Frequently asked questions

Master of Nursing and Master of Science in Health Informatics

Can I enroll directly upon completion of my BSN?

We suggest that students interested in the double degree program obtain two years of post-baccalaureate nursing experience before applying for admission.

What is Informatics? How much experience in informatics do I need to be considered for this program?

Nursing informatics is defined as a "science and practice [which] integrates nursing, its information and knowledge, and their management, with information and communication technologies to promote the health of people, families and communities worldwide" (IMIA,2009). 

Applicants to this program do not need to have experience in informatics, but should have an understanding of the ways in which nursing practice is and will be impacted when working in increasingly technologically-enabled environments.

How much does this program cost?

Contact , for information about the cost of the program.

Can I complete this program on a part-time basis?

No. This is a three year full-time intensive double degree program.

How much computer experience do I need?

We require basic computer literacy to enter the program.

Are all of the required program courses offered by distance?

The double degree option is delivered through a variety of distance learning formats. The School of Nursing courses are delivered mainly by web-based asynchronous learning, while the School of Health Information Sciences courses are delivered primarily through synchronous learning sessions. 

There are some one- or two-week elective courses offered during the summer on campus. There is also a mandatory onsite orientation in Victoria at the beginning of the program.

Can the co-op portion of this program be completed in locations other than Victoria? May they be completed at my current place of employment?

Yes. Co-op work terms can take place in many locations across the country. Most students choose options close to where they live.

Co-op placements can be health authorities, provincial ministries, non-profits, federal agencies or private companies. Students plan with a co-op coordinator in advance of the co-op term to select options that meet student learning needs. Travel is sometimes required.

Occasionally students can undertake a co-op work term in their place of employment.

What is the timeline to complete this program?

The double degree program is structured to support student program completion within three years.

Can I do a project instead of a thesis?

Yes. This program requires a completion of a total of 31.5 units of study, including a research project or thesis. Completion of a Master's degree with thesis is encouraged for students intending to pursue Doctoral studies.

Do you accept international applicants for this program?

Yes, international applicants will be considered for this program.

It is expected that students will maintain active licensure as a registered nurse in the jurisdiction of their place of permanent residence.

How does this differ from the Advanced Practice Leadership, Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Educator options?

The double degree program is very different than other Master of Nursing options as the students obtain a Master of Nursing degree and a second degree, a Master of Science in Health Informatics.

The double degree prepares the graduate as an advanced professional in two completely different (though related) content areas -- nursing and informatics. The double degree is for a student who is a nurse interested in making a career of dealing with the issues in practice that address electronic health records, health information, and e-technologies. 

Students in health information science look at issues of computerized records, documentation, decision supports (that help clinicians make the right decisions about care options), and human factors processes that help us design systems that improve quality/efficiency and prevent errors (processes like computerized physician order entry for medications; transferability of records across care environments, medication order dispensing and administration systems,).

Master of Nursing students approach nursing in an advanced-practice nurse role with ability to reflect and understand nursing, guide nursing practice and evaluate nursing care. Put together in the double degree program, the graduate can move into practice settings and be a 'bridge' between the information science world (those people who design systems and expect clinicians to use them) and the nursing leadership world (those people who guide nursing services in provision of care). 

Another distinction between this program and the other nursing options is the fact that double-degree students complete two cooperative experiences, in order to develop informatics skills and competencies. These co-op terms are 13-week full-time experiences, taking place in the summer of the first year of the program and most often in the spring or summer of the second year. In co-op placements, students are paid a stipend for their work.

Students in the double-degree program have two faculty supervisors: one from Nursing and and one from Health Information Science, and must write a thesis for graduation.

Can I combine other Advanced Practice Nursing options with the Informatics Degree to obtain a more specialized double degree?

No. The double degree option is for a Master of Nursing and Master of Science in Health Informatics only.