Distance Learning Certificate in Health Services Administration

For those interested in the business side of healthcare, a health services administration certificate offers focused coursework on the financial, legal and quality issues in the field. Several schools offer these programs online, so read on to explore certificate programs and career paths.

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Overview of Programs

A number of four-year universities and colleges, as well as private distance education schools, offer online certificate options in health services management. Available at the undergraduate and graduate levels, these programs could also lead to certificate in healthcare administration, health services management, healthcare leadership and other similar titles. Online certificates in this field are often designed for healthcare professionals seeking advancement or just a more comprehensive understanding of relevant administrative issues.

Admission requirements vary, but students who are interested in a graduate-level certificate must have a bachelor's degree to be eligible for enrollment in a health services administration program. Some schools may also require a resume documenting related work experience as well as recommendation letters. Online students can typically earn their certificate in around a year with continual enrollment.

Online Certificate Coursework

Most distance learning certificate programs in this field of study can be pursued completely online. Students download course materials, view lectures and work on assignments available within schools' online content management systems. Tools like discussion boards and video conferencing technology allow classmates and instructors to interact if necessary.

Undergraduate Certificates

An undergraduate distance learning health services administration certificate program is suited for newcomers to the field of health services as well as current health services professionals. Courses instruct students in the different facets of the healthcare system, including daily operations and funding sources. Online students can expect to learn about the following subjects:

  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Quality assurance
  • Planning
  • Program development
  • Legal aspects of healthcare administration

In some cases, credits earned in a health services administration certificate can be applied to a bachelor's degree in a related field.

Graduate Certificates

A graduate-level distance education Certificate in Health Care Administration program covers much of the same coursework as its undergraduate counterpart. Online coursework may include the following:

  • Organization and management of health care systems
  • Financial management
  • Public health administration
  • Healthcare laws
  • Research methods

Students pursing leadership roles in health services may enroll in an online post-bachelor's Certificate in Leadership in Public Health Systems Management. This program is similar to that of the online graduate certificate in health care administration. Health care operations, management, economics and business courses are required.

Career Options

Those who complete an introductory distance learning certificate program for health services administration are prepared for entry-level healthcare roles, or to undertake a Bachelor of Science in a similar field of study. Graduate students may seek leadership jobs in nursing homes, medical facilities or hospitals after completing a distance-learning certificate program. They may also wish to pursue roles in academia or research by obtaining a master's degree.

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