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Training New York’s Next Generation of Healthcare Workers… Online

Upstate Medical University student in radiation lab setting

New York is facing a serious shortage of highly qualified health care workers. Between 2012 – 2022, New York’s Department of Labor projects there will be over 5,600 jobs available annually for registered nurses alone. Other healthcare professions also have very high projections for job availability, including dental hygiene, mental health and rehabilitation counselors, and medical and clinical lab technicians.

Whether you’ve thought about it or not, healthcare workers affect a large amount of our lives. We interact with them practically every day. They give us our annual checkups, dispense our prescriptions at the corner pharmacy, take care of household pets, check on our elderly grandparents at home, and disclose advice on our favorite morning news programs on how to stay healthy during cold and flu season.

To help fulfill the growing healthcare needs of New Yorkers, 19 of the 56 new Open SUNY+ Wave II programs were chosen specifically to address the unique needs New Yorkers face in receiving quality health care. These programs join the AAS in Clinical Lab Technician (SUNY Broome), BS in Nursing (SUNY Delhi), and MBA in Health Services Administration (SUNY Oswego) programs that were announced in the launch of Open SUNY in January 2014.

These programs understand that the healthcare field is evolving. What was once an area where one went to school to train on techniques to treat common ailments is frequently adapting to the technology and complex needs of New Yorkers. But how has healthcare changed?

  • Population science is a growing area of need with the risk of spreading infectious diseases like the flu, malaria, and Ebola higher as the population continues to rise beyond the current world population of 7.1 billion people;
  • The maintenance of electronic medical records require professionals that are well versed in both the computer technology and their accompanying policies (like HIPAA); and
  • Use of evidence-based guidelines allow doctors in remote locations to treat diseases that they may not normally see. By connecting to the National Guideline Clearinghouse, doctors have instant access to symptoms and possible treatments for uncommon ailments.

This spring, over 1,900 students are expected to be enrolled in these Open SUNY+ programs.

A Large Variety in Online Health Care Programs

The full list of Open SUNY+ Health care programs include:

For students who are not ready to enroll in a degree program, or students who take traditional courses on a campus, individual courses are available for viewing through the Open SUNY Navigator.

Open SUNY is a part of a national education movement toward increased awareness and use of distance education. The Online Learning Consortium has been working with campuses nationally to provide professors and administrators with resources on improving their online education practice. This week – between November 10 – November 14 – the United States Distance Learning Association is sponsoring 2014 National Distance Learning Week.

Health care degree programs aren’t the only programs that Open SUNY+ supports. Open SUNY+ also supports degree programs in: business, information technology, criminal justice and legal studies, education, and many other areas. We will be highlighting more Open SUNY+ programs in the coming weeks.

Emily Schwartz

Written by Emily Schwartz

Emily Schwartz is the Coordinator of Open SUNY Communication and Projects.

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There is 1 comment

  • jasonhiep992 says:

    Ebola epidemic very seriously, need to train more health workers

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