Documenting Seven Years of Growth and Excitement


The Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences Anniversary Highlights
Health Sciences Cardiovascular SonographyTampa

PCHCS 25 years

The Bachelor of Science in Cardiovascular Sonography Program at NSU’s Tampa Campus has seen seven exciting years of growth, community outreach, and new technology in health care education. The program was created to meet the demand for entry-level sonographers educated in two specialties of medical ultrasound: adult cardiac and vascular sonography.

The 27-month curriculum includes 500-plus hours of hands-on training and one year of clinical externship. Program graduates are eligible for the Adult Echocardiography and Non-Invasive Vascular Technology national registry exams of the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

In the fall of 2011, Samuel Yoders, Ph.D., Ed.S., RVT, program director, and Francine Leonard, academic coordinator, began establishing community contacts, recruiting faculty members, securing clinical affiliation agreements, and interviewing applicants for the first incoming class of May 2012. The inaugural class was indeed a good one. Fourteen students out of 75 applicants were accepted, with all 14 students graduating in August 2014—and all passing their ARDMS registry exams.

Health Sciences Cardiovascular Sonography
The cardiovascular sonography team take a break after the Hendry/Glades Community Health Fair on February 4, 2017.

The class of 2014 graduates have become ambassadors for NSU and the Bachelor of Science in Cardiovascular Sonography Program while employed at renowned hospitals nationwide, such as the Cleveland Clinic, Florida Hospital Pepin Heart Institute, Johns Hopkins, and UF Health Shands. Subsequent classes have continued to follow the path of excellence forged by the class of 2014. The program’s graduate educational outcomes include a 92 percent retention, a 97 percent ARDMS SPI examination pass rate, an 88 percent ARDMS specialty exam pass rate, and 83 percent employment.

These efforts definitely have paid off. For the past three years, the program has admitted a full class of students, including the new class that began in May. Many students enrolled in the program have come from various regions of Florida, with about half coming from 21 other states and 8 foreign countries.

In August 2012, the Cardiovascular Sonography Program made educational history when it took delivery of an advanced 3-D simulator of the human heart. The NSU program is the first allied health degree program to obtain this advanced simulator technology. All previous educational purchasers of this simulator use it to train physicians in medical schools. This state-of-the-art simulator, known as HeartWorks, is a creation of MedaPhor North America in Alpharetta, Georgia. Through doctoral research, integration of the HeartWorks simulator has resulted in more effective educational experiences and outcomes for the program’s students.

Health Sciences Cardiovascular Sonography
Class of 2015 cardiovascular sonography student Amani Shehadeh works with the HeartWorks echocardiography simulator.

Community outreach and interprofessional education (IPE) have also been important components of the program’s growth. For example, for the past two years, students participated in the 16th annual Hendry/Glades Community Health Fair, organized by NSU’s Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, to provide preventive health care screenings to the medically under-served community of Clewiston, Florida.

You may read the complete article in our upcoming 2018 Perspectives Summer/Fall issue forthcoming in August 2018 on page 34 by visiting

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