History & Heritage
The rich history of AdventHealth University extends more than a century.
The origins of this vibrant institution begin with the Florida Hospital School of Nursing, operated for many decades on the current site starting in 1913. Southern Missionary College (now Southern Adventist University) sent nursing students from Tennessee to Orlando for clinical experience. Over the years, the hospital added programs in Radiography (1962), Practical Nursing (1964), and Sonography (1988).
In 1992, those four programs were combined to form a new school, Florida Hospital College of Health Sciences.
The College became a baccalaureate-granting institution in 1998 when it took over the Southern Adventist University Bachelor of Science Nursing Program.
In 2008, the College began its first graduate program, a master’s degree in Nurse Anesthesia.
Looking to expand its valuable healthcare ministry, the university established a Denver campus in 2009, where degrees in nursing, radiography, and sonography are offered.
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. The first terminal degree to be offered by the institution, a doctoral degree in Physical Therapy, took root in summer 2016.
In 2018, the university’s parent company (Adventist Health System) rebranded its name to AdventHealth. To align with AdventHealth, the university adopted 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.