15 Leading Professors of Nursing Informatics

At the point where health information technology meets advanced nursing lives nursing informatics. From computer systems that allow better healthcare access to doctors in remote areas to unique procedures for sharing and disseminating vital health information, nursing informatics professionals are bringing timely, accurate and secure information dissemination into the 21st Century, and thereby changing the way that patients are treated every day, for the better.

As with every field of study that lies along the razor-sharp edge of technology, information and system relevance changes at lightning speed. In order to get the best education, it is important to take courses from the professors who are on the front lines of this exciting new field of study. These 15 professors are the ones who are literally writing the textbooks that define nursing informatics and paving the way for the next generation of scholars and practitioners to advance the profession and improve patient outcomes through faster, more reliable delivery of nursing and healthcare information.

Dee McGonigle


Chamberlain College of Nursing - Downers Grove , IL

Dr. McGonigle is an internationally-known professor of Nursing Informatics, teaching in the MSN degree program and directing the Virtual Learning Experiences at Chamberlain College of Nursing. She also co-edited the award-winning text Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge with Dr. Mastrian, and is a Co-Founder and Past Editor-in-Chief of the Online Journal of Nursing Informatics (OJNI), and a Fellow of the American Association of Nursing (FAAN).

Kathleen Hunter


Chamberlain College of Nursing - Downers Grove , IL

Kathy Hunter brings over 40 years of experience as a nurse and researcher to her high-impact classes. Her focus is on nursing informatics system engineering, design, development, and implementation. She co-chaired the first Education Work Group of the Computer-Based Record Institute and has held several influential positions in the healthcare technology sector. She currently teaches and acts as Director for the MSN Degree Program at Chamberlain in addition to being the Director of Research for the American Nursing Informatics Association (ANIA). 

Susan Bakken


Columbia University - New York , NY

Dr. Bakken is an alumni professor of Nursing and current professor of Biomedical Informatics at Columbia. She is also the Director of the Center for Evidence-Based Practice in the Underserved and Reducing Health Disparities Through Informatics (RHeaDI) training programs. She has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles relating to nursing informatics and biomedical technologies. Bakken is currently the President of the American College of Medical Informatics (2015-2016). Her teaching has received numerous awards, including the Pathfinder Award from the Friends of the NINR in 2010. 

Patricia C. Dykes


Harvard University - Boston , MA

Dr. Dykes has received numerous awards for her research, service, and innovation in the field of health information management. Her work with tailored fall risks interventions earned the Rita D. Zielstorff Nursing Informatics Leadership Award (2014), the Biomedical Research Institute Research Excellence Award (2010), and the Richard Nesson Award for Innovation (2011). Her books on integrating clinical pathways and electronic records are some of the most widely-used guides in the U.S., Asia, and Europe.  

Sarah Collins


Harvard University - Boston , MA

Dr. Collins is one of the brightest rising stars in the Nursing Informatics field. In 2011, her combined paper with L. Mamykina, D. Jordan, D. Stein, A. Shin, P. Reyfman, and D. Kaufman earned her the prestigious Harriet H. Werley Award for best research paper.  Collins' courses specialize in the transition of patient records from nursing staff to doctors in intensive care units.

Kathleen Mastrian


Pennsylvania State University - Shenango , PA

Dr. Mastrian teaches Introductory Nursing Informatics, Ethical Challenges in Healthcare Informatics, and Introduction to Nursing Research at Penn State. She is also the acting Campus Coordinator for the Shenango Campus. Her research and publication prowess has led her to become the Senior Managing Editor for the Online Journal of Nursing Informatics. She has authored 4 online courses for Penn State’s World Campus in addition to the seminal text, Nursing Informatics and the Foundation of Knowledge, for which she won the 2014 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Award.

Willa Fields


San Diego State University - San Diego , CA

Dr. Fields is a professor in the Graduate Nursing Leadership in Health Systems program at SDSU in addition to being a very active member of the HIMSS. Not only did she act as the Chair of the HIMSS Board of Directors in 2012, but she was the recipient of the 2013 HIMSS Nursing Informatics Leadership Award. She is also a notable speaker and was asked to present her Impact of a Computerized Medication Safety System Interface on Medication Errors at the 2008 International Forum on Quality and Safety in Health Care in Paris, France.

Gregory L. Alexander


University of Missouri - Columbia , MO

Dr. Alexander is a national leader in the field of Gero-informatics research and national health policy. His research has put the University of Missouri Nursing Informatics program on the map, raising over $16 million in research funds. He is also very active in the AMIA, acting as the NIWG Planning Committee Chair and as a member of the Policy and Standards boards for the national organization. 

Kathryn H. Bowles


University of Pennsylvania - Philadelphia , PA

Dr. Bowles has had an international impact on Nursing Informatics through her research and extra-collegiate activities. At University of Pennsylvania, she teaches Applied Health Informatics and acts as the Distinguished Professor of Nursing Excellence. She is also a member of the National Quality Forum Care Coordination Steering Committee and a consultant for the Centers for Medicaid Services (CMS). Her notoriety spans the world, and she consulted for the Singapore Ministry of Health on transitional care, gerontology, information science, and telehealth. 

Nancy Staggers


University of Utah - Salt Lake City , UT

Dr. Staggers is a professor of Informatics and Biomedical Informatics Research at University of Utah. Her work in the field of national leadership and technology in nursing practice led to to achieve the Virginia K. Saba Award from the AMIA in 2013. She has also been a health IT executive for enterprise EHR projects, and led the ANA Scope and Standards of Practice for Nursing Informatics revisions twice.

Mollie R. Cummins


University of Utah - Salt Lake City , UT

Dr. Cummins has been honored for her work as a researcher, teacher, and member of the Nursing Informatics community. She earned the Sigma Theta Tau International Excellence in Research Award (2014) as well as the Harriet H. Werley Award for Nursing Informatics from the AMIA (2014). Her research specialty is knowledge models for clinical decision support and informatics applications in poison control. Cummins is also a member of the National Steering Committee for the Alliance for Nursing Informatics (ANI). 

Patricia F. Brennan


University of Wisconsin - Madison - Madison , WI

Dr. Brennan has an unusual background to share with her Nursing Informatics students. Although her BS and MSN are in Nursing, she also holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering. This unique perspective has given her a professional boost and helped earn her the coveted Virginia K. Saba Nursing Informatics Leadership Award from the AMIA (2011). In addition to her work with home-care support technology, she is the principal investigator for a large National Institute on Aging grant and an advisor for the National Cancer Institute, the National Library of Medicine, and the Office of Rural Health Policy.

Patricia Sengstack


Vanderbilt University - Nashville , TN

Dr. Sengstack is a renowned professor and lecturer of Nursing Informatics at Vanderbilt University. Her work with the National Institutes of Health as the Deputy CIO and Chief of Clinical Informatics (2007-2013) put her talents on the national stage. In addition, she is the Immediate Past President of the ANIA (2013-2015). She has co-authored several vital texts on Nursing Informatics including Mentoring Novice Informatics Nurses

Elizabeth Weiner


Vanderbilt University - Nashville , TN

Dr. Weiner is the Senior Associate Dean for Educational Informatics and a professor of both Nursing and Biomedical Informatics at Vanderbilt. She is also an avid researcher and is the author of many peer-reviewed papers in addition to Informatics Solutions for Emergency Planning and Response, a vital text for both students and professionals. Dr. Weiner is also very active in the AMIA and she received the Virginia K. Saba Award in 2008.

Cheryl D. Parker


Walden University - Minneapolis , MN

For students interested in how informatics and healthcare technology can affect a clinician's workflow, Cheryl Parker is the expert to learn from. Her activity in professional organizations such as the ANIA-CARING nurse informatics society and the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society (HIMSS) make her an excellent contact for students seeking a mentor with strong professional connections. In addition to teaching nursing informatics courses at Walden, she has published several high-impact papers in journals such as the Journal of Healthcare Information Management.  


Each of the members on this list have been chosen through careful research based on the following criteria:

1. Active Teaching. All of these professors are actively teaching or mentoring students at an accredited college.

2. Publication. Many of these professors have been published in online or print professional journals.

3. Thought Leadership. Professors on this list have been chosen due to their leadership in the Nursing Informatics community, based on speaking engagements, public leadership, or social media following.

4. Extracurricular Involvement. Each of these individuals are involved in both teaching and outside professional engagements, such as industry associations, educational organizations, or public or private outreach programs.

Barry Franklin
Barry Franklin Editor

Barry is the Editor-in-Chief of MedicalTechnologySchools.com, operated by educational web publisher Sechel Ventures Partners LLC, which he co-founded. Previously, Barry served as a VP at a Silicon Valley software company. In addition to running editorial operations at Sechel, Barry also serves on the Board of Trustees at a local K-8 school, and graduated from Carnegie Mellon University, where he also met his wife.