Stanbridge University President Yasith Weerasuriya Talks About the Evolution of Healthcare Education
The way we view and access healthcare has evolved over the years, as have the options available to those who want to pursue a career in this field. Yasith Weerasuriya, President of Stanbridge University, Orange County, Los Angeles, and Riverside campuses, is a pioneer in the field of health care education.
“When I was young, there wasn’t the Internet, so the only way to get your hands on books was to go somewhere and buy them,” he said. “Nowadays, information is just a click away.”
This dramatic shift in how we access information has not only changed the way medical professionals are prepared for their careers. Still, it has also increased opportunities for those who want to enter this field at a higher level or have previously been unable to pursue this path.
“There is an increasing need of trained health care providers everywhere around the world,” Weerasuriya said. “The world is now more complex, with an aging population and lifestyle diseases. As a result, new opportunities are opening up in the healthcare industry.”
About Stanbridge University
Stanbridge University is a private institution based in Irvine offering educational programs in Nursing and Allied Health. The university helps students achieve their career goals by providing practical hands-on training and real-world experience.
Stanbridge University offers programs in:
- Associate of Science (Nursing) – full-time day and part-time evening, six months to two years; online program available; located at the Orange County campus
- Bachelor of Science (Nursing) – four years; located at the Orange County campus
- Bachelor of Science (Nursing) – four years; located at the Los Angeles campus
- Master of Science (Nursing) – two years, with thesis or non-thesis options; located at the Orange County and Los Angeles campuses
“Our degree programs are designed to accommodate the educational backgrounds and experiences of students,” Weerasuriya said. “The programs are practical, with a focus on clinical training, so our graduates will be immediately employable upon graduation.”
An Increasing Need for Skilled Nursing
“One thing we are seeing is that there is a shortage of nurses in the United States,” Weerasuriya said. “This is a result of a few things: With the aging population, there will be an increased need for skilled nurses who can provide patient care. Additionally, many healthcare providers are expected to retire over the next decade.”
The number of RNs in the United States is expected to increase by 25 percent from 2010 to 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook, and this will not be enough to keep up with demand. According to a study conducted by Truven Health Analytics and the American Hospital Association in 2019, there were over 1 million vacant nursing positions nationwide.
“This is a career with many opportunities, and getting an education can help you stand out among the competition for employment,” Weerasuriya said. “Industry projections show that skilled nursing positions are not only among the fastest-growing occupations in the healthcare field but also the best paid.”
Technological Advances Help Expand Opportunities
The evolution of healthcare education isn’t limited to how medical professionals are trained but also includes advancements in technology. This has not only made it easier for students to access information, but it has also created new employment opportunities.
“Technology is playing a key role in the evolution of health care,” Weerasuriya said. “The way we access information is changing, and this has changed how health care education is delivered. The advances in technology have also created many new career opportunities.”
For example, instead of working as a nurse on the floor of a hospital, individuals can become nurses at home via telemedicine. This work may be done independently or through organizations such as WellMed and Honor, which provide nurses to patients in their homes who require monitoring and supervision.