Bowie State University is offering students another route to a career in the medical field with a new bachelor’s degree program in health services administration, which is designed for students who want to work in healthcare but may not want to enter as a physician or nurse.
The program would help bolster a healthcare industry that has found itself in a state of flux in recent years, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. As people live longer, the need for healthcare services increases and current medical professionals across the industry are experiencing burnout as they work to meet the demands of an aging population. As a result, the industry is experiencing personnel shortages at almost all levels as people exit the industry faster than they can be replaced.
“The students who graduate will be able to step in and help impact the shortage that is being experienced,” said Dr. Birthale Archie, a nursing professor who designed the program along with College of Professional Studies Dean Cheryl Blackman. “It helps to address a number of the positions to improve the delivery of healthcare services to consumers in a hospital setting and the community.”
Medical and health services managers are among the nation’s fastest growing occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In 2022, medical and health services employed 509,500 people, and the number of jobs is projected to increase to 654,000, a 28.4% growth, by 2032.
Those positions include case managers, nursing home administrators and patient service representatives among a host of other jobs that the health services administration program is designed to prepare students for in the coming years.
In addition to addressing the shortage in healthcare, Dr. Archie wanted to create another path for healthcare careers aside from the university’s nursing program. She explained that students sometimes start off majoring in nursing, but realize that particular role may not suit them. Other students decide they want a career in healthcare but may not want to don the white coat or scrubs.
“Sometimes students change their career interests but would like to remain in healthcare,” said Dr. Archie. “We need other healthcare career options for our students to consider.”
Courtesy of Bowie State University