Nuclear Medicine Technologist Schools


Nuclear medicine technology (NMT) is part of the family of diagnostic imaging tools that includes radiography (X-ray), computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and ultrasonography (US). In order to become a nuclear medicine technologist you must graduate from an accredited program. The Joint Review Committee on Educational Programs in Nuclear Medicine Technology (JRCNMT) oversees the accreditation process for each program around the United States and its territories. While all you need to get started as an entry-level nuclear medicine technologist is an associate’s degree, many students continue their education to receive either a bachelor’s degree or certification. The JRCNMT accredits all three levels of education. As of now, there are no accredited graduate programs. Associate degrees are earned at community colleges, bachelor’s degrees are earned at 4-year colleges and universities, and certificates are earned in hospitals. In most cases, certification programs are one year in length.

An associate’s degree may be obtained in two years. It’s highly suggested, especially if you plan on continuing your education after two years, to know which prerequisite courses are required based on the school you plan to attend. Most nuclear medicine technology programs are competitive to enter into. However, it usually depends on the program and school you are applying to that will determine your overall chances. For example, the certification program at West Virginia University Hospitals in West Virginia only admits 4 students each year, while the associate’s degree program at Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute in North Carolina admits approximately 27 students each year.

Common prerequisite courses usually include science, English, and math, while common program courses may include human anatomy, physiology, physics, computer science, chemistry, radioactive drugs. Besides classroom work, most nuclear medicine technology programs involve a large amount of clinical experience under the supervision of a certified nuclear medicine technologist. In most cases, the supervisor is accompanied by a physician or physicians who teach additional specialties.

All JRCNMT accredited programs are designed to prepare you for the two national certification exams: the American Registry of Radiologic Technologists (ARRT) and the Nuclear Medicine Technology Certification Board (NMTCB). Most schools show a 90-100 percent passing rate for their students, and the 2012 Wheeling Jesuit University bachelor’s degree program graduating class marked the 23rd consecutive class to pass the National Exams with a 100 percent passing rate.

Applying to a Nuclear Medicine Technology Program

The admission process into your nuclear medicine technology program will be based on factors such as the school’s individual requirements, the educational level in which you are applying for, and the state in which you plan on attending school in. In most cases, you will need to apply to the school first then apply to their nuclear medicine technology program separately. Most school’s make it clear that acceptance into the school does not guarantee acceptance into their individual programs. Again, this is why it is important to know certain admission requirements such as which prerequisite courses to take starting in high school, what the minimum grade point average is, which dates applications are due by, and if any observation hours are needed beforehand.

Cost of Nuclear Medicine Technology Programs

Like with most programs, the actual cost of an NMT program will vary based on factors such as the school, the school’s location, the type of program, state residency versus non-residency, and which educational degree you are seeking. Additional costs may include books, supplies, application fees, health insurance, uniforms for clinical rotations, and room and board. The size of the school and whether or not it is private or public may also play a role in the cost of tuition. For example, Loma Linda University in California is a private institution and has a quarterly tuition rate of $3,420.00, while Kaiser Permanente School of Allied Health Sciences, also in California but a public school, has a quarterly tuition rate of $2,530.00. However, school such as the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, which offers a certification program, offers its students free tuition. Of course, you must be part of one of the military branches to be eligible.

List of Nuclear Medicine Technologist Schools

Nuclear Medicine Technologist Schools in Alabama
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