Union College brings a 125-year history of excellence in the medical field to the PA Program. In an environment that offers the opportunity to master responsible health care, we carefully foster lifelong learning.
You will develop constructive, critical thinking and effective communication skills. But at Union, PA education moves beyond the academic. Union brings a commitment to living responsible, Christian lives, serving others with the compassion of Christ in humility, with competence. Our goal is to equip students to serve humanity through an academically strong, Christian education.
The Union College PA classes of 2017 and 2018 all passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) on their first attempt. The PANCE is the culmination of 33 months of postgraduate study. Passing the exam means a new PA can practice anywhere in the country.
“We are quite proud of both of these classes,” said Megan Heidtbrink, PA Program director. “This demonstrates both the quality of our program and the quality of graduates.”
We are located in the Don Love Building: PA/IRR wing, room LS201
Monday–Thursday: 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Our vision, mission and goals
Prepare excellent PAs who transform lives through quality healthcare and Christian service.
Matriculate high quality students from diverse backgrounds to become successful PAs by equipping them with the competency to provide excellent patient care through application of teamwork, demonstration of academic excellence, practice of clinical acumen, display of professionalism and evidence of servanthood within a Christian program.
The Union College PA Program goals are in line with the Union College strategic goals, which specifically address preparation of graduates to include the following:
Teamwork—Graduates will proficiently perform medical care as part of an interdisciplinary team.
Learn about how we self-evaluate our progress toward the teamwork goal.
Graduates will proficiently perform medical care as part of an interdisciplinary team.
Metrics: Preceptor evaluations, graduate surveys, and employer surveys.
Benchmarks: Applicable evaluation/survey average rating of 3/5 or above.
Academic Excellence—Graduates will demonstrate a broad knowledge base for successful delivery of primary care medicine.
Learn about how we self-evaluate our progress toward the academic excellence goal.
Graduates will demonstrate a broad knowledege base for successful delivery of primary care medicine.
Metrics: Didactic and clinical performance; PACKRAT I & II; PANCE; and summative evaluation performance.
Benchmarks: Mantain cumulative GPA of 3.0; pass all courses with 73% or above proficiency; cohort has an average score >50% for PACKRAT I, and >60% for PACKRAT II in any body system or task area; >85% first-time pass rate; and 100% passing rate of knowledge portion of summative evaluation.
Clinical Acumen—Graduates will apply an investigatory and analytical thinking approach to clinical situations.
Learn about how we self-evaluate our progress toward the clinical acumen goal.
Graduates will apply an investigatory and analytical thinking approach to clinical situations.
Metrics: Didactic and clinical course performance, preceptor evaluations, patient encounter logs, graduate surveys, employer surveys, and student self-assessment surveys.
Benchmarks: Pass all courses with 73% or above proficiency; applicable survey response average rating of 3/5 or above; and 100% completion of all listed minimum exposures.
Professionalism—Graduates will demonstrate an attitude of professionalism and positive values.
Learn about how we self-evaluate our progress toward the professionalism goal.
Graduates will demonstrate an attitude of professionalism and positive values.
Metrics: Student professionalism performance, summative evaluation performance, preceptor evaluations, employer surveys, and student self-assessment surveys.
Benchmarks: 100% of students with 2 or less professionalism infractions; 100% student performance on summative professionalism OSCE; and applicable survey response average rating of 3/5 or above.
Servanthood—Graduates will render medical care and service with compassion.
Learn about how we self-evaluate our progress toward the servanthood goal.
Graduates will render medical care and service with compassion.
Metrics: Student community service activity participation, preceptor surveys, employer surveys, alumni surveys, student self-assessment surveys, and summative evaluations.
Benchmarks: 100% student participation in community service events; applicable survey response rating of 3/5 or above; 60% of alumni reporting volunteer work; and 100% pass rate on summative evaluation.
Quality—To provide a quality educational program.
Learn about how we self-evaluate our progress toward the quality goal.
To provide a quality educational program.
Metrics: PANCE scores, attrition, student evaluations, employer surveys, institutional support, and student-to-faculty ratio.
Benchmarks: 85% first-time pass rate; <5% attrition; applicable survey response rating of 3/5 or above; budget at or above national median for private institutions; and student-faculty ratio >50th percentile for 3-cohort schools nationally.
Diversity—Our admissions strategy seeks to select qualified candidates from a diverse applicant pool.
Learn about how we self-evaluate our progress toward the diversity goal.
Our admissions strategy seeks to select qualified candidates from a diverse applicant pool.
Metrics: CASPA applicant pool data.
Benchmarks: Greater than or equal to 13% or applicants from diverse backgrounds (based upon past Union College PA Program data and NE Census data)
Program learning outcomes
The program learning outcomes represent the medical knowledge, interpersonal skills, clinical and technical skills, professional behaviors, and clinical reasoning and problem solving abilities that, upon completion of the Union College Physician Assistant Program, the graduate will be able to demonstrate competence in. These competencies were informed by the PAEA "Core Competencies for New Physician Assistant Graduates" and the "Competencies for Physician Assistant Profession, "adopted by the 4 organizations (NCCPA, ARC-PA, AAPA, and PAEA).
The Union College PA faculty review, revise, and approve the program learning outcomes annually to ensure that they are representative of current standards of medical care and are in alignment with the program's mission and goals.
Learning Outcome 1
Demonstrate interpersonal communication skills that result in effective information exchange with patients, physicians, professional associates, and other individuals within the healthcare system to promote optimal patient-centered care.
Learning Outcome 2
Utilize information technology to critically analyze medical literature to make evidence-based medical decisions that maximize diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness.
Learning Outcome 3
Apply medical knowledge to evaluate and treat patients across the lifespan by obtaining a history and performing a physical examination, selecting and interpreting diagnostic studies, formulating a differential and final diagnosis, and developing a treatment and management plan for primary care conditions.
Learning Outcome 4
Perform common clinical and technical skills and procedures seen in a primary care setting.
Learning Outcome 5
Provide counseling, patient and family education, interventions, and appropriate referral for promotion, restoration, and maintenance of optimal levels of health for patients.
Learning Outcome 6
Exhibit ethical behavior and professional conduct expected of the PA in a medical practice setting while acknowledging professional and personal limitations.
Learning Outcome 7
Demonstrate the delivery of healthcare to disadvantaged and underserved populations.
Learning Outcome 8
Commit to professional and public service by carrying out compassionate and wholistic medical practice in light of a Christian faith and Biblical practice.
Learning Outcome 9
Demonstrate proficient clinical reasoning and problem solving abilities to form an accurate diagnosis and appropriate patient management.
Learning Outcome 10
Integrate essential aspects of value-based health care and apply this understanding to the delivery of safe and quality patient care.
Union College PA Student Handbook (PDF)
Refer to this handbook for a complete listing of information and policies related to studying in the Union College PA Program.
American Academy of PAs (AAPA) - www.aapa.org
The national professional society for PAs in the United States.
Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) - www.paeaonline.org
The national association for PA educators.
National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) - www.nccpa.net
Oversees the certification of PAs in the United States, including the PANCE certification exam.
Nebraska Academy of Physician Assistants (NAPA) - www.nebraskapa.org
The professional society for PAs in Nebraska.
Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) - www.arc-pa.org
The national organization that accredits PA education programs in the United States.