New degrees in healthcare admin, RN to BSN and accounting added


Healthcare admin, RN-BSN, accounting degrees added

New programs designed for the working professional

Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) has announced the addition of three degrees – Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN) and Master of Science in Accounting.

The Bachelor of Science in Healthcare Administration (BSHCA) and the RN to BSN programs are available at a reduced tuition and are offered in non-traditional formats to allow professionals to balance work and school.


The BSHCA is a weekend program designed for mid-level managers and department heads in healthcare agencies. The program focuses on healthcare organizations’ department leadership and program administration; budgeting and financial management; quality program development; risk management; recruitment, hiring and training of personnel; and governmental healthcare regulations.

Ricardo A. Martinez, PhD, assistant professor in Healthcare Administration and chair of the Department of Business Programs, was recently hired to manage the program. “This is a needed program, especially for the area, that will prepare individuals to effectively manage healthcare programs in an ever-changing regulatory environment.” Martinez earned a BSN from the University of Texas System School of Nursing, a MS in healthcare administration from Southwest Texas State University and a MPH and PhD from the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston.


The RN to BSN is completely online and is designed for students who have earned an RN through an associate’s degree or diploma program. The degree allows students to complete the four-year bachelor’s program through a completely online program in as soon as two years. The RN to BSN focuses on nursing informatics, health assessment, evidence-based nursing research, community and public health nursing, healthcare ethics and current trends in nursing.

Wanda Sparks, RN, PhD, is the chair of OLLU’s Nursing Department. She has more than 20 years nursing experience in private, public and military healthcare facilities. In addition, she has taught nursing for more than a decade. “It is absolutely a great time to be a nurse. There are many exciting and fulfilling initiatives taking place in health care,” said Dr. Sparks. “The nursing program at OLLU offers a premier online learning experience. Faculty members are supportive and closely connected to the profession. Student success is the focus of each class.”


OLLU is the first university in the area to offer a Master of Science in Accounting. Beginning this fall, students can enroll in the 30-credit-hour graduate program through Weekend College, earn their master’s degree in one year and sit for the CPA exam. In addition, those who complete the MS program can reduce the time they must work under a CPA from two years to one.

The program covers such areas as taxation, financial reporting, auditing and ethics.

“This degree is not about number crunching or debits and credits,” said 
Blaise Bender, JD, associate professor of business. “It is a degree that will teach skills in transaction analysis and planning. It opens up tremendous possibilities, career-wise.”

Bender (pictured at right), a tax attorney and CPA, says the program is designed for traditional students and working adults. “We are not making a distinction between the two. The admission requirements are the same.”

Texas State Board of Public Accountancy has increased the number of hours it requires for students to qualify for the CPA exam – from 120 to 150. The OLLU MS in Accounting helps students meet this requirement while earning an advanced degree.

“What I like is no one is doing a 30-hour MS in the area,” Bender says. “I’m excited about doing something new.”

Additional information on the three new degree programs offered at OLLU can be accessed by visiting the
OLLU Admissions Office online or calling 210-431-3961.