.

“The MSN degree will add to the nursing workforce shortage by supplying nurses trained in e-health and nursing informatics at the state and national level,” said Dr. Dorine Bennett, dean of the College of Business and Information Systems.

In fact, as business intelligence becomes readily utilized in health care decision-making, having this degree will strengthen a nurse’s ability to work with information technology and integrate better decision-making into nursing workflows.

Another plus: The MSN program builds on the existing Bachelor of Science in Nursing and expands nursing education at USD to meet the growing market demand for graduates with the ability to provide nursing care at an advanced level.

After graduation, students can even use MSN credits toward the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at USD.

“We’re excited to partner with USD for this degree. It will create an awareness of DSU’s MSHIIM program, strengthen our relationship and provide opportunities for partnering on future endeavors,” Bennett said.

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DSU, USD partner for master’s degree in nursing

Nurses: This opportunity could be for you. DSU and USD are coming together to create a master’s degree in nursing with a specialization in nursing informatics and e-health.

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