Senior citizens eating in a nursing home cafeteria talking to an administrator
Bellarmine University / College of Health Professions / Health Services and Senior Living Leadership

Health Services and Senior Living Leadership

The mission of the Health Services and Senior Living Leadership Department is to prepare students for pursuing a wide range of rewarding career opportunities as leaders in the delivery of health services and senior living, or for continuing their formal education in graduate programs in business, communications, informatics, health sciences or public health.

“Caring for our seniors is perhaps the greatest responsibility we have. Those who walked before us have given so much and made possible the life we all enjoy.” — Senator John Hoeven

Career Opportunities

One of the most prominent demographic shifts anticipated across the United States – and throughout the industrialized world – over the next 25 years is an unprecedented growth in the number of older adults, both in pure number and percentage of the population. Organizations providing health and human services that address this demographic shift are expected to grow exponentially, as are companies that supply goods and services to those providers and public service agencies that regulate them. Each will require well-prepared leaders who can effectively plan, organize, and direct them to achieve their strategic goals and advance their respective missions.

  • Administrator: Institutional Post-Acute Care or Home-and-Community-Based Services, Housing, Transportation
  • Administrative Support: Finance, Human Resources, Marketing & Public Relations, Environmental & Risk Management, Health Informatics
  • Public Sector: Regulatory Agencies and Public Policy
  • Sales: Vendors of Goods and Services to Providers
  • Career Center Positions

Academic Pathways

Completing the requirements for any of the three majors offered by this department will equip students with a strong liberal arts undergraduate education as a life foundation, guided by ethics, critical thinking and accountability. The health services core consists of nine courses (27 credit hours) that together provide a curricular framework of interdisciplinary courses in business, communications and informatics, health sciences, and public and global health policy that meets individual student learning needs and career interests.

The Bachelor of Arts in Health Services starts with the health services core with at least three courses (9 credit hours) of electives within the major. Students explore service delivery topics related to leadership, workforce, social justice and health care access disparities, technology, health care finance and service trends, and complete an experiential learning component (3 credit hour internship at an approved provider site).

The Bachelor of Science in Health Services and Senior Living Leadership emphasizes the growing post-acute care segment of healthcare, with nine courses (27 credit hours) of additional required courses addressing accounting, gerontology, regulatory compliance, business and legal environments, facilities and program design, and organizational behavior and leadership, and one elective course (3 credit hours) from within the major. Instruction will be grounded in the five domains identified by the National Association of Long Term Care Administrator Boards (NAB) and included in its accreditation standards for academic program in long term care administration: Resident-Centered Care and Quality of Life, Human Resources, Finance, Environment, and Leadership and Management. Students also complete an experiential learning component (3-credit hour internship at an approved provider site).

The Bachelor of Science in Health Services Executive Leadership builds on the academic requirements included in the BS – Health Services and Senior Living Leadership major, adding in the final semester a non-credit, comprehensive didactic review, plus the experiential learning requirement for this major is 1,000 contact hours (10 credit hours completed in two five-credit, 500-hour internships). Completing the requirements of this major qualifies a graduate to take the licensing examination required by the NAB (50 states plus Washington, DC and US Territories) to operate a Skilled Nursing Facility (and in a growing number of jurisdictions, other lines of post-acute care services, as well.)

Learning Outcomes

Students completing the requirements for the B.A. in Health Services, B.S. in Health Services and Senior Living Leadership or B.S. in Health Services Executive Leadership will:

  1. Analyze the historical context and current trends of the components, relationships and organizational principles that comprise the health services and senior living field.
  2. Synthesize contemporary best practices for including programmatic, financial, clinical, logistical, technological and social impact aspects in the developing and implementing an organization’s strategic plan.
  3. Synthesize principles of sound executive leadership and business operations to the health services and senior living field.
  4. Evaluate quality assurance and performance improvement opportunities and champion innovation in the field of health services and senior living.
  5. Evaluate ethical considerations to the operation of an organization providing health services and senior living programs.
  6. Integrate federal, state and local laws, regulations and standards to the provision of health services and senior living programs.

Internships

Experienced leaders of highly regarded organizations in the field of health services and senior living serve as mentors, called “Preceptors,” during internships designed to familiarize students with such operations. Students can expect to gain first-hand experience by completing a departmental rotation, participating in relevant internal and external meetings, and performing an approved management project.

Student Organizations

The following groups are currently forming, and plan to start accepting memberships in the fall of 2018.

  • American College of Health Care Administrators (ACHCA) is the professional membership association dedicated to administrative leadership and excellence in post-acute care and aging services.
  • Sigma Phi Omega is the international academic honor and professional society in Gerontology, recognizing excellence in aging services and promoting scholarship, professionalism, friendship and service to older persons. 

Study Abroad

Bellarmine offers a wide variety of study abroad options on 6 continents in over 50 countries and at over 150 partner campuses around the globe.

Contact

For more information, contact Dr. Keith Knapp, Department Chair, at 502.272.8468 or kknapp@bellarmine.edu.