Earning an online master’s degree from the George Washington University (GW) School of Medicine and Health Sciences (SMHS) might be one of the best ways to advance your career.

“We are thrilled that 75 percent of our students attending the Master’s of Sciences degree in Health Care Quality report professional gains since joining our program,” said Sabrina Figueiredo, PhD MSc Bsc(PT), director of the Health Care Quality (HCQ) Program and assistant professor at GW SMHS. “Some mentioned that they received a promotion, others noted that the knowledge they’ve learned made them feel empowered in team discussions and some feel more valued by their institution.”

There are many factors to weigh in choosing to go back to school for a graduate degree to help advance a career. Prospective students should consider the school’s reputation, course structure, program duration and costs. Graduating from an accredited program is a great indicator of receiving a top-notch education.

“We are pleased to be one of the first four HCQ programs in North America to earn Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Management Education (CAHME) certification, which attests to the integrity and rigor of our program,” said Figueiredo.

But why does accreditation matter and how does that impact student outcomes? Figueiredo explains that “during the process of writing a self-study report, every component of the educational program is critically analyzed, which in turn, allows for the identification of opportunities for programmatic improvement. Furthermore, through the review of the self-study report, CAHME assesses our program, curriculum and faculty to make sure we deliver cutting-edge competencies to our students.” In other words, graduating from an accredited program is a benchmark for students and future employers that ensures the integrity of graduate education.

“As we move forward toward accreditation, we have revised our competency model to be in line with the CAHME domains of Healthcare Quality and Safety (HQS),” Figueiredo said. The competency model supporting the GW Health Care Quality Program covers 13 domains, 20 competencies and 47 competency statements. “In line with our mission and vision, competencies such as quality and patient science, evidence-based practice and leadership are given greater emphasis in the course of study,” Figueiredo added. As GW refined its competency model, the HCQ program also implemented a set of measures to determine a student’s competency attainment. “Such a process assures that we are graduating competent leaders in the field, who go on to transform healthcare in their communities.”

The GW SMHS recognizes the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality® (CPHQ) credential for credit in its Master of Science in Health Sciences in Health Care Quality program.

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