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October 16, 2020

SHU launches telehealth certificate program


Sacred Heart University officials had wanted to start a program to teach telehealth even before the pandemic. 

The COVID-19 crisis has served as a “tipping point” for the program’s official launch, officials said, as it proved the need for medical professionals to learn how best to use telehealth technology.

Starting this spring, the Fairfield-based Catholic university will offer an online telehealth certificate program for advanced practice nurses through its Susan L. Davis, R.N., & Richard J. Henley College of Nursing.

Virtual visits have become increasingly popular in recent months, particularly due to COVID-19 making some patients hesitant about going to hospitals and doctors’ offices.

Karen Bauce, associate dean of online programs, said in an announcement, “As a result of the pandemic, telehealth has become a crucial strategy for increasing access to care, addressing health justice inequities and improving clinical outcomes.”

According to Bauce, advanced practice nurses can lead the implementation of telehealth technology, meaning better care and health outcomes at lower cost.

The new program is for advanced practice nurses with a master’s degree or master’s and doctoral degree in nursing.

Participants will take four courses, each lasting eight weeks. Those who complete the program will be better able to use telehealth technology for consultations, preventative care and management of acute and chronic problems, according to the university.

The first two courses will introduce students to telehealth. The third course will teach students how to integrate telehealth into practice, and the fourth course entails clinical work. Students also will gain 60 hours of experience by applying what they learn in real-world settings.

Donna McHaney, clinical associate professor and director of the nursing college’s online programs, said development of this new certificate program has been underway for about a year. 

According to McHaney, telehealth covers various levels of care, from a telephone call with a provider to a comprehensive health assessment conducted at a clinic using telehealth equipment. Patients can meet virtually with a provider while receiving tests and evaluation, she said.

For more information on the program, visit the university’s website HERE.

Contact Michelle Tuccitto Sullo at

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