National University Named a Sharp HealthCare Preferred Higher Education Partner

Partnership includes scholarship opportunities for employees of Sharp HealthCare, San Diego’s largest and most comprehensive health care system, and expanded externship and hiring opportunities for National University graduates

San Diego, Calif. – The private, nonprofit National University and Sharp HealthCare have announced a new scholarship program for Sharp HealthCare employees that will expand their community of professionals trained in skills and specialties that align with the needs of San Diego’s largest and most comprehensive health care system. Sharp HealthCare is among the Top Five employers of National University alumni, and the agreement builds on that strong connection by offering a 25 percent scholarship for all qualified employees. With National University designated as a Sharp HealthCare preferred higher education partner, the two institutional powerhouses will collaborate even more closely to strengthen regional workforce skills that benefit and improve health care for the region’s population.

The National University-Sharp Healthcare educational and scholarship partnership allows for the organization’s 18,000 qualified employees to advance their education through the University’s more than 75 programs, including through the School of Health and Human Services. It also creates a framework for solidifying more externship and hiring opportunities for National University graduates. The partnership with National University is part of a wider workforce partnership and scholarship initiative by the private, nonprofit National University System, which also includes John F. Kennedy University and City University of Seattle. The partnerships, many of which include a scholarship component, include Boeing, and YMCA. Scholarship opportunities have also been made available through the public sector, including City of San Diego, the County of San Diego and numerous law enforcement agencies.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with Sharp HealthCare, a world-class organization that is committed to supporting healthier communities and the highest quality of health care by offering their employees access to a quality, affordable education through National University,” said Dr. Michael R. Cunningham, Chancellor of the National University System. “National University System is committed to developing comprehensive organizational partnerships that align workforce needs with customized educational offerings across a range of sectors that benefit the communities we serve nationwide.”

The partnership solidifies natural alignments between the two organizations. Sharp HealthCare and National University, through its School of Health and Human Services, have also both been recognized as leaders in person-centered healthcare principles by Planetree International Inc., a mission-based nonprofit that partners with healthcare organizations around the world dedicated to providing person-centered care, which is defined broadly as the active participation of patients and their families throughout the healthcare process –  factors that are increasingly linked to measurements of positive healthcare outcomes. In the San Diego region, Planetree Gold Designation has been achieved by Sharp Chula Vista Medical Center, Sharp Coronado Hospital and Sharp Memorial Hospital. In addition, the National University School of Health and Human Services in 2017 was awarded Planetree Silver Recognition for Significant Advancement in Person-Centered Care, thus becoming the first academic institution in the world to achieve Planetree Recognition.

“At Sharp HealthCare, we are committed to offering our communities an exceptional standard of health care by creating a truly personalized experience that places patients and families at the center of what we do,” said Michael W. Murphy, CEO of Sharp HealthCare. “The partnership with National University aligns with our commitment to provide employees with access to affordable, ongoing academic and professional development opportunities at academic institutions to advance their professional opportunities and assist us in meeting the health care needs of the communities we serve.”

The new scholarship is open to Sharp HealthCare’s 18,000 qualified employees across the organization and offers them a chance to continue their education in a range of related programs such as nursing, organizational leadership, accounting, data analytics and tech-related fields. Heath care providers that pursue advanced degrees not only benefit patients but also can lead to greater salary compensation and specialization paths.

In addition to campuses located throughout San Diego County, National University offers online programs that make a quality education accessible to working adults, including in the health care fields. The School of Health and Human Services consists of the departments of Community Health, Health Sciences and Nursing, which offer 17 degree programs and provide a wide range of online and onsite undergraduate and graduate programs. The School has also spearheaded the creation of a network of community-based clinics, which provide students opportunities to explore public health projects in the Los Angeles area that use telehealth technologies to connect the region’s most under-served residents with access to ongoing healthcare services.

About National University
Founded in 1971, National University is among the largest, private, nonprofit universities in California. With more than 230,000 alumni, National University is the flagship institution of the National University System. National University is dedicated to making lifelong learning opportunities accessible, challenging, and relevant to a diverse population of students. Four schools and two colleges – the College of Letters and Sciences; the Sanford College of Education; the School of Business and Management; the School of Engineering and Computing; the School of Health and Human Services; and the School of Professional Studies – offer more than 75 graduate and undergraduate degrees and 23 teacher credentials. Programs are offered at locations throughout California and across the nation and are also available online. National University is headquartered in La Jolla, California.

About Sharp HealthCare
Sharp HealthCare, San Diego’s most comprehensive health care delivery system, is recognized for clinical excellence in cardiac, cancer, multi-organ transplantation, orthopedics, rehabilitation, behavioral health, women’s health, home health and hospice services. Sharp HealthCare has been widely acclaimed for its commitment to transform the health care experience for patients, physicians and staff through an organization-wide performance improvement initiative called The Sharp Experience. The Sharp HealthCare system includes four acute-care hospitals, three specialty hospitals, two affiliated medical groups, a health plan, and numerous outpatient facilities and programs. To learn more about Sharp, visit Sharp Health News.

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