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Turn Effective Communication Into Improved Healthcare Delivery

Healthcare is often delivered through large and complex organizations in a highly regulated environment, with significant social and cultural expectations. In our Healing, Hierarchy, Healthcare, and Wholeness concentration, you’ll gain deeper insight into the multiple levels of communication that happen within this environment. Learn how communication impacts direct patient contact as well as information systems, regulatory requirements, and corporate activity.

This BS in Communication concentration can be ideal for those who work in direct patient care or in a supporting, auxiliary, or healthy lifestyle-related role.

Why Walden?

Broaden Your Perspective

Gain a big-picture understanding of how a healthcare organization functions and the important role communication plays.

Study Healthcare Delivery

Learn how healthcare delivery works and how better communication contributes to improved patient outcomes and lower costs.

Learn From Actual Practitioners

Our BS in Communication faculty are active practitioners and thought leaders who bring real-world insights to the classroom.

Program Savings

Speak with an Enrollment Specialist to learn about our current tuition savings.


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Program Details

Curriculum

Degree Completion Requirements

  • 181 quarter credits (1 semester credit equals 1.5 quarter credits)
    • General education courses: 46 cr.
    • Core Program Courses: 50 quarter credits
    • Concentration Courses: 0-25 quarter credits (depending on concentration)
    • General Electives: 55-80 quarter credits (depending on concentration)
    • Capstone Course: 5 quarter credits

Students may be eligible to transfer up to 135 credits. At least 45 credits must be completed at Walden.

This sequence represents the minimum time to completion. Time to completion will vary by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 855-767-9522.

Courses

Course Code Title Credits

Core Program Courses

COMM 1010
Introduction to Communication

The field of communication has grown exponentially in the last 100 years, as various contexts create and influence practice. Once focused only on public speaking, the communication field now encompasses many types of specialized applications, including health, small group, organizational, interpersonal, and intercultural. This class introduces students to foundations of communication, processes that influence communication, and characteristics of effective communication, and provides students the necessary base for success in subsequent communication courses and professional life.

(5 cr.)
COMM 1006
Stereotypes and Scandals: Exploring the Power of Mass Communication and Mass Media

Mass communication and mass media are such a normal part of people's daily lives that they sometimes don't give them the attention they deserve. The messages, images, and stories individuals see and hear influence and impact them in ways they may not understand. In this course students explore user-generated content, personal branding, and how the modern mass and social media has brought mass communication to almost everyone. Students also examine how political and social messages relate to fake news, and how they can be a part of social change.

Prerequisites

BS in Communication

  • COMM 1010

All Other Programs

  • None

(5 cr.)
COMM 1008
Interpersonal Communication for Personal and Professional Success

Effective interpersonal skills are in high demand with employers, necessary for productivity, and improve individuals' quality of life. Students in this course examine practical concepts and soft skills for personal and professional success. Students explore and discuss listening, verbal communication, nonverbal communication, communication styles, culture, giving and receiving feedback, and interaction in a variety of modalities. Using insights gained from their weekly assignments, students engage in a final project through which they can earn an interpersonal soft skills certificate.

Prerequisites

BS in Communication

  • COMM 1010

All Other Programs

  • None

(5 cr.)
COMM 2001
Dynamics of Group Communication

Now more than ever, organizations are looking for individuals who can work effectively in a group. Students delve into the concepts and strategies of effective group functioning while applying these concepts to a group experience. In addition, students examine research on groups and teams including the following topics: stages of team development, handling conflict effectively, communicating effectively through various modes, valuing diversity, the impacts of groupthink, and encouraging creativity.

Prerequisites

BS in Communication

  • COMM 1010

All Other Programs

  • None

(5 cr.)
COMM 2002
Fundamentals of Public Speaking

Whether you participate in training, a business meeting, or community event, being a skilled public speaker differentiates an uninteresting experience from an engaging one. Students in this course work to develop and enhance their ability and confidence in presentation skills, empathic listening, and critical thinking. Topics include developing content and organizing ideas using proven techniques for the oral delivery of informative and persuasive speeches. Additional topics include audience analysis, critical listening and thinking, and the use of technology in presentations. In this course, students have an opportunity to improve their public communication skills, as well as plan, create, and deliver presentations.

Prerequisites

BS in Communication

  • COMM 1010

All Other Programs

  • None

Note: This course is delivered over a 6-week term but is equated to COMM 2002E, which is delivered in a 12-week term.

(5 cr.)
COMM 2005
Digital Storytelling

Digital storytelling drives the Internet and communication. Writers tell stories on every blog, website, and social media post in the ever-expanding online, mobile environment. User-generated content, citizen journalists, vloggers, and influencers increasingly drive views and capture audiences. Students study the hallmarks of effective digital writing, including clear, concise language and ease of reading across multiple platforms and programs. Digital writing strategies and techniques are key, modern workplace skills, and this course provides engaging, real-world opportunities for students to develop their soft skill set.

Prerequisites

BS in Communication

  • COMM 1010

All Other Programs

  • None

(5 cr.)
COMM 3004
Communication Theory

There is nothing as practical as a good theory. The expanding field of communication has developed a number of theories that explain, predict, and recreate communication impacts. Some of these theories apply to their specific fields, while others have broader application across communication disciplines. Students in this course examine and apply a variety of communication theories within health, small group, organizational, public speaking, interpersonal, intercultural, traditional, and nontraditional contexts. This class assists students in creating, assessing, and choosing effective communication strategies suitable for a variety of contexts.

Prerequisites

  • COMM 1010

(5 cr.)
PREL 3001
Principles of Public Relations

How is communication conducted between a community and private entities and in what ways can this communication affect decision making and outcome of actions? Preparing students to answer such questions and to understand, appreciate, and apply the fundamentals of public relations (PR) is a goal of this course. Students learn about the relationships practitioners have with both internal and external communities who are affected by, and who affect, an organization's actions or planning. Students also build their command of the basic principles and practices of PR, while applying these concepts to real-world scenarios and a written plan that includes the various phases of the PR process.

Prerequisites

BS in Communication

  • COMM 1010

All Other Programs

  • None

(5 cr.)
COMM 4101
Organizational Communication

Students in this course work toward gaining skills to communicate effectively in a diverse, global environment. They examine the relationship of culture and personal identity to communication strategies. They also learn to distinguish the modes and styles of communication unique to their personal culture from the cultures of others; explain the theories of cultural differences; anticipate and overcome challenges in cross-cultural situations; and apply effective cross-cultural communication skills to academic, personal, and professional settings. Students engage in a final project through which they gain hands-on experience working with someone from another culture, acquiring practical skills to use in the 21-century global society.

Prerequisites

BS in Communication

  • COMM 1010

All Other Programs

  • None

(5 cr.)
COMM 4001
Intercultural Communication

Globalization has created a smaller world. Media, culture, commerce, new neighbors, and new family members have drastically increased interactions among culturally diverse people. In this global environment, people need to interact effectively with all types of people, cultures, and world views. In this course, students are provided tools for observing, evaluating, and understanding various cultures to communicate effectively with others. Students explore the impact of culture and personal identity on communication strategies. They distinguish the modes and styles of communication unique to their personal culture from the cultures of others. Students explain how theories of cultural differences can help to anticipate and overcome challenges in intercultural situations. In addition, students apply effective intercultural communication skills to academic, personal, and professional settings.

Prerequisites

BS in Communication

  • COMM 1010

All Other Programs

  • None

(5 cr.)

Concentration Courses

HLTH 3105
Interprofessional Teamwork in Healthcare

Students in this course are introduced to a patient-centered interprofessional model for healthcare delivery in which individual practitioners collaborate as members of a team. Students examine the benefits of this interprofessional approach for patients and providers, focusing on how it can lead to improved outcomes. They also explore and discuss professional challenges and institutional barriers, such as delineation of responsibilities, reimbursement, and licensing. Students have the opportunity to gain practical experience with the patient-centered model through the analysis of a patient case study, a hypothetical interprofessional healthcare team, and an appropriate treatment plan. They also consider the benefits of such a model on the future of healthcare.

(5 cr.)
NURS 3110
Information Management and Patient Care Technology

Nursing informatics supports nursing practice in education, administration, research, patient safety, quality outcomes, core standards, and nurse-sensitive outcomes. In this course, students emphasize the meaningful use of information technology in the delivery of nursing services, including the collection, storage, retrieval, and communication of data; information system safeguards; ethical and legal issues; and information management to promote patient safety and quality of care.

(5 cr.)
PREL 4103
Crisis Communications

Rapid shifts in the economy, changes in political leaders, and negative news reports are just a few of the factors affecting marketing campaigns and public relations (PR) efforts. In this course, students can learn the value of managing internal and external communications effectively in situations of risk, crisis, and sudden change—a critical competence for PR professionals and organizations. Students examine successful and unsuccessful crisis communication efforts and consider issues of contingency planning, speed, transparency, multiple modalities, stakeholder analysis, and ethics. They engage in assignments designed to provide practical application of content through which they gain experience developing a communication plan to mitigate and solve issues of crisis in PR.

Prerequisites

  • PREL 3001 or HLTH 3115

(5 cr.)
MGMT 4400
Organizational Behavior and Management

Students address concepts of human and organizational functioning, while focusing on managerial problems and solutions in organizational settings. Topics include individual perception and learning, career development, employee motivation, effective decision making, management of diversity, ethical issues faced by organizations and managers, communications, and the impact of organizational culture on leadership and management.

Prerequisites

BS in Communication

  • COMM 1010

All Other Programs

  • BUSI 1001 or BUSI 1002 or COMM 3001

(5 cr.)
RELG 2001C
World Religions

In this course, students engage in an exploration of the tenets and sacred texts of the religions of the world. They explore Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Christianity, Judaism, and Primal religions (e.g., American Indian, African). Students demonstrate their understanding of course concepts and principles through a final comparative essay in which they make connections among religions and analyze how followers use religion to make sense of the world around them. Through this project and other weekly, applied assignments, students gain the knowledge needed to identify the origins, history, beliefs, and practices of the major world religions.

(5 cr.)
OR
ANTH 3001C
Indigenous Peoples in the Modern World

In this course, students work toward developing a modern and inclusive understanding of indigenous peoples of the world. They explore indigenous identity; historical continuity with pre-colonial and/or pre-settler societies; indigenous identity in relation to natural resources; and indigenous languages, cultures, and beliefs. Students complete a series of weekly field note assignments in which they address topics or themes related to the exploration of their own indigenous identity. Through this course, students gain the knowledge needed to explain processes of indigenization, adaptation, and communication as phenomena of globalization.

(5 cr.)

Electives

Choose 11 courses from general education, BS in Communication, other Walden bachelor’s degree programs, or Accelerate into Master’s (AIM) courses. At least 15 credits must be at the 3000 level or higher. Your elective credits should total 55 to meet your program requirements. You may also be eligible to transfer previous credit to meet your elective requirements. Note on minors: Electives can also be used to complete a six-course minor.

Capstone

COMM 4901
Communication Capstone

Students conclude their study in communications in this course as they integrate theory and practice developed throughout the program. Students create a comprehensive communications plan through which they apply concepts and tools appropriate to the needs of a chosen setting based on a thorough assessment of strategic direction, audience or market, advantages, weaknesses, obstacles, and opportunities.

Prerequisites

  • All required core and concentration courses

Note: Students complete this course after they meet all other requirements in the program.

(5 cr.)
VIEW ALL COURSES Less Courses

Admission Requirements

Admission is considered for adult students who hold a high school diploma or its equivalent. Applicants must also meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are 21 years of age or older.
  • You are less than 21 years of age with at least 12 quarter credits.
  • You are an active member of the military or a veteran with documentation of service.

More information for international applicants.

Tuition and Fees

Curriculum Component Requirements Cost Amount
Tuition 181 quarter credit hours $333 per quarter hour $60,273
Technology Fee Per quarter $165 $2,640


  $62,913*

*Tuition reflects the minimum time to completion. Time to completion varies by student, depending on individual progress and credits transferred, if applicable. Tuition and time to complete may be reduced if transfer credits are accepted, or if you receive grants, scholarships or other tuition reductions. Walden may accept up to 135 transfer credits. For a personalized estimate of the number of your transfer credits that Walden would accept, call an Enrollment Specialist at 844-768-0109.

Tuition and fees are subject to change. Books and materials are not included and may cost up to an additional $5,000.

FINANCIAL AID

Many Walden degree-seeking students—67%—receive some form of financial aid.* Create a customized plan that makes sense for you.

*Source: Walden University’s Office of Financial Aid. Data reports as of 2018.

Find Ways to Save

Program Savings

Speak with an Enrollment Specialist to learn about our current tuition savings.


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Program Outcomes

Drive Improved Healthcare Delivery

In this online communication degree concentration, you’ll apply communication principles within the context of courses that focus on health. Gain a high-level understanding of how healthcare systems work. Study how effective communication increases patient engagement, reduces costs, shortens healing time, and creates greater satisfaction for both patients and caregivers.

Career Outlook

Employment in healthcare occupations is projected to grow 16% through 2030 and add about 2.6 million new jobs.1 With this growth comes a need for skilled professionals to support and facilitate sound communication practices tailored to the unique needs of this industry.

With a BS in Communication concentration in Healing, Hierarchy, Healthcare, and Wholeness, you’ll stand out to potential healthcare employers by being able to identify communication needs, understand communication systems, and develop viable communication strategies. Take an active role in promoting organizational success as well as better patient care.

Career options may require additional experience, training, licensure, or other factors beyond the successful completion of this online communication degree program.

Resources

Meet Your Academic Team

  • Denice Johnson

    Gaby Johnson

    Core Faculty

    Johnson has been teaching at Walden since 2009, with communication theory and skills as her area of expertise. She has a BA in Communication Education from MidAmerica Nazarene University and an MA in Communication Studies from the University of Kansas.

  • Susan Oakes

    Suzanne Oakes

    Contributing Faculty

    Prior to teaching, Oakes spent 10 years working in the nonprofit sector as a public, patient, and professional health educator and communication specialist. Her passion is health promotion and the use of value-driven public relations to improve the patient care experience.

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