NKU MS in Health Science to help meet growing need for skilled allied healthcare workers

For immediate release…
Tuesday – July 16, 2013

- Northern Kentucky University announced today the creation of a new online graduate degree program designed to meet the region’s need for highly skilled allied healthcare workers. The Master of Science in Health Science will enroll its first students in January, and the degree is available in a fully online format.

When most people hear about the growing demand for employees in the healthcare industry, they tend to think of nurses. But nurses are just a fraction of the total healthcare employee population. According to the healthcare career website explorehealthcarecareers.org, there are 5 million allied health care providers in the U.S. working in more than 80 different professions. They represent about 60 percent of all healthcare providers. The site emphasizes, though, that “this is just a drop in the bucket in terms of how many allied healthcare workers are needed to meet current and future healthcare needs in America.”

“Our students who completed their bachelor’s degrees have asked us for a master’s program,” said Andrea Cornuelle, NKU director of health sciences. “There is a need for allied healthcare workers with the higher skills gained through a master’s program.”

The master’s degree is an interdisciplinary program which prepares graduates to serve as health care leaders. Students will come from a wide range of specialties in the healthcare industry. Cornuelle said the variety of backgrounds will bring rich perspectives to course discussions, allowing the students to learn from each other.

Dr. Tom Baxter, director of the new program, said it is a unique approach to master’s-level education. “We’ve intentionally developed a curriculum that is flexible enough that the students can design a program that meets their specific goals,” he said. “It will provide the graduates with a broader choice of career paths.”

The program provides the skills needed across a broad spectrum of allied health professions. Graduates who earn their NKU MS in health science might pursue careers in education and training in respiratory care, radiologic technology, or other allied health disciplines; management and leadership positions or; or application specialists for vendors servicing the healthcare industry. In addition, graduates will have acquired the skills and expertise to plan, develop and implement innovative and quality healthcare services. In keeping with NKU’s focus of an applied degree, student will be required to take a semester-long internship in their geographic area and discipline that focuses on developing useable best practices for the industry.

For more information on the Master of Science in Health Science, contact NKU Educational Outreach at (859) 392-2400 or nkuonline@nku.edu.

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