PHOENIX, July 06, 2011
DeVry University has earned initial accreditation for its bachelor's degree program in Clinical Laboratory Science (CLS) from the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences (NAACLS, 5600 N. River Rd., Suite 720, Rosemont, IL 60018-5119, 847-939-3597). NAACLS is committed to being the premier international agency for accreditation and approval of education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences and related healthcare professions. With this achievement, DeVry University becomes the only higher education institution in Arizona to currently offer a NAACLS-accredited bachelor’s degree program in CLS.
The CLS bachelor’s degree program was launched at DeVry University’s Phoenix campus in 2008 to address a national shortage of highly skilled laboratory science professionals. The program is headed by former Chief of the Applied Technology Center at the U.S. Air Force Institute for Operational Health, Naomi P. McMillan, M.S.A., MLS (ASCP).
Clinical laboratory scientists, also called medical laboratory scientists, are in high demand, with employment expected to grow 14 percent by 2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Population growth, expanded healthcare coverage and the development of new tests have magnified an already dire need for newly trained laboratory professionals. Additionally, many states require practicing laboratory scientists to pass licensing and/or certification exams which have a prerequisite of graduating from an NAACLS-accredited bachelor’s degree program. Local laboratory officials also cite the low number of accredited lab programs in the state as part of the problem.
“The state of Arizona undeniably faces an immediate and critical shortage of skilled and appropriately-credentialed laboratory science professionals,” said Sherry Gamble, microbiology manager at Maricopa Medical Center. “Those of us who run medical labs should be encouraged by DeVry University’s commitment to a program that meets NAACLS standards. I look forward to working with their CLS students on clinical rotations and hope that they can become part of a much needed solution to our state’s lab professional shortage.”
Experts estimate that clinical laboratory scientists contribute to approximately 70 percent of the healthcare decisions that doctors make, using technical knowledge to determine the presence, extent or absence of disease, and helping other healthcare professionals determine the course of treatment for patients. DeVry University's curriculum helps students master these skills through courses in phlebotomy, clinical chemistry, clinical hematology, clinical immunohematology, and clinical laboratory operations and management, among other courses critical to success in the field.
“Achieving this level of industry recognition for DeVry University’s quality healthcare-related curriculum is paramount on two levels,” said Donna Loraine, DeVry University provost and vice president of academic affairs. “First, as Arizona’s only NAACLS-accredited bachelor’s degree program in CLS, we have established DeVry as a long-term partner in meeting the state’s demand for qualified laboratory scientists. Second, we can confidently look forward to expanding our quality CLS bachelor’s degree program into other states which face similar shortages of skilled laboratory professionals. Indeed, DeVry University has a bright future in allied healthcare education.”
For additional information about the field of Clinical Laboratory Science and how DeVry University is meeting the demand for skilled laboratory scientists, visit www.devry.edu.
For comprehensive consumer information, visit devry.edu/studentconsumerinfo.