NEW GRADUATE PROGRAM AT NW
Northwestern College’s Physician Assistant graduate program is accepting applications on April 25, 2019, and classes begin in June of 2020.
Christy Hanson, PA program director had these words for applicants: “Any interested applicants should visit our program’s website to review the admission process and requirements,” Students can access the program’s website by going to the Northwestern page, hovering over the Programs tab and selecting Physician Assistant MSPAS (May 2020). The website has a PA program overview, prerequisites, curriculum, information on how to apply and tuition and fees. There are also links to sign up for more informational sessions on April 9 and 25.
The program has an ambitious goal.
“NW’s PA program developed as a way to address the rural healthcare shortage not only in Northwest Iowa but also throughout the region. The program will also offer students a unique opportunity to continue their personal faith development while learning to be an exceptional medical provider,” JoAnn Weber, the program’s coordinator said.
NW graduates will automatically be granted an admission interview, provided they meet all requirements. The PA program is highly competitive, with only 32 spots available, so this advantage is considerable. Interviews will be held in late October or early November, with admissions decisions determined by the end of the year.”
Requirements for the program include completion of the application, GPA of 3.0 or higher, minimum of 500 hours of healthcare experience and several other requirements.
The program is still in the accreditation process now. The accreditation application includes a written application and a site visit.
“We have finalized the application and are now preparing for a site visit in May. The accreditors will then review our application along with notes from the site visit and will notify us of our accreditation status in early October,” Weber said.
During the program, the students must successfully complete 116 graduate credits over seven consecutive academic terms, including four terms of face-to-face training followed by three terms of clinical rotations with online courses designed to facilitate the integration of classroom material with clinical experiences.
Though Hanson and Weber still have a few loose ends to tie up, the program is coming together piece by piece. “We are currently finalizing plans for our facilities, and will be able to share more detailed information later this spring. We are also working closely with hospitals and clinics around Orange City and surrounding communities and have secured hundreds of quality clinical rotations for second year students. All students will complete rotations in family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, women’s health, pediatrics, emergency medicine and psychiatry, as well as multiple elective rotations in a variety of specialties,” Hanson said.
The PA program builds on the exceptional reputation of NW’s established biology, nursing and athletic training programs to prepare graduates to serve all patients with exceptional, individualized care. By next summer, the PA program will be in full swing, helping students achieve a well-rounded, faith-based education with real life experience.