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Healthcare ProfessionalsHealthcare is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. Many people want to advance or begin their careers in healthcare. Southern Nazarene University (SNU) has a wide range of degree programs for aspiring healthcare professionals. Not only are multiple healthcare-related programs available, but most provide several career paths.

SNU's Physician Assistant (PA) program* trains students to become highly competent in their field. The program also focuses on a servant-oriented viewpoint, practicing medicine in a Christlike way. PA graduates provide entry-level, preventative, and interventional healthcare in various specialties and settings. They are leaders and collaborative members of healthcare teams, making PA a highly sought-after position.

SNU's Physical Therapist Assistant (A.S.) program prepares students to be competent, ethical, and self-directed healthcare providers. Graduates provide high-quality patient care under the direction and supervision of a physical therapist. Under this supervision, Physical Therapist Assistants help patients implement treatment plans to regain and improve their mobility and strength. This degree is a good option for recent high school graduates looking for a two-year program in a rewarding career.

The Master of Science in Exercise Science (MSES) program teaches students about all aspects of physical wellness. The Health and Wellness Track teaches about personal and community health, how and why diseases spread, and disease prevention. Students will also focus on health behaviors, wellness, and exercise physiology. 

Graduates have skills in several areas including public health and cardiac exercise. They may work in various settings and positions to promote health. Wellness Directors work for corporate organizations and community groups helping employees and members improve their health. They do this by planning and implementing health and wellness strategies.

Graduates may also work in healthcare facilities, helping patients rehabilitate, strengthen, and prevent further injury. Exercise and Cardiac Rehab Specialists work with patients and clients to pursue healthier lifestyles. They help them by guiding them through cardiac and pulmonary exercises and counseling them on nutrition. They also assess and analyze health data related to each case to create the best plan for each individual.

Why should you pursue a Rehabilitation and Sport Sciences degree? Learn what career advancement to expect post-degree.

Professionals earning a degree in Family Studies & Gerontology (FSG) are often beneficial in healthcare settings. Their knowledge of human development and aging can help them begin or advance in healthcare-related careers. FSG graduates pursue health careers as Wellness Coaches, Hospital Patient Family Representatives, Laboratory Assistants, Care Coordinators, and Community Educators.

Some students may want to pursue careers that involve less hands-on patient care. A degree in Healthcare Administration or a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) in Healthcare Administration paves the way for leadership positions in the healthcare industry. Students learn how to apply important business concepts to the practical reality of the healthcare world. Business professionals with a Healthcare Certificate can find many opportunities in the healthcare industry.

Graduates can work for healthcare organizations in a variety of leadership and executive positions. Some positions focus on patient safety, comfort, and results. These roles include everything from Patient Advocates, Account Managers, and Hospital Administrtors to Chief Patient Safety Officer and Chief Patient Experience Officer.

Positions like Chief Compliance Officer and Chief Innovation Officer focus more on the organization as a whole. They ensure their organization follows rules and regulations and keeps up with healthcare trends and advances.

As the government becomes increasingly involved with healthcare, positions like Chief Government Relations Officers become more prominent. These officers play an important role in educating and informing those in government positions.

Some healthcare professionals are more involved in employee well-being. The Chief of Staff often communicates as a liaison between staff, administration, and the board, directly supporting the CEO.

Healthcare facilities and organizations have many employees. Chief Human Resource officers are important for daily operations. Chief Human Resource Officers play a vital role in creating company culture, recruiting and hiring employees, and more.

SNU is proud to invest in the future of the healthcare industry. We provide students with state-of-the-art facilities and learning experiences. Our programs are integrated with service learning projects, hospital staff guest lecturers, and a great healthcare network of people to help you find a job post-graduation. For more information about these degrees, please contact

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*SNU has applied for Accreditation-Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). SNU anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2025, pending achievement of Accreditation-Provisional status at the September 2024 ARC-PA meeting.

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding accreditation-provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

SNU is making every effort to meet all ARC-PA accreditation standards for the purposes of achieving Accreditation-Provisional status. In the event that ARC-PA does not award Accreditation-Provisional status to the program, SNU will not matriculate students. In this scenario, the program's CASPA profile will be closed and all applicants will be notified. SNU will refund money received directly from the student: specifically, university application fees, seat deposit fees, and tuition. SNU will not refund CASPA fees or costs associated with onsite interviewing with the program.

Pending accreditation provisional approval, SNU PA program graduates will be eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and subsequently qualify for application for licensure in all U.S. states and territories. Some states may have additional requirements for licensure separate from the PA education. Individual graduates are responsible for achieving state-specific requirements not specific to PA training.

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