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How to Become a Facility ManagerBy Dave Clifton
Healthcare is a booming industry for a number of reasons—an aging population, health epidemics, and the rising cost of healthcare administration among them. With rising demand comes an increasing need for optimization, specifically when it comes to facilities management. This, in turn, pushes demand for qualified professionals with a healthcare facility management degree.
What is healthcare facility management?
Healthcare facility management differs from general facilities management in numerous ways. While space allocation, optimization, and efficiency are at the core of the practice, there’s a much larger dynamic at-play. It’s important that, when they seek healthcare, people are able to get it with as few obstacles as possible—and that their experience is as positive as possible. Much of this experience comes from the availability and navigability of healthcare facilities.
For those who want to pursue a healthcare facility management program, there are plenty of options. Here’s a look at six of the top healthcare facilities management schools in the country and the programs they offer specific to healthcare-focused professionals.
1. Cornell University
One of the eight prestigious Ivy League schools, it’s not surprising that Cornell University offers a healthcare facility management degree. The certificate program is available through the college’s virtual learning program, which makes it highly accessible to anyone who wants to explore this modality while attending a top-rated school. Cornell’s healthcare facilities management program consists of four core courses and four electives, of which students need to select and pass two. It’s an affordable option that carries the prestige of the Cornell name with certification.
2. Brigham Young University – Provo
The Brigham Young University – Provo healthcare facilities management degree isn’t a standalone degree—rather, enrollees will end with certification as a Facility and Property Management (FPM) specialist. That said, healthcare facility administration is a core focus of the program. It’s a program that has won several national awards and it ties into key areas of the college, instead of teaching concepts in isolation. Participants need to be on-campus to participate at this time.
3. Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University
The Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University healthcare facilities management degree is an offshoot of its broader healthcare administration track. Those pursuing a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration will study facility management intensively, to understand the relationship between facilities and patients, medical staff and visitors. This is one of the more robust programs on this list, as it’s a full 120-hour bachelor’s degree and not just a certificate.
4. Temple University
Temple University offers a full bachelor’s program for its facility management degree, and enrollees have the option to choose a specialty within the degree. Many choose Temple’s program because of the healthcare facilities management track, which leaves them with an opportunity to gain one of three designations upon graduation: Facilities Management Professional (FMP), Sustainability Facility Professional (SFP), or Certified Facility Manager (CFM).
5. Missouri State University – Springfield
Healthcare facilities management at Missouri State University – Springfield falls under its Hospitality Leadership degree program. This track offers broad-ranging insights that lend themselves to someone seeking a future in facilities management at a large healthcare facility, such as a major hospital or research facility. This bachelor’s program is one of the most well-rounded for those looking to immerse themselves in the prevailing concepts of healthcare facilities management—everything from clinical staff management to hospital IT and security.
6. Wentworth Institute of Technology
The Wentworth Institute of Technology offers both undergraduate certificate and masters’ programs for facility management. For those in pursuit of a career specific to healthcare facilities, the undergraduate track is more focused in this area (the masters’ program trends toward manufacturing facilities management). Graduates will find themselves with IFMA accreditation and the education they need to affect real change in healthcare facilities of the future.
Choose a program focused on healthcare
Facility management isn’t a one-size-fits-all concept—especially when it comes to healthcare. Each of the above schools offers a program designed to prepare graduates for the nuances of facilities management within the healthcare industry. More important, graduation from any of these programs will land you as a Certified Healthcare Facility Manager (CHFM)—a professional recognized by the American Hospital Association (AHA).
Is it possible for someone with a facility management degree or experience to transition into the realm of healthcare facilities management? Absolutely. That said, it requires no small commitment. For those looking ahead and considering healthcare facilities management, the smart option is to pursue a degree-specific program and graduate as a CHFM. Look into any of the programs above to get started.
Keep reading: How to Become a Facility Manager