Ursuline College adds three health degrees in 2023 – News-Herald

Ursuline College in South Euclid announced it is expanding its healthcare portfolio to meet demand for physician assistants, respiratory therapists and nutritionists in northeast Ohio.

Earlier this month, the Ursuline College Physician Assistant Program was granted provisional accreditation for its Physician Assistant Studies Program by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, according to a press release

The inaugural class of 30 students begins this 24-month intensive program in January. These future PAs were selected from a pool of 500 applicants.

Physician assistant employment is projected to increase 31 percent from 2019 to 2029, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Ursuline’s 75-year legacy of educating the region’s best nurses and health professionals has provided a great foundation for building this in-demand program,” said PA Program Director Ryan Adler, who has contributed to the development of this master’s degree over the past two years. “The preliminary accreditation recognizes Ursuline’s commitment to excellence in meeting ARC-PA standards, as well as her dedication to her future alumni.”

When students in the PA program begin classes this January, recruitment will begin for a new affordable online bachelor’s program for registered respiratory therapists with an associate degree, the press release said.

“While associate-degree respiratory therapists provide excellent care for their patients, their work is becoming increasingly complex, as the recent pandemic has demonstrated,” said John Gallagher, newly appointed respiratory medicine program director at Ursuline and former pediatric respiratory care training coordinator at UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital.

“The AARC, or American Association for Respiratory Care, has set an expectation that all respiratory therapists will earn a bachelor’s degree by 2030,” Gallagher added. “We are building this program to meet that need.”

Patricia Sharpnack, Dean of Ursuline’s Breen School, adds in the press release: “Ursuline has had a dynamic RN-to-BSN program since 1985. It serves as a great model for us to use as the basis for this exciting new ventilation program.

“While we are still working on the accreditation process, we hope to have our first class enrolled for Fall 2023.”

Ursuline is finalizing its curriculum, which, according to the press release, is designed to provide a seamless transition for students studying at educational partners such as Lakeland Community College and Cuyahoga Community College.

The college is also launching a hybrid bachelor’s degree in nutrition and dietetics with online and face-to-face classes next fall. It plans to hire a director in the near future and hopes to actively recruit students in the coming months, the press release said.


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