History & Heritage
The origins of AdventHealth University Orlando began with the Florida Hospital School of Nursing operated on the current site from 1913 until 1958, when Southern Missionary College (now Southern Adventist University) sent nursing students from Tennessee to Orlando for clinical experience. In 1983, Southern Missionary College opened an Orlando Center, offering an associate degree in Nursing. Florida Hospital founded a School of Practical Nursing on the campus in 1964, and also offered programs in radiography and sonography.
In 1992, a new school was formed, Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences, which began with the merger of four programs: the Associate of Science degree in Nursing, Radiography, and Sonography and the Licensed Practical Nursing program. The College became a baccalaureate-granting institution in 1998 when it took over the Southern Adventist University Bachelor of Science Nursing Program. Since then, the College has added associate degree programs in Occupational Therapy Assistant, and Health Sciences (formerly Pre-Professional Studies) and six baccalaureate programs have also been added: online-learning degrees in Radiologic Sciences, Diagnostic Medical Sonography and Nursing, and on-campus degrees in Health Sciences, Biomedical Sciences, Healthcare Administration, and Nuclear Medicine (formerly an Associate degree program).
In 2008, the College began its first graduate program, a master’s degree in Nurse Anesthesia. The second graduate program, a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy, began in the fall of 2011. In addition, in 2009, the university established a Denver site where associate degrees in nursing, radiography, sonography are offered via live Polycom transmission of didactic courses from the Orlando campus.
During 2012, the College changed its name to Adventist University of Health Sciences and continued to grow the degree programs offered by the former Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences. A third advanced program, a master’s degree in Healthcare Administration began Fall 2013. The fourth such program, a master’s degree in Physician Assistant, began Summer 2015. The first terminal degree to be offered by the institution, a doctoral degree in Physical Therapy, began Summer 2016. Another terminal degree, a doctoral degree in Nurse Anesthesia Practice, began Summer 2018. The newest master’s degrees offered are the master’s degree in Nursing (Spring 2019) and the master’s degree in Spiritual Care (Spring 2021).
In 2018, the university’s parent company (Adventist Health System) began a rebranding strategy to change its name to AdventHealth. To align with AdventHealth, the university adopted a new name, AdventHealth University. Building on its rich educational heritage, AdventHealth University continues to grow as an institution with a commitment and passion for healthcare as ministry developing professionals who live the healing values of Christ.
AdventHealth University is a Seventh-day Adventist institution specializing in healthcare education in a faith-affirming environment. Service-oriented and guided by the values of nurture, excellence, spirituality, and stewardship, the University seeks to develop leaders who will practice healthcare as a ministry.
AdventHealth University is a leader in healthcare education, transforming the science and practice of whole-person care and developing influential professionals of uncommon compassion.
AHU fosters NURTURE by creating a respectful, inclusive, supportive, and empowering environment for all.
AHU expands EXCELLENCE by advancing innovative teaching, experiential learning, and serious scholarship.
AHU cultivates SPIRITUALITY by offering opportunities for all to grow in relationship with God.
AHU promotes STEWARDSHIP by optimizing human potential, positive relationships, and valuable resources.
AdventHealth University strives to create an educational environment that fosters the inculcation of its four core values: Nurture, Excellence, Spirituality, and Stewardship. From those four ideals the University has identified seven learning outcomes which inform its curricular and extracurricular endeavors with the goal that they be manifested in the lives of its graduates.
The AHU graduate will be a caring professional who possesses a willingness to nurture other individuals in the context of healthcare as a ministry.
A caring individual:
- Defines the concept of caring.
- Identifies the principles of caring.
- Engages in caring behaviors.
- Analyzes the impact of caring behaviors in healthcare.
- Evaluates caring behaviors of one’s self and others in healthcare.
- Constructs new caring strategies for quality improvement in healthcare.
The AHU graduate will be an effective communicator who possesses appropriate verbal, nonverbal and written skills in the practice of healthcare as a ministry.
The effective communicator:
- Employs appropriate mechanics, grammar, and word usage based on American Standard English.
- Organizes and presents thoughts in a coherent form.
- Adapts both written and oral communication to the target audience.
- Analyzes and critiques the communication of oneself and/or others.
- Reads and evaluates research reports within the healthcare field.
- Designs and presents scholarly activity.
The AHU graduate will be a critical thinker who gathers relevant information and analyzes and uses that knowledge in practicing healthcare as a ministry.
The critical thinker:
- Identifies critical thinking strategies.
- Interprets meaning using critical thinking strategies.
- Classifies information using critical thinking strategies.
- Develops solutions for complex problems.
- Evaluates solutions for complex problems.
- Uses critical thinking strategies in the design and implementation of scholarly activities.
The AHU graduate will exhibit the characteristics of a Christian professional: treating everyone with respect and dignity in the context of healthcare as a ministry.
The ethical/moral individual:
- Identifies the principles of moral/ethical behavior.
- Illustrates principles of ethical/moral behavior.
- Rates or ranks the importance of ethical/moral principles.
- Applies ethical/moral principles in decision making.
- Evaluates the ethical/moral principles in healthcare practice.
- Integrates ethical/moral principles in healthcare practice.
The AHU graduate will demonstrate professional expertise by passing appropriate professional examinations and exhibiting proficiencies within the context of healthcare as a ministry.
- Demonstrates an adequate knowledge base of profession.
- Performs skills appropriate to the clinical environment.
- Advocates for the patients.
- Examines the impact and effectiveness of the profession.
- Supports the profession within the arena of healthcare.
- Constructs new ideas and/or practices for improvement in the profession.
Service to the Community
The AHU graduate will be one who fulfills their social, civic and environmental responsibilities in their involvement of healthcare as a ministry.
The serving individual:
- Identifies the needs of under-served populations.
- Explains the importance of participating in a professional community.
- Examines strategies to provide service to the community.
- Engages with civic entities.
- Evaluates service opportunities completed through self-reflection and peer evaluations.
- Designs solutions to assist populations in need.
The AHU graduate will be a lifelong learner who pursues excellence and the ongoing acquisition of knowledge and professional expertise.
The lifelong learner:
- Defines the principles of lifelong learning.
- Reflects on learning strategies.
- Engages in a variety of learning opportunities.
- Demonstrates information fluency.
- Examines growth and improvement in learning experiences.
- Develops a personal plan for lifelong learning.
Assessment of Learning Outcomes
AdventHealth University believes that assessment of learning outcomes and general education competencies should include:
- Both direct and indirect measures
- Assessments at the class level where a variety of techniques can be employed
- Student self-assessment
- Alumni self-assessment
- Use of nationally normed instruments where appropriate and available.