BS in Health Science Professional Development

Bachelor of Science in Health Science in Professional Development and Advanced Patient Care

Offered By: College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

Pursue a Bachelor of Health Science – Professional Development and Advanced Patient Care

This Bachelor of Science (BS) in Professional Development and Advanced Patient Care Degree from Grand Canyon University is designed for those already in healthcare jobs who work directly with patients. Healthcare technicians, such as EMTs, lab techs and physical therapy assistants who have already earned certificates or associate degrees can continue their professional learning with this health science degree.

Why Earn Your Health Science Degree Online at GCU?

Earning a bachelor’s degree in health science online allows healthcare workers to continue impacting patients’ lives in their current jobs. GCU students enrolled in this health science degree program can take classes and complete assignments online so that their professional development and advanced education work can happen when it is convenient.

Graduates from the BS in Health Science Professional Development and Advanced Patient Care program may opt to stay in their current careers or move up in responsibility after earning their degree. Healthcare is an ever-evolving field and a bachelor’s degree in patient care will enrich students’ skill set when it comes to the delivery of care.

At GCU, students in the health science program benefit from the emphasis on the Christian worldview in their studies. Patient care comes with the responsibility of understanding people’s spirituality and diverse cultural experiences. Graduates from the BS in Health Science program recognize the necessity for differentiating their healthcare delivery based on each individual patient's need.

Gain Skills You Can Apply in Patient Care

The Bachelor of Science in Professional Development and Advanced Patient Care from GCU is focused on four domains of content and study. These four domains ensure that graduates will have the skills they need to stay current in their field and progress toward more advanced careers or degrees in healthcare.

  • Domain 1: Patient Care
    Students learn to communicate with patients, family members and healthcare providers. They demonstrate an understand of cultural awareness and are able to write formal and informal communications.
  • Domain 2: Leadership and Management
    Graduates apply their understanding of organizational behavior to work efficiently in healthcare organizations. They set and achieve goals related to patient care and their own learning.
  • Domain 3: Risk Management and Ethics
    The understanding of ethical and legal issues are important skills for GCU health science program students to learn. They examine their roles and responsibilities when it comes to professional behaviors and risk management.
  • Domain 4: Trends and Issues
    Because healthcare is always changing, students learn to be aware of trends and healthcare issues. They read scientific communications and studies and critically examine research and their own professional practices to implement new skills with patients.

The GCU BS in health sciences degree ends with a capstone project. Students research a topic that is immediately applicable to their professional growth and development. The research leads to action items that be applied to the job right away.

Health Science Careers with an Advanced Patient Care Bachelor of Science Degree

Graduates from the BS in Health Science Professional Development and Advanced Patient Care program at GCU are ready to advance their healthcare professional careers. A bachelor’s degree is often required in healthcare fields now due to the complexity of care needed in certain fields.

Students who graduated with a health science degree may stay in their current positions or look for middle management or supervisory positions. A bachelor’s degree in health-related fields can also be a stepping stone to master’s programs in healthcare administration or public health.

If you have a passion for working with patients, a degree in health science can help you advance your skills and improve patient outcomes. Learn more about the Bachelor of Science in Health Science in Professional Development and Advanced Patient Care degree at GCU today.

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Total Program Credits: 120
Online: 7 weeks [More Info]
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Online: $470 per credit [More Info]

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. For information about specific course content, credit length and VA approval in your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
36 credits
Open Elective Credits:
44-50 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University's General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.


Upon completion of the Grand Canyon University's University Foundation experience, students will be able to demonstrate competency in the areas of academic skills and self-leadership. They will be able to articulate the range of resources available to assist them, explore career options related to their area of study, and have knowledge of Grand Canyon's community. Students will be able to demonstrate foundational academic success skills, explore GCU resources (CLA, Library, Career Center, ADA office, etc), articulate strategies of self-leadership and management and recognize opportunities to engage in the GCU community.

Course Options

  • UNV-112, Success in Science, Engineering and Technology & Lab: 4
  • UNV-103, University Success: 4
  • UNV-303, University Success: 4
  • UNV-108, University Success in the College of Education: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to construct rhetorically effective communications appropriate to diverse audiences, purposes, and occasions (English composition, communication, critical reading, foreign language, sign language, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of English grammar or composition.

Course Options

  • UNV-104, 21st Century Skills: Communication and Information Literacy: 4
  • ENG-105, English Composition I: 4
  • ENG-106, English Composition II: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to express aspects of Christian heritage and worldview. Students are required to take CWV-101/CWV-301.

Course Options

  • CWV-101, Christian Worldview: 4
  • CWV-301, Christian Worldview: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to use various analytic and problem-solving skills to examine, evaluate, and/or challenge ideas and arguments (mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics, geology, astronomy, physical geography, ecology, economics, theology, logic, philosophy, technology, statistics, accounting, etc.). Students are required to take 3 credits of intermediate algebra or higher.

Course Options

  • MAT-154, Applications of College Algebra: 4
  • MAT-144, College Mathematics: 4
  • PHI-105, 21st Century Skills: Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: 4
  • BIO-220, Environmental Science: 4


Graduates of Grand Canyon University will be able to demonstrate awareness and appreciation of and empathy for differences in arts and culture, values, experiences, historical perspectives, and other aspects of life (psychology, sociology, government, Christian studies, Bible, geography, anthropology, economics, political science, child and family studies, law, ethics, cross-cultural studies, history, art, music, dance, theater, applied arts, literature, health, etc.). If the predefined course is a part of the major, students need to take an additional course.

Course Options

  • HIS-144, U.S. History Themes: 4
  • PSY-102, General Psychology: 4
  • SOC-100, Everyday Sociology: 4

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This course identifies allied health professionals and their involvement with all aspects of health care delivery and the collaborative health care team. This course also considers the role and scope of allied health as well as the interdisciplinary approach to care intended to meet the needs of a complex and changing health care system.

Course Description

This course introduces students to local, state, and federal statutes that regulate the administration of safe health care. Students explore the legal responsibilities of the health care facility in providing workplace safety and protection from injury for patients, families, and staff. The course examines the roles and responsibilities of the risk management department within an organization. At the end of this course, students should be able to explain the ethical and legal responsibilities of health care professionals related to risk management assessment and policies.

Course Description

This course examines the relationship between health care quality and organizational performance from an interdisciplinary approach to care. The student is introduced to the rationale for performance management and the role of the health care organization in ensuring compliance with the standards of accreditation. The methods for assuring quality in process and outcome through management are addressed along with trends in the provision and reimbursement of health care services. Students are introduced to changing trends in reimbursement of health care services as related to risk management.

Course Description

This is an introductory course on concepts of statistics, emphasizing applications to health care professions. The course is designed to prepare students to understand concepts of statistics and the appropriateness of statistical methods used in published research papers and a variety of settings. Areas of emphasis include an introduction to the statistical analysis concepts of variable/reliability factors; P values; experimental design; descriptive statistics, including mean, median, and mode; sampling methods; and power analysis.

Course Description

This course explores meanings and expressions of health, illness, caring, and healing transculturally. Focus is on understanding and developing professional competence in caring for individuals, families, groups, and communities with diverse cultural backgrounds. Culture is examined as a pervasive, determining “blueprint” for thought and action throughout the human health experience. Patterns of human interaction that foster health and quality of life are analyzed, and health destroying patterns of interaction (e.g., stereotyping, discrimination, and marginalization) are examined and submitted to moral and ethical reflection.

Course Description

This writing-intensive course explores the concept of spirituality as it relates to the person who is involved in the health care system. Since illness and stress can amplify spiritual concerns and needs, health care professionals are in a unique position to assist the patient/client in meeting those needs. This course explores the relationship between health care professionals and those they serve. Topics include performing spiritual assessment, identifying those experiencing spiritual well-being as well as those experiencing a threat to spiritual well-being, and planning and evaluating care related to spiritual wellness. A spiritual care framework is used to apply these concepts to a variety of populations in diverse clinical settings.

Course Description

The course explores the impact of numerous professional and societal forces on health care policy and practice. Content includes an analysis of current studies; health care policy and position statements; political, environmental, and cultural issues; and changing health care roles. The study of these issues examines the impact on health care delivery systems in society.

Course Description

This course provides an understanding of the factors shaping the present and future health care delivery system. Students learn about the aging population in the United States and ways in which the health care system is planning and forecasting for the upcoming needs of aging consumers. Additionally, shifting costs, health care environments, and technological advancements are examined for trends and potential areas of opportunity. Innovative organizational models are explored and analyzed as they continue to develop and shape the future of health care delivery.

Course Description

This course introduces students to major ethical theory, principles, and models for the recognition, analysis, and resolution of ethical dilemmas in health care practice. Students learn how to approach ethical dilemmas using theoretical frameworks and decision-making processes. Through the use of case studies, students are introduced to health topics such as patients’ rights, dilemmas of life and death, allocation of health care resources, and special dilemmas of health care professionals. This course also includes a review of classic cases in health care ethics and how they have shaped health policy. An overview of patient education and ethics and a discussion on the professional codes of ethics and standards are also part of this course.

Course Description

This writing intensive course introduces students to the purpose of research as applied in health care. Students examine the role of various research methods, including evidence-based practice, in communicating with patients and providers to improve health care. Students identify and develop the skills necessary to communicate effectively in the areas of interpersonal communication, group dynamics, diversity, motivation, team building, and conflict resolution.

Course Description

This course emphasizes major leadership approaches and models used within health care today. Topics include regulatory leadership, servant leadership, and formal and informal leadership roles. Students have an opportunity to analyze leadership approaches to decision making and the impact of professional mentorship. The significance and use of collaborative leadership, communication, and decision making, in health care are explored. Students examine leadership behaviors that leverage diversity and foster inclusion to ensure professionalism and the professional responsibility of leaders today.

Course Description

This writing-intensive course facilitates a professional capstone project that is the culmination of the learning experience of students in the Bachelor of Science in Health Care Sciences program. In this course, students identify a current issue in health care and provide a written proposal to address that issue. Additionally, students use evidence-based research and apply theory to practice. Students create an evidence-based project plan and prepare to propose a full implementation plan to current or future employers.

Program Locations

GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

GCU Evening Student

Grand Canyon University’s evening programs cater to the demands of working professionals who prefer an in-person learning environment. Our night classes meet just once per week and offer the interaction and discussion of a typical college classroom.

* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.

Program Domains

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.

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