The University of Portland School of Nursing recently received accreditation by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities for two new master’s degree programs for health care professionals. The programs, a master’s in quality and safety in health systems and a master’s in innovation in health systems, are accepting applicants for the fall 2017 term.

The first program of its kind in the western U.S., the master’s in quality and safety in health systems degree emphasizes knowledge and skills needed in risk management, quality improvement and patient-safety operations.

The program is open to health care professionals with bachelor’s who currently work in the health care industry.

“Graduates of the masters in quality and safety in health systems program will not just learn how to deal with regulations and compliance,” said Susan Stillwell, associate dean of graduate education in the School of Nursing.  “They will have the skills to identify critical issues and fix processes with the goal of reducing risk and creating high reliability organizations with quality outcomes.”

The master’s in innovation in health systems is a hands-on degree designed for practicing nurses working in health care organizations who want to pursue leadership roles that focus on improving patient, workforce and organizational outcomes. Graduates learn how to use analytics and evidence-based practices to improve patient outcomes and reduce health disparities. As part of the coursework, students will develop and implement a project in their own organization.

In accordance with the university’s mission of teaching, leadership and service, graduates of both master’s programs are taught to practice ethically and consider the business of health care in the context of social justice and health policy.