Crete, NE — Doane University has formed a Division of Health Sciences in the School of Integrative Learning, providing the university with a new infrastructure to create, revise, and retool Doane’s academic programs in health sciences to best prepare its students interested in entering the health professions.
The majors currently offered in the Health Sciences Division are Health and Human Performance, Nursing, Health Sciences – Pre-Health Professions, and Health Sciences – Leadership. There are a number of different emphasis areas within the Health Sciences – Pre-Health Professions program catering to students’ various interests. The emphasis areas, also known as pathways, include: Pre-Dental, Pre-Med, Pre-Nursing, Pre-Optometry, Pre-Pharmacy, and Pre-Physician Assistant.
The Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences program with a Leadership emphasis is offered on Doane’s Lincoln and Grand Island campuses and online. The program prepares students to advance in their careers by building up the professional skills and knowledge required for a healthcare employee.
Faculty and staff within the Health Sciences Division will be dedicated entirely to helping pre-health professions students successfully matriculate into the various health professions programs of their choosing. Through the core courses in Health Sciences, students will have exposure to health professionals in their first year to help them decide if a career in healthcare is for them and if so, where they best fit.
“Our focus on direct pathways into health professions programs is unlike anything we’ve done in the past,” said Dr. Amanda McKinney, Associate Dean, School of Integrative Learning – Division of Health Sciences and Executive Director, Institute for Human and Planetary Health. “By dedicating advisors and faculty to help students along the path to their chosen health profession and by creating a curriculum that health professions programs are asking for, we believe we will be able to increase the acceptance rate for our students.”
Each Doane student in a program in the Health Sciences Division will be paired with a professional advisor/faculty mentor, all of whom have a background in healthcare.
“The Health Sciences Division uses interdisciplinary industry-relevant education, co-curricular experiences, and practical application as the mechanism for differentiating itself to pave the way for students to acquire the knowledge and skills to succeed in the healthcare industry,” said Andrea Butler, Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs, Online Learning and Dean of the School of Integrative Learning. “Changing conditions within healthcare require a continual review of industry-relevant education and a willingness to modify it in order to prepare students for the ever-changing environment.”
Employment of healthcare occupations is projected to grow 18 percent from 2016 to 2026, much faster than the average for all occupations (Source: U.S. Department of Labor). This is expected to result in approximately 2.4 million new jobs. The fastest growing healthcare occupations in the United States over the next ten years include home health aides, occupational therapy assistants, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, speech-language pathologists, and physical therapist assistants.
“Part of my personal mission is to train the next generation of health practitioners in a way that adequately prepares them for the current healthcare landscape,” McKinney said. “With this new division at Doane, we are doing just that. We have also developed partnerships with health professions schools in a variety of disciplines to ensure our students have preferential admission.”
For more information on the Health Sciences Division, visit here.