Online Medical Schools
Students enrolling in online medical schools have generally had medical training and experience in some aspect of the medical field and want to pursue degrees additional degrees in a specialized area of healthcare. Although online schools for osteopathic and allopathic degrees are not accredited, other online universities and colleges featuring accredited medical certifications and degrees are readily available.
Online Master in Nursing Degrees
Registered nurses seeking advanced degrees in order to obtain nursing manager jobs can enroll in online medical schools offering Master’s degrees in nursing, public health, health services and nursing administration. Walden University’s online Master of Nursing degree offers instruction and guidance from faculty members who possess doctoral degrees as well as in-depth courses examining nursing informatics, management concepts and recent developments in the nursing field. Walden’s degrees are accredited by the CCNE (Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education), a credential ensuring students that all programs offered by Walden meet or exceed national standards and also facilitate entrance into most doctoral programs.
Harvard Medical School Department of Continuing Education
Designed for medical professionals who need to continue accessing pertinent educational portals in order to promote their careers, the online Harvard Medical School Department offers specialized courses containing current research information concerning topics as diverse as diabetes and neurological disorders. Physicians, nurse practitioners, surgeons and other medical experts receive certification upon completion of a program that is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. Access to interactive case-based modules, DVD programs and live streaming webcasts further enhance HSMD’s curriculum.
University of Phoenix Continuing Education and Degree Programs
A popular choice by students among the many online medical schools offering master degrees and continuing educational opportunities, the University of Phoenix provides healthcare classes covering topics as diverse as outpatient management to medical terminology. Registered nurses will find valuable and career-enhancing courses at this online medical school that include Nursing Leadership Styles and Preventing and Managing Nursing Turnover. Accredited University of Phoenix degrees given are associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and even doctorates in healthcare management and administration. This online university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, with its nursing program accredited by the Commission on College Nursing Education.
Continuing Education Degrees
Licensed practical nurses or registered nurses may enroll in an online medical office administration program that prepares them to work as administrators in a dental or medical private practice as well as hospitals and other medical facilities. Courses involve instruction in accurately maintaining patient information in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) and advanced business management concepts. This program also covers patient scheduling, processing insurance information, knowledge of medical terminology used in a specific office setting and performing fundamental patient services such as assessment of vital signs and CPR implementation when necessary.
Health Care Informatics
Some online medical schools offer degrees in health care informatics, a discipline that combines computer science, information science and healthcare procedures into a field that facilitates access to resources, methods and devices necessary for the optimization of storing and retrieving health and medical information. Health care informatic specialists also need to be familiar with clinical guidelines, communications systems within medical and research facilities and medical terminology. This medical field area is applicable to nursing, dentistry, public health services, pharmaceutical services and clinical care.
Health Care Administration
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Nursing managers who have worked or are currently working as the director of a nursing unit may choose to broaden their career by earning an online health care administration master’s degree at the University of Phoenix or Walden University. Health care administrators are found in all types of clinical, health and medical management positions encompassing nursing homes, psychiatric institutions and large, urban hospitals that service over 1000 patients simultaneously. This job not only requires knowledge of health care but also business management principles such as accounting, statistics and budgeting, which are courses additional to the health-related classes implemented in a health care administration degree.
Another popular online medical school course provides medical assisting certifications to those completing a one-year program that results in a diploma, or a two-year associate’s degree program. Qualified medical assistants can obtain employment in such diverse places as a traditional doctor’s office, outpatient surgery centers and even correctional facilities. Duties required of a medical assistant include:
- Keeping accurate patient records, charts and doctor’s notes
- Processing insurance forms and verifying existing coverage
- Patient scheduling
- Readying the patient for the doctor
- Maintaining and cleaning instruments
- Stocking medical supplies
- Assisting physicians with various tasks
All work performed by a medical assistant is always under the direct supervision of a licensed healthcare provider. Medical assisting certification can lead to obtaining further education that allows a person to work as phlebotomists, dialysis technicians, physical therapy assistants, licensed practical nurses and even as registered nurses.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, medical assisting is one of the fastest growing jobs related to the healthcare field, with employment opportunities expected to rise as much as 31 percent between now and 2020. This demand is a result of the increasing need for physicians due to the extended longevity of an aging population. Currently, medical assistants average $14.00 and earn approximately $29,000 annually.
Enrollment Requirements for Online Medical Schools
Enrollment requirements will differ according to the type of degree sought. For example, a registered nurse already possessing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing who wants to obtain a Master’s degree in nursing will need to provide proof of the BSN degree as well as a goal statement, transcripts and credits earned from other, accredited schools. In addition, the student may also be asked to submit a resume-type document outlining employment information and relevant clinical experience.
However, students wishing to earn a medical assisting diploma (one-year program) or Associate’s degree in medical assisting will be asked to show proof of a high school diploma or general equivalency diploma (GED).
Financial aid is available to those who qualify. FAFSAs (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) should be filled out and submitted to the Department of Education early in the year so that the online medical school receives the forms in time to apply any aid to upcoming semesters in which the student is enrolled. Cost of attending a degree or certification program varies greatly, depending on degree level. Obtaining a two-year medical assisting degree will usually cost around $20,000, while Master’s degrees are twice that amount, at $40,000 and up.