South Florida Hospital News
Saturday February 29, 2020

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November 2018 - Volume 15 - Issue 5




Florida International University’s Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences Introduces New Doctor of Athletic Training Program

The field of athletic training encompasses the prevention, examination, diagnosis and treatment of emergent, acute or chronic injuries and medical conditions. Specifically, Athletic Trainers (ATs) are highly qualified, multi-skilled healthcare professionals who collaborate with physicians to provide preventive services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic interventions and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries and medical conditions. The field of athletic training is recognized as an allied health care profession by the American Medical Association (AMA), Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) recently mandated that the entry into the Athletic Training Profession would require a Master’s degree by 2022. The Department of Athletic Training at FIU has been extremely forward thinking and has offered a professional master’s in athletic training, the entry degree soon to be required, since 2005, almost 20 years prior to the mandate. The FIU Athletic Training program has developed strong clinical partners and our graduates have achieved unparalleled success and become leaders in the athletic training profession. When the MSAT was launched, it was the first of its kind in the state of Florida. With the evolution of the required degree to enter the profession as a certified athletic trainer, there is now a new gap in the advanced education of athletic trainers at the post professional level.  

However, Florida International University and specifically the Department of Athletic Training within the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences, once again demonstrating forward thinking, has quickly filled this gap with the launch of only the sixth Doctor of Athletic Training Program in the United States. FIU is now offering the first online advance practice doctoral degree in athletic training in the state of Florida and the first in southeastern United States. The program was successfully launched in August with six athletic trainers comprising the inaugural cohort. The students have collectively 20 years of certified athletic training experience and are employed in a variety of settings including intercollegiate athletics, high schools and orthopedic clinical settings.
The post-professional Doctor of Athletic Training (DAT) program is designed to advance the practice of athletic trainers with a focus on injury/illness prevention and entrepreneurial leadership. The DAT degree program meets the post-professional education vacancy of athletic trainers to enhance patient-centered care, outcomes, and quality of life for patients and physically active individuals across the lifespan. The DAT program is for athletic trainers previously certified through the National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA) Board of Certification who seek advanced athletic training education and clinical skills on the doctoral level. The majority of the curriculum is offered in an online format. Of the 48 credits included in the DAT program, 42 (87.5%) credits are offered online and 6 (12.5%) are offered face-to-face. The 6 face-to-face credits require students to attend class on the Modesto A. Maidique campus during each summer. The DAT affords athletic trainers with the opportunity to obtain education specifically designed to achieve their career goals. Athletic trainers will complete advanced individualized clinical residency courses which are tailor-made for each individual athletic trainer, culminating in an advanced applied clinical research project. We are the future of athletic training at FIU with the newly launched Doctor of Athletic Training Program.

Dr. Ora Strickland is Dean at the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences. For more information, visit or call (305) 348-0231.

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