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2014′s 15 Best Online Colleges for Healthcare and Medicine

A career in healthcare and medicine can be one of the most rewarding careers out there because the focus is on helping people in need, whether directly or indirectly. There are numerous careers in the healthcare industry, such as ones dealing directly with patients where you diagnose, treat, and prevent illnesses, diseases, and injuries; perform surgery; help patients recover or rehabilitate from an injury, illness, or operation; or provide daily medical care. There are also careers that don’t involve working directly with patients, instead focusing on ensuring they are cared for properly or working on the business side of healthcare, such as careers in healthcare administration, medical billing and coding, teaching, or conducting medical research. There are numerous institutions that can prepare you for any one of these careers, though the best online colleges for healthcare will be accredited.

Accreditation is an assurance that the education being provided by the institution is of high quality, based on an evaluation of the institution, programs, faculty credentials, teaching methods, educational material, and more to ensure each of these meet the criteria established by the accrediting organization. This is why the best online colleges for healthcare will be accredited. The U.S. Department of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation provide lists of recognized accrediting organizations, as well as lists of accredited institutions and programs. There are many recognized accrediting organizations that accredit certain healthcare programs, such as the American Podiatric Medical Association, National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission, Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education, and Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools. Organizations like these will ensure that what you learn is applicable, transferable, and current with their specific field.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) can help you learn more about the variety of careers available in the healthcare industry through the healthcare occupations section in their Occupational Outlook Handbook. For example, the BLS shows that registered nurses are required to have a diploma or degree from an approved nursing program and must obtain licensure. Physicians and surgeons are required to earn a doctoral or professional degree from a medical school, complete a three- to eight-year residency, and obtain state licensure. Medical and health services managers are typically required to have either a bachelor’s or master’s degree. You can use this information to help you narrow down your list of health care career possibilities or to learn more about the career you are considering.

Once you make your decision about what area of health care you want to work and earn your degree in, you should be able to find assistance that will aid your transition from school into your career. Many of the best online colleges for healthcare and medicine offer their students and alumni free career services, such as career counseling, resume and cover letter writing assistance, interview preparation, and job search help. There are also numerous organizations, associations, and societies that you can join and take advantage of their career services and member benefits. One of the largest associations in healthcare and medicine is the American Medical Association. There are also associations for just about every area of healthcare and medicine, such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Health Care Education Association, American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, and National Physicians Alliance.

Rankings

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Rank School Name Average Rating
1 Brandman University 10.69
2 Golden Gate University 12.43
3 Southern New Hampshire University 12.75
4 Stevens-Henager College 13.93
5 Fisher College 14.90
6 Liberty University 15.23
7 American Public University 15.82
8 Ottawa University 16.25
9 Keiser University 16.97
10 Ashford University 17.40
11 National University 17.53
12 Saint Leo University 17.78
13 Florida National College 18.43
14 Tiffin University 18.95
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