Doane finds niche in helping health professionals

Doane offers health professionals springboard into their careers
Sometimes a graphic designer wants to be a nurse, or a musician yearns to be an oncologist. They have college degrees, but lack the science prerequisites to apply to nursing or medical school. Or they live far from a college that might offer courses.
And it takes forever to get the credits one semester at a time. Dreams dashed? Doane University to the rescue.
Doane’s Prerequisites for the Health Professions program offers a slate of courses in the biosciences, chemistry and physics commonly required for entry into health professions programs. The courses are offered entirely online in accelerated 8-week sessions.
Program Director Amanda McKinney said Doane’s a la carte menu of courses does not lead to a bachelor’s degree but offers flexibility for those whose major didn’t cover health sciences prerequisites. Just one other institution offers a similar program, McKinney said but student feedback indicates Doane’s is higher quality.
“We are filling an unusual niche,” she said.
When first offered in August 2016, the program generated just 14 credit hours; the most recent session, which started in mid October, generated 540 credit hours. And the trajectory is rising, McKinney said; demand is high and the program is retaining and re-enrolling students. Five sessions are offered each academic year.
While the program doesn’t formally track its students’ outcomes, McKinney knows of at least one student who after successfully completing organic chemistry was admitted to medical school.
Faculty from Doane and other institutions are teaching the online courses, she said. They have content expertise and also excel at teaching in the online format.
“Online is the trend in higher education,” McKinney said. “We are working to put more courses online.” For more information, go to