June 28, 2018 – All the 2018 graduates from Adventist University of Health Sciences’ (ADU) nuclear medicine program passed the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB) exam on their first attempt, marking the third consecutive year the program’s graduates have had a 100% first-time pass rate.
Joseph Hawkins, CNMT, ADU’s Program Director of Nuclear Medicine Technology, said, “We’re thrilled at the success that our graduates have had on their certification exams. This success is a direct result of their hard work in the classroom and the excellent hands-on instruction they receive at our clinical affiliates. We’re excited for them as they begin their careers in the expanding field of nuclear medicine and molecular imaging.”
Nuclear medicine is a branch of medical imaging that uses small amounts of radioactive material to diagnose and determine the severity of or treat a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers, heart disease, gastrointestinal, endocrine, neurological disorders, and other abnormalities within the body. Nuclear medicine technologists are trained professionals who can employ small quantities of these radioactive materials to help visualize and define tumors, malfunctioning organs, and the physiology of cardiac, bone, and other organic functions.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) website lists the average annual wage for nuclear medicine technologists across the U.S. was $75,660 in May 2017 (accurate as of 6/6/2018). The job growth rate is projected to rise faster than other occupations. The website also states that nuclear medicine technologists can improve their job prospects by completing a bachelor’s degree from an accredited program.
ADU’s nuclear medicine degree program began in 2001 and is currently the only nuclear medicine bachelor’s program offered in Florida. The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI) has stated they consider the bachelor’s degree to be the professional degree standard for nuclear medicine technologists. Since the program’s beginning, it’s achieved a 92% graduation rate, 94% NMTCB exam pass rate, 97% American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) exam pass rate, and 81% of graduates found employment within 6 months of graduation.
Most graduates begin as technologists at hospitals and imaging centers, but many have continued education through graduate degrees or medical school. Others attain hospital leadership roles, work as program directors or health physicists, or take numerous paths in healthcare.