Nuclear medicine practitioners, more commonly known as nuclear medicine technologists, are individuals who use radiopharmaceuticals to create a metabolic change in patients to identify and diagnose disease. Associate degree programs, due to their shorter length, may be preferable to students eager to enter the profession, while bachelor's degree programs could lead to positions of leadership because of their broader coursework and more extensive clinical periods.
Schools With Nuclear Medicine Programs
Here's a list of schools with relevant programs:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition 2015-2016*|
|Andrew College||2-year, Private not-for-profit||Cuthbert, Georgia||Associate||$14,924|
|Amarillo College||Amarillo, Texas||2-year, Public||Associate||In-district $2,010
|Delaware Technical Community College - Stanton/Wilmington||Wilmington, Delaware||2-year, Public||Associate||In-state $3,632
|Edinboro University of Pennsylvania||Edinboro, Pennsylvania||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||In-state $9,536
|Ferris State University||Big Rapids, Michigan||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||In-state $10,970
|Frederick Community College||Frederick, Maryland||2-year, Public||Associate, certificate||In-district $3,364
|Oregon Institute of Technology||Klamath Falls, Oregon||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||In-state $8,838
|Pitt Community College||Winterville, North Carolina||2-year, Public||Associate||In-state $2,317
*Source: National Center for Education Statistics
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School Selection Criteria
Further considerations for students in this field:
- Students already holding an associate or bachelor's degree, particularly in an area such as diagnostic medical sonography or nursing, may choose to enroll in 1-year certificate programs to specialize in nuclear medicine technology. Because certification is preferred by most employers, students may choose to enroll in programs that prepare them for certification through organizations such as the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists and the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board.
- Licensure requirements for nuclear medicine technologists vary from state to state; therefore, students are encouraged to review the requirements of their individual locations and enroll in appropriate programs.
- Aspiring nuclear medicine technologists interested in widening their professional competencies may enroll in programs that offer educational tracks or clinical experiences in other areas of imaging technology, such as magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography and positron emission tomography. Extended clinical periods at any educational level, either on- or off-campus, could be beneficial for professional experience prior to entering the field.
- Students will want to consider enrolling in schools with up-to-date, on-campus nuclear medicine facilities for an appropriate training environment.
Certificate in Nuclear Medicine Technology
Certificate programs in nuclear medicine technology may be completed in one year and are generally designed for students who already have a degree or experience in a related field. Students receive clinical training at affiliated hospitals.
Associate Degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology
A 2-year program explores general education courses such as math and English, as well as core courses in nuclear medicine. Prior to completion of the program, students typically gain hands-on experience through clinical labs or internships.
Bachelor's Degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology
Bachelor's degree programs commonly require the completion of general education courses and one or more internships, sometimes in combination with other clinical opportunities.
When selecting a nuclear medicine program, students should ensure that they will be prepared for certification and licensure, and will have access to contemporary facilities and professional development opportunities.