The Best Free University and College Courses in Healthcare

The Best Free University and College Courses in Healthcare

The Best Free University and College Courses in Healthcare

In this article Skip to section

What Is an Online Healthcare Course?

Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are becoming a popular way for people to learn new information and skills.

Healthcare is one industry where online courses help nurses , doctors, and social and care workers expand their knowledge.

As healthcare covers so many different topics, online courses allow students to focus on a specific element and develop skill sets when they need to.

It is also an industry that changes with technological developments and public health circumstances (2020 pandemic, for example).

With all these updates and changes, healthcare workers need to dedicate time to educating themselves.

Why Should I Take an Online Healthcare Course?

Taking an online healthcare course will help:

  • Improve a patient's experience
  • Healthcare workers to stay on top of trends
  • Healthcare workers to revisit topics they haven't practiced in a while
  • Healthcare professionals learn new skills to deliver a higher standard of care

Who Might Benefit From an Online Healthcare Course?

Those Interested in Continuous Learning

Many professions where you need a license to work also require that person to participate in continuous learning .

Professional bodies do this to ensure that:

  • Everyone understands all policy changes and procedure updates
  • Healthcare standards are met and are continually improving

Those Interested in Expanding Their Current Skill Set

Online courses are available to everyone, regardless of the level of understanding and previous education or experience.

Those working in a care home may want to learn more about degenerative brain diseases or non-verbal forms of communication .

Flight attendants receive life-saving first-aid training, but some may want to learn more about mental health or helping those with phobias.

Those Preparing For a Promotion or Entering a Specialization

In some cases, the healthcare professional may receive formal training after their promotion but taking a course beforehand will:

  • Show they are committed to the promotion or specialization
  • Provide a solid foundation for them to work on

Those Considering a Career Change

MOOCs allow people to explore different industries that they are curious about.

Sometimes we think a job will be easy or fun, and it ends up being the exact opposite.

Free online courses allow you to sample the industry to see if it is a good fit for your needs.

It also lets employers and recruiters know that you are dedicated to your new career choice .

Those Starting Their Degree

While your degree is expected to teach you about your chosen profession, it doesn't cover everything.

Taking free additional courses helps deepen your understanding of the topic and enables you to stay ahead in class.

They also allow you to study a topic further.

Those Wanting a Taster Before Committing

Before committing to a full four-year degree, you can complete a short online course to confirm that it is the career choice for you.

What Can I Expect to Gain From an Online Healthcare Course?

The exact skills you can expect to learn will vary depending on the course type and content. However, as a generalization, you can expect to gain:

  • Further understanding – If you choose to study a somewhat familiar topic, the extra time dedicated to it should give you further understanding and clarity.

  • New knowledge – Whatever topic or subject you choose to study, the expectation is that you will finish your course with new knowledge of that topic.

  • Greater confidence – Knowing new procedures or understanding something better might give you the confidence to work outside your comfort zone – so long as it doesn't go beyond your legal limits – and lead to promotions.

  • Show employer you are serious – Using your personal time to expand your knowledge or learn a new skill tells employers that you are serious about your career. Being on your employer's radar will open you up to more opportunities or promotions.

How to Improve Your Healthcare Knowledge Alongside Your Free Online Healthcare Courses

  • Find a mentorFinding a mentor can be challenging but highly beneficial. Use networking events and professional body mentor schemes to find a mentor who aligns with your values and is open with their knowledge and guidance.

  • Ask questions – If there is a procedure or situation you don't understand, ask questions to clarify. Not only will it help you perform better, but you will also stand out to seniors and employers.

  • Never pretend to know something – Chances are there will be someone else who also doesn't know. Raising your hand and admitting you don't know the answer or solution shows you have a willingness to learn and are trustworthy. Trust is essential in the workplace. You do not want senior staff members to be concerned that you are going to make a potentially fatal mistake.

  • Be helpful – Healthcare working environments can be hectic. But if there is ever a situation where you have nothing to do, ask if anyone needs any help – even if it is below your expertise. It may help you to learn a new skill or better understand someone else's role.

The Best Free University and College Courses in Healthcare

The below courses are all MOOCs, meaning that they are free to access, but you need to pay for an official certificate and additional course material.

However, you can still write that you have completed the course on your resume and professional profiles.

In some cases, you can take a screenshot of the final score or completion confirmation if you do want some evidence.

The Best Free University and College Courses in Healthcare
The Best Free University and College Courses in Healthcare

1. Introduction to Nursing: Bioscience, Psychology and Sociology – University of York

Duration: Three weeks, four hours per week
Level of enrollment: No previous knowledge needed
Additional fees: £42 for certificate and unlimited access
Delivery: Self-led

Offered by the University of York, this course is taught by lecturers specializing in mental health and disabilities.

The course covers:

  • The many roles of nurses
  • Caring for children, adults, older people and individuals with mental health and cognitive support needs
  • Bioscience applied to nursing
  • Psychology related to nursing
  • Sociology related to nursing and society

It is designed for those considering a nursing career and has received top reviews from past students.

Visit Introduction to Nursing: Bioscience, Psychology and Sociology – University of York

2. Integrative Nursing Specialization – University of Minnesota

Duration: Six months – three hours per week
Level of enrollment: Beginner
Additional fees: $39 per month subscription for support and certificate
Delivery: Self-led

This course is run by members of the Earl E. Bakken Center for Spirituality and Healing .

The course covers:

  • Introduction to integrative nursing
  • Clinical use of aromatherapy
  • Guided imagery
  • Mindfulness in integrative nursing

To complete the course, you need to finish a peer-reviewed project that applies the integrative nursing principles.

Visit Integrative Nursing Specialization – University of Minnesota

Mental Health Courses

3. GP Training: Goal-setting for Patients Living with Multimorbidity – University of East Anglia

Duration: Three weeks, three hours per week
Level of enrollment: For all GP levels
Additional fees: £52 for certificate and unlimited access
Delivery: Self-led

This course is accredited by the Royal College of General Practitioners and supported by the:

  • National Institute of Health Research
  • Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research
  • Care East of England Program

Modules include:

  • Definition of goal-setting and its role in managing patients living with multimorbidity
  • The three goal-setting steps
  • Putting goal-setting into action
  • Reflecting on goal-setting and dealing with challenges
  • Goal-setting follow-up and reviews

Visit GP Training: Goal-setting for Patients Living with Multimorbidity – University of East Anglia

4. Addiction Treatment: Clinical Skills for Healthcare Providers – Yale University

Duration: 14 hours
Level of enrollment: Beginner
Additional fees: Monthly subscription for certificate
Delivery: Self-led and flexible deadlines

This course is taught by a selection of Yale professors and associate professors. It states that 12% of students have received a pay rise or promotion following the completion of this course.

The topics covered are:

  • Showing compassion towards patients with substance abuse disorders
  • Identifying those with substance abuse disorders
  • Treatment and medication options
  • Psychological and behavioral therapy solutions
  • Societal factors that influence recovery

Visit Addiction Treatment: Clinical Skills for Healthcare Providers – Yale University

5. Impacting the Opioid Crisis: Prevention, Education, and Practice for Non-Prescribing Providers – University of Michigan

Duration: 26 hours
Level of enrollment: Beginner
Additional fees: Monthly subscription for additional features and certificate
Delivery: Self-led and fully flexible deadlines

This course is approved by several medical boards, including:

Modules include:

  • Epidemiology of the opioid crisis
  • Understanding pain
  • Prevention of misuse and abuse
  • Working with patients and the public
  • Addiction treatment and recovery
  • Public policy

Visit Impacting the Opioid Crisis: Prevention, Education, and Practice for Non-Prescribing Providers – University of Michigan

6. Understanding Brain Health: Preventing Dementia – University of Edinburgh

Duration: Four weeks, three hours per week
Level of enrollment: Designed for those wanting to build on their knowledge
Additional fees: £32 for certificate and unlimited access
Delivery: Self-led

Topics covered include:

  • How the brain works
  • What causes neurodegenerative diseases
  • How to manage brain health and minimize risk
  • How public health needs to adapt to manage dementia
  • How to encourage brain health on a global scale

This course offers up-to-date information and research on brain health and diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer's.

Visit Understanding Brain Health: Preventing Dementia – University of Edinburgh

Public Health Courses

7. Foundations of Public Health Practice Specialization – Imperial College London

Duration: Four months, four hours per week
Level of enrollment: Beginner
Additional fees: Monthly subscription for certificate
Delivery: Self-led and flexible deadlines

This course finishes with a capstone project and has enabled 33% of students to receive a pay rise or promotion.

The modules covered are:

  • The public health approach
  • Public health toolkit
  • Behavior and behavior change
  • Health protection

This course is also part of the Global Master of Public Health degree and enables you to cultivate behaviors to become an effective public health professional.

Visit Foundations of Public Health Practice Specialization – Imperial College London

8. Causes of Human Disease: Nutrition and Environment – University of Leeds

Duration: Two weeks, four hours per week
Level of enrollment: Beginner
Additional fees: £52 for certificate
Delivery: Self-led

Completion of this course earns you 14 CPD points and covers:

  • The importance of vitamins and minerals
  • Protein and energy malnutrition
  • Obesity
  • Food, water and environmental toxins
  • Air pollution and cardiovascular health

Visit Causes of Human Disease: Nutrition and Environment – University of Leeds

9. Vital Signs: Understanding What the Body Is Telling Us – University of Pennsylvania

Duration: 14 hours
Level of enrollment: Beginner
Additional fees: Monthly subscription fee after free trial
Delivery: Self-led and flexible deadlines

The syllabus includes:

  • Pulse and heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Metabolism
  • Temperature
  • Respiration rate
  • Pain

The course is designed for anyone with an interest in healthcare as well as fitness and nutrition.

Visit Vital Signs: Understanding What the Body Is Telling Us – University of Pennsylvania

Medical Industry Courses

10. Medical Equipment Donations to Low Resource Settings – St. George's University of London

Duration: Two weeks, two hours per week
Level of enrollment: Beginner, but designed for medical professionals and students
Additional fees: £32 for certificate and unlimited access
Delivery: Self-led

This course is accredited by the CPD Certification Service and developed in collaboration with the Tropical Health Education Trust.

It covers:

  • Challenges of healthcare in low-resource settings
  • Planning donations
  • Feasibility and sustainability
  • Medical device regulations
  • Budgeting and hidden costs

The course uses real-life case studies, and the final module touches on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visit Medical Equipment Donations to Low Resource Settings – St. George's University of London

11. Leading Healthcare Quality and Safety – The George Washington University

Duration: 13 hours
Level of enrollment: Beginner
Additional fees: Coursera monthly subscription for additional resources and certificate
Delivery: Self-led and fully flexible deadlines

This course aims to educate medical professionals to lead the way for increased healthcare quality and patient safety.

It links resources from the WHO and the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and covers the following topics:

  • Establishing a framework of safety
  • Quality and safety improvement science
  • Leadership for quality and safety

Visit Leading Healthcare Quality and Safety – The George Washington University

Professional Development Courses

12. Professional Resilience: Building Skills to Thrive at Work – Deakin University

Duration: Two weeks, three hours per week
Level of enrollment: Open to anyone from any industry
Additional fees: £52 for certification
Delivery: Self-led

This course is accredited by the CPD Certification Service.

It covers:

  • Steps to becoming more resilient
  • Building resilient skills, self-care practices and values

Those working in high-stress environments like hospitals and social care need a lot of resilience. This course can help you build the necessary skills to enhance your resilience.

Visit Professional Resilience: Building Skills to Thrive at Work – Deakin University

Final Thoughts

MOOCs have both advantages and disadvantages.

They are an excellent resource for learning new information and skills. They are often short and can be completed on any internet-connected device.

However, they can become costly if you need certificates or additional support and material.

As healthcare requires so many skills and covers so many topics, it is a profession where learning will never stop.

Regardless of your level of understanding or interests, there is a free university or college course that will help you with your professional or personal development .


Read This Next

You might also be interested in these other WikiJob articles:

Or explore the Postgraduate / Free Courses sections.