15 Best Healthcare Simulation Degrees for 2024

healthcare simulation degrees

Healthcare simulation is a branch of simulation that’s related to training and education in medical fields in a variety of industries. Every year simulation seems to grow in popularity, particularly in health care programs. Simulations may involve human patients, artificial patients, can possibly a combination of both.

The main purpose of simulation originally was to train medical professions to decrease the number surgical errors. Its popularity has resulted in it being a major part of student training. Continue reading to learn about some of the best healthcare simulation degrees and what they have to offer.

What is a Healthcare Simulation Degree?

A healthcare simulation degree is an academic degree pursued by students interested in a career in simulation technology or healthcare or both. Unlike many other degrees offered at universities and colleges, healthcare simulation degrees are typically offered through healthcare educational institutions.

Another thing that makes them unique is that they’re offered at all levels from associate and bachelor’s degrees to master and doctoral degrees. Healthcare simulation degree programs utilize simulations to not only learn but to improve their method of learning and decrease the number of errors.

The programs focus on simulation operations, safety, and theory while also helping the student develop leadership skills. Some of the courses a student may have include:

  • Patient Safety, Informatics, and Health Care Quality
  • Foundations in Health Care Simulation
  • Teaching in Practice and Academic Settings
  • Curriculum Development in Academic and Practice Settings
  • Application of Principles of Evidence-Based Practice
  • Health Care Simulation Education Assessment

Who is a Candidate for an Online Healthcare Simulation Degree?

Online healthcare simulation degrees can help prepare students for healthcare jobs using simulation. Online programs have a lot to offer students. Although there are many types of students who may need an online healthcare simulation degree, the ones that need it the most are:

  • Students who want to attend a college located far away without having to move
  • Students who can’t afford to quit their jobs to attend college full-time.
  • Students who have family or monetary obligations preventing them from attending college

15 Best Healthcare Simulation Degrees

Does this field sound interesting to you, but you need more information on colleges and programs? Below you will find what many consider the best healthcare simulation degrees. These are all online programs.

1. Arizona State University

Master of Science in Healthcare Simulation

Offered through ASU’s Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation, the online master’s degree program requires completion of 30 credits. Using evidence-based scenario designs, students develop the skills to structure the operations, design, and evaluation of educational healthcare simulations if both practice and academic settings.

2. University of Washington

Master of Science in Healthcare Simulation Education

UW’s healthcare simulation program is an online program that a part-time student can complete in 18 months. In addition to the 44 required credits, students must complete a capstone project, which they can pick themselves using what they’ve learned throughout the program. They’ll also complete an in-person practicum at an approved healthcare setting.

3. Drexel University

Master of Science in Healthcare Simulation

Drexel University offers an online healthcare simulation graduate degree that’s ideal for students who are working in the healthcare industry and wish to work in leadership positions. This program prepares students to sit for the healthcare simulation certification exam. Applicants to this program must have a bachelor’s degree in a health-related field.

4. University of Central Florida

Master of Science in Nursing & Healthcare Simulation

The UCF offers an online MSN program that can be completed in 4 semesters or 5 semesters if you’re a part-time student. Student must complete 31 credit hours. There is an additional course students can take if they want more hands-on training. The program focuses not only on simulation but also on other innovative technologies. Students may be required to come to campus to complete a capstone course.

5. MGH Institute of Health Professions

Master of Science in Health Professions Education

The online MS in Health Professions Education program is a flexible program that students can complete at their own pace. Students can take up to 5 years to complete the program. The curriculum consists of 2 electives, 8 online courses, and 3 days of virtual synchronous seminars. Students will also spend a lot of time learning research methods and performing research. This program also offers 7 areas of concentration.

6. University of Alabama at Birmingham

Master of Science in Healthcare Simulation

The healthcare simulation graduate program at UAB prepares students to be able to communicate comfortably with academic leaders and hospital administrators about the benefits of simulation and the various methods of clinical quality improvement it offers. The college also offers a healthcare simulation graduate certificate. This is an online program, but students are required to do one campus visit. Full time students can complete the program in 16 months.

7. Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences

The biomedical sciences master’s degree program is an online program that students can complete in one year. During this time, they learn about simulation and develop strong research skills. Concentrations offered include biomedical research; transitional life sciences; forensic biology; and general studies (capstone). Students who excel in the program may qualify for entrance into the college’s Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine Program. The college also offers a one-year program that focuses on preclinical sciences.

8. Bates Technical College

Associate in Applied Science in Medical Simulation Operations Specialist

The associate degree program at Bates is an affordable program that requires student to complete 105 credits. Students take courses like electronics principles; simulation by design; principles of safety and design; intro to medical simulation; mechatronics for medical simulation; and medical terminology, among others. A main focus of this program is safety, and students get extensive training in real-time situations. Fulltime students can complete this program in 6 quarters.

9. University of Hertfordshire

Master of Science is Medical Simulation

The master’s degree in medical simulation t the University of Hertfordshire is aimed at students who already have at least an associate degree in a related field. Although it’s an online program, some of the courses are hybrid. Students should also be working in a healthcare setting while completing the program. Students must complete 30 credit modules to successfully complete the program. Course topics include work-based learning; health and medical education in the workforce; technology-enhanced learning; leadership in practice; health and medical simulation; and medical emergencies and human error.

10. University of Galway

Master of Science in Medical Simulation and Patient Safety

The master degree program at the University of Galway is an online program that can be completed in 2 years. Students will take courses in human factors and patient safety in simulation; simulation with task-based trainers and mannequins; research methods for healthcare and medical simulation; and simulation and training in healthcare. This college/program is accredited in both the U.S. and the U.K. In addition to the master’s degree program, the university also offers a postgraduate diploma in healthcare simulation and patient safety. Students are also required to complete a thesis.

11. Staffordshire University

Master of Science in Simulation Based Education

The Master of Science in Simulation Based Education is aimed at students interested in working with simulation and in leadership positions in educational or healthcare settings. Part-time students can complete this program in 3 years. In addition to completing about 60 credits from courses, students must also complete their choice of a dissertation or a research-based project. This online program is offered not only in the U.S. but also in many other countries throughout the world.

12. Carolinas College

Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Simulation

Carolinas College offers an online health simulation bachelor’s degree program that prepares students to work in healthcare simulation and also to sit for the Certified Healthcare Simulation Operations certification examination or the Certified Healthcare Simulation Educator. Local area students can obtain additional hands-on training by working in the college’s simulation center. The program takes two years to complete if you have an associate degree. The college also offers a 1-year, 20-credit certificate program.

13. Lake Region State College

Associate in Applied Science in Simulation Technology

Lake Region State College offers simulation technology programs as associate degree, diploma, and certificate programs. The associate degree takes about two years to complete; diploma takes 4 semesters; and certificate takes one semester. Students learn how to repair, troubleshoot and maintain mechanical can electronic parts of simulators. Course topics include ground school; operating systems; microcomputer hardware; networking; simulator systems; technical simulations; among others.

14. University of Michigan – Flint

Healthcare Simulation Graduate Certificate

The healthcare simulation graduate certificate is designed for individuals who hold a master’s degree but wish to further their education. Students must have at least a bachelor’s degree in a related field. Courses include research and trends in healthcare simulation; healthcare simulation; strategies to improve fidelity; and evaluation, debriefing, and facilitating of healthcare simulation.

15. New York Institute of Technology

Master of Science in Medical/Healthcare Simulation

New York Institute of Technology offers an online master’s degree in medical/healthcare simulation that requires completion of 36 credits. This 2-year program teaches students to create and run simulation programs in the healthcare and medical industry. Students also learn about basic human anatomy/physiology and radiology; simulation research foundations; case design, exam design; and how to manage a simulation center. Students in the Long Island area can spend time in the campuses simulation lab to gain hands-on training.

Salary and Job Prospects for Healthcare Simulation Degree Holders

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that overall employment of healthcare professionals is expected to grow much faster than other jobs. Graduates of healthcare simulation degrees are generally qualified for a variety of jobs. Below is a list of some of the jobs possible as well as the potential wages and predicted job growth according to a May 2022 report by the BLS. The predicted job growth is for the decade of 2022-2032.

  • Bioengineers – $99,550; 5% job growth
  • Clinical Laboratory Technologist and Technician – $57,380; 5%job growth
  • Health Information Manager- $104,830; 28% job growth
  • Health Information Technician or Technologist – $58,250; 15% job growth
  • Healthcare Simulations Educator – $50,531; 7% job growth
  • Flight Simulator Technician – $70,010; 4% job growth

Admissions Requirements

The schools offering these programs may have different admission requirements. However, the most common admission requirements include:

  • A completed online application
  • Official transcript from all schools attended
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Letter demonstrating intent or reason for choosing this field
  • Some may require entrance exams
  • Proof of English proficiency
  • Must meet GPA requirements, which vary by school
  • Professional resume

Students enrolling in a healthcare program may be required to complete an internship in a medical facility. These programs typically require students show proof of required immunization.

Why an Online Program?

When choosing a program, you may find that the program is offered as both an on-campus program and an online program. Colleges today is finding that more and more students are choosing online programs. There are many advantages to online programs.

  • Tuition may be cheaper.
  • Students can learn at their own pace.
  • Students can study from any location.
  • Students can choose any college regardless of location.
  • Students can continue to work while earning the degree.
  • Students save money on fuel, lodging, and meals.
  • Online students can often finish the program in less time.

Getting Started

Simulation is a big part of technology today, and it’s also very valuable in many industries but particularly in the healthcare industry. Once you’ve determined this is the field you want to pursue, your first step is finding a good college. Simulation degree programs are not real plentiful, but there are many good colleges out there.

You’ll want one that’s accredited, and this is very important. Simulation programs often offer several areas of concentration, so be sure to look for schools that offer the courses you need for your area of study. If you’re interested in pursuing your degree, make sure the colleges you’re interested in offer online learning. Also, become familiar with the college’s admission requirements.