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WGU Reimagines and Redesigns Healthcare Higher Education

SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 08, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Western Governors University (WGU) today announced that its Board of Trustees has renamed the College of Health Professions to the Michael O. Leavitt School of Health (Leavitt School of Health). Announced. We thank former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, former Governor of Utah, and founding member of the WGU, his Michael O. Leavitt, for his leadership and contributions. The school is also addressing the national workforce gap in healthcare and launching long-term plans to solve community health crises at the local level.

Together, these efforts will enable WGU to expand workforce equity and healthcare support across the nation.

WGU President Scott Pulsipher said: “The Leavitt School of Health is already one of the nation’s leading nursing education institutions. We are uniquely positioned to expand access to underserved populations through our extensive reach and local impact.”

The school’s new design aims to bring the same impact it has in nursing to other areas of health care education. In 2021, 17.2% of her BSN graduates (registered nurses with a bachelor’s degree in nursing) from RNs nationwide were educated at her WGU. Over the next five years, the school plans to add new degrees and certificate programs.

“Tackling the shortage of qualified health workers, diversifying the health workforce, and empowering new and existing health professionals to lead their fields will greatly enhance WGU’s competence-based curriculum and students. An initiative driven by the ability to educate, Michael O. Leavitt said, “We meet the needs of both adult learners and the industry, creating opportunities for career advancement and knowledge building.”

The Leavitt School of Health (formerly College of Health Professions) was launched in 2006 shortly after Leavitt was appointed Secretary of Health. At Teachers College, WGU has demonstrated that competency-based online education can connect with high-touch professions, recognizing that it can contribute to the record shortage of critical nursing and medical staff professions facing the country. was Backed by its first corporate partner, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA Healthcare), the School of Health has experienced tremendous growth in graduates, enrollment, and partnerships with hospitals and healthcare organizations across the country.

To date, more than 98,500 degrees, including non-nursing programs such as health informatics and health information management, have been awarded to students in all 50 states. WGU commissioned the Utah Foundation to conduct a research brief to assess its impact on more than 84,000 current nursing graduates and the contributions nurses make in their communities.

In its findings, the Utah Foundation found that out of 84,390 graduates since 2009, 79,181 are still active in the nursing industry, and these nurses have the skills needed to fill the nursing supply chain. We estimate that it supports an additional 91,713 jobs and a lifestyle in which nurses spend their time. income in the community. In terms of income, WGU nursing graduates will earn an estimated $6.7 billion in 2022, and their jobs and earnings are related to an estimated $5.6 billion in additional ancillary jobs. In total, a WGU nursing graduate is tied to her 170,000 jobs and her $12 billion in personal income.

“WGU exists to broaden the pathways to opportunities, and our research briefs quantify what these opportunities mean for thousands of nurses and the communities they serve,” Pulsipher said. says Mr. “In addition to the labor force and economic impact seen in the Brief, countless patients and their families are being treated by WGU-educated nurses, including in many rural and underserved areas of the country. We are benefiting from the quality care provided.”

The WGU, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, was founded in 1997 by a bipartisan group of 19 governors, including then-Governor Michael O. Leavitt. It was founded to open new doors of higher education opportunities by harnessing the power of the internet and empowering students to progress in their studies when they reach their potential. Today, WGU is the nation’s largest non-profit university, currently serving more than 130,000 students and her nearly 285,000 alumni. The Leavitt School of Health currently educates over 27,000 students with over 98,500 alumni.

Read a congratulatory message from former President George W. Bush to former Governor Mike Leavitt here.

Former Governor Mike Levitt’s tribute video is here.


About WGUs
Founded in 1997 by 19 U.S. governors with a mission to expand access to high-quality, affordable tertiary education, the online non-profit WGU currently serves more than 130,000 students nationwide. and has over 285,000 alumni in all 50 states. Driven by innovation as the nation’s leading competency-based university, his WGU is recognized by the White House, state leaders, employers and students as a model that works in postsecondary education. In just 25 years, the university has transformed the lives of individuals and families and has become a major force in preparing the workforce for today’s rapidly evolving economy. WGU is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, has been named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, and has been featured on NPR, NBC Nightly News, CNN, and The New York Times. See and for more information.