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York College Takes Aim at Workforce Gaps with a Suite of New Online Healthcare and Nursing Programs

January 11, 2022
A close-up image shows a nursing student's gloved hands inserting an IV into the arm of a practice mannequin in the nursing simulation lab.

York College of Pennsylvania, a private, non-profit college located in South Central Pennsylvania, today announced an ambitious expansion of its online graduate programs to help meet growing demand in fields such as nursing and healthcare analytics. The College's new suite of online programs will enable working nurses and other mid-career professionals to access graduate-level courses to build skills critically needed by hospitals, healthcare providers, and other employers as communities recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

"With the challenges facing us in today's increasingly complex healthcare system, improving the quality and accessibility of patient care requires new ways of upskilling and educating the healthcare workforce," said Dr. Victor Taylor, director of graduate and professional programs at York College of Pennsylvania. "This work is about creating high quality online programs and educational experiences that are tightly coupled with the needs of the healthcare workforce and other key industries."

The new slate of online offerings includes a Master of Science in Nursing—with professional tracks that include family nursing practitioner, psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, adult gerontology nurse practitioner, and nurse educator—as well as a Master of Science in Healthcare Analytics, a Master of Science in Data Analytics, and a Data Analytics Certificate.

Even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a sharp increase in demand for advanced practice nurses, with a 52% increase in openings for nurse practitioners expected between now and 2030. Demand for both registered and advanced practice nurses has continued to increase during the pandemic, amid a growing shortage of primary care providers and increased turnover within the healthcare sector.

To help meet demand for continuing and graduate education for these high-growth industries, the College has selected iDesign, which has worked with more than 100 institutions to design, build and support award-winning online courses. A team of veteran instructional designers and educators from iDesign will collaborate with program leaders, administrators, and faculty experts from the College to design and develop the online courses for the new degree programs and certificates. Additionally, York College of Pennsylvania will tap iDesign's expertise in marketing, employer partnerships, strategic enrollment management, and student success coaching to help grow the program and sustain it over time.

Students who enroll in the College's online healthcare programs receive clinical placement support as they continue their professional journey. In partnership with iDesign, York College of Pennsylvania will establish unique clinical placement agreements with regional health systems and other employers who can provide students with essential hands-on experience in a clinical environment needed to advance in their careers.

The expansion of York's online programs builds on its existing popular online degree programs, including the RN to BSN program, which helps experienced Registered Nurses complete the required coursework to become a BSN-qualified nurse in as little as 12 months.

"Institutions of every size are demonstrating their capacity to create new and more agile online offerings that are more responsive to the fast-changing needs of the labor market," said Paxton Riter, CEO of iDesign and a member of the National League for Nursing Foundation's Bridging Education and Practice Advisory Council. "These online programs will help rising professionals to upskill and accelerate toward career paths that can contribute to safer, healthier and stronger communities."

About York College of Pennsylvania: Established in 1787, York College of Pennsylvania is a private, four-year college located in the city of York, a hub of arts and industry between Baltimore and Philadelphia. Housed on 190 picturesque acres, the college is known for its focus on experiential learning and community engagement, serving over 4,000 undergraduate and 300+ graduate students in more than 70 baccalaureate majors, along with 20+ graduate and professional programs. Deeply rooted in the liberal arts and recognized for excellence in its professional nursing, business, engineering, and education programs, York is ranked among the nation's top 50 Best Value Schools by U.S. News. The College's robust recreation and athletics program is among the best in the region, and is home to 23 NCAA III Division sports teams and 30+ intramural sports. A Princeton Review Best Northeastern College, York prides itself on its experienced, engaged faculty; its high-impact and student-centric philosophy; and its long-standing commitment to affordability and accessibility.

About iDesign: iDesign partners with colleges and universities to build, grow and support online and blended programs. We are passionate about helping faculty harness the potential of emerging technologies to design courses and degrees that make an impact, whether they are fully online, flipped, blended, adaptive, or competency-based. Our unbundled, fee-for-service model is rooted in a commitment to flexibility and institutional autonomy, while our analytics platform supports continuous improvement through rigorous measurement of student engagement and course quality. From statewide university systems to private colleges, our custom solutions pair instructional design with technologies to enable great teaching. To learn more, please visit www.idesignedu.org.