NKU to add region’s first complete bachelor’s programs in radiologic science, respiratory therapy

The Northern Kentucky University College of Health Professions is set to add two new bachelor degree programs this year that will replace existing associate degrees.

A new Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science is designed to educate and prepare students for work in diagnostic radiography, which is an imaging modality that employs radiation to produce images of the body’s tissues, organs, bones and vessels. The program will integrate classroom instruction, lab work and clinical education at affiliating local hospitals and orthopedic offices.

The B.S. in Radiologic Science, which begins this summer, will require 122 credit hours, with 62 earned in core courses and 15 earned in guided electives. Elective categories will include advanced practica in CT, MRI, orthopedics and pediatrics; healthcare education; healthcare management and leadership; gerontology; and advanced pathology.

The program replaces an associate degree in radiologic science. “Although health care involves teamwork between the various disciplines, it has been challenging to incorporate interdisciplinary work into the short but intensive associate degree curriculum,” said Diane Gronefeld, director of the NKU radiologic technology program. “The BSRS curriculum allows for the inclusion of interprofessional courses, which promote the team concept in health care as mandated for quality and patient safety in health care centers of excellence.”

The university will also add a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care this fall. This program was developed to educate individuals who will function as entry-level advanced respiratory therapists in acute care, sub-care and home care environments. Graduates of the program will be expected to safely and effectively collect and interpret clinical data, use respiratory care equipment and perform clinical procedures. The program will also provide expanded clinical skills that reflect the needs of the community, such as disease-specific case managers, clinical specialists and researchers.

“The new respiratory care program enhances the NKU College of Health Professions’ mission to promote an innovative environment to facilitate excellence in academics, engagement, practice, and lifelong learning within a global context to promote health,” said Debra Kasel, director of the NKU respiratory therapy program.

The B.S. in Respiratory Care will enroll a new cohort of 20 students each fall. It will require 120 credit hours, including 85 in core courses and 15 in guided electives.

Both programs will be the only baccalaureate programs of their kind in Greater Cincinnati or Kentucky. While several institutions offer associate programs or bachelor completion programs, none offers a pure bachelor’s degree program in radiologic science or in respiratory care therapy.

Both programs will feature a selective admissions process, with applications due on Feb. 15 each year. Applications are currently being accepted. The NKU Board of Regents approved both programs at its January meeting. Both still require final approval from the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education, which is expected next month.


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