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UM Launches New Online Master’s Degrees in Communication, Nursing Informatics

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     CORAL GABLES, Fla. (October 13, 2015)—The School of Nursing and Health Studies (SONHS) and the School of Communication (SoC) are now registering students for their first, fully online master’s degree programs, with SONHS offering two master’s degrees in health informatics and SoC offering a Master of Arts in Communication Studies. All three UOnline programs launch in January.

    SONHS’s new Master of Science in Nursing—Nursing Informatics (MSN-NI) and Master of Science in Health Informatics (MS-HI) programs are designed to address the increasing demand for qualified health informatics professionals, which, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, will increase by 22 percent by 2020, a growth propelled by the Affordable Care Act and the federal mandate that health care providers use electronic medical records.

    “Health care providers across the nation are seeking professionals with the specialized knowledge to bring them into compliance with new governmental mandates to implement shareable electronic health records,” said SONHS Dean Nilda Peragallo Montano. “We are educating the first generation trained to provide this expertise. Our MSN-NI and MS-HI graduates will be positioned to help lead the transformation of health care delivery in the U.S.”

    The School of Communication’s Master of Arts in Communication Studies program, which will be taught by the school’s world-renowned faculty in a flexible, online format, is geared toward working professionals who want to pursue careers in communication or earn advanced degrees. The course of study is designed to build oral, written, critical thinking, and research skills.

    “In this program students will study conflict resolution, group decision-making, relationship management, persuasion, and much more in courses designed for people who understand that mastering the art and science of communication is key to leadership development,” Dean Gregory J. Shepherd said.

    The 36-credit program can be completed in 24 months. Program graduates can expect to gain a competitive edge in the workplace by improving their communication and leadership skills in the contexts of interpersonal, intercultural, and organizational communication.

    The SONHS’s online degrees target professionals in nursing and health informatics and bring together the knowledge and skills needed in nursing and health care practices to successfully manage electronic medical records. Students will develop competencies to use and apply information and computer sciences to manage and communicate data and information.

    Potential students for the new degree programs include working professionals in the health care and information technology fields, workers already in the informatics field seeking a health care focus, and career changers from diverse backgrounds.

    The two programs will share a common core of five fundamentals courses, but will differ depending on their admission prerequisites. The MSN-NI, which focuses on the role of nursing leadership within clinical informatics, requires an R.N. degree for admission and will educate nurses to use informatics in their daily nursing and nursing management practices. Nursing informaticists work in settings that are directly related to nursing care.

    With a broader scope, the MS-HI program is open to applicants without nursing credentials who seek a career in health informatics. Health informaticists are generalists prepared to work in diverse settings such as pharmacies, hospitals, medical insurance agencies, pharmaceutical companies, and public health agencies. Either program can be completed online in 12 months of full-time study or 24 months of part-time study.

    Applications for the SoC’s Master of Arts in Communication Studies and the SONHS’s MSN-NI and MS-HI programs are now being accepted. Scholarships are available for qualified applicants. For more information, visit or call 888-926-6968 to speak to an advisor.


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