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Part of Western Governors University

Radiology at WGU

Are You Considering a Radiology Degree?

If you’ve been considering degree options through WGU, you’ve probably discovered that we don’t currently offer a degree in radiology. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get the credentials, skills and background you need from a similar degree at WGU. By pursuing one of our other medical degrees, you can get the educational foundation you need to prepare you for a job similar to radiology, you need a radiology degree to be a radiologist or a radiology tech. Learn more about the degree options available to you at WGU if you’re looking for a radiology degree or a career in radiology.

Pathways to Careers Similar to Radiology

A recent search on LinkedIn brings up over 47,000 radiology jobs across the United States that require a radiology degree and license. However, there are numerous other careers that are similar to radiology that may be a great fit for you. But if radiology is truly your passion and your overall goal is to become a radiologist, it doesn’t matter what your medical-related bachelor’s degree is in, as the position requires that you enroll in medical school. In this instance, a medical degree in an adjacent category can help you build your skill set and prepare you for a radiology career.


Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Prelicensure)

WGU’s BSN (Prelicensure) program is a unique program available to aspiring nurses in select states. By giving you the opportunity to become a licensed RN and earn your BSN degree, this program combines online coursework with hands-on clinical time, guided by your WGU Program Mentor and Course Instructors to ensure you graduate with exceptional skills and unparalleled clinical knowledge. It’s an ideal degree program if you’re looking for a career that’s focused on helping others, as both nurses and radiology technicians get a lot of hands-on experience with patients—especially for nurses who work with diagnostic patients.

This degree program can be equal parts challenging and rewarding, with rigorous assessments, virtual-reality simulations, and high-fidelity simulations. Completing these tests will qualify you to attend agency-based clinical rotations, which includes simulation labs.

Some of the curriculum in this degree program include:

  • Information Management and the Application of Technology
  • Caring Arts and Science Across the Lifespan
  • Physical Assessment
  • Critical Care Nursing
  • Organizational Systems and Quality Leadership
  • Biochemistry

Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN-to-BSN)

Current RNs who aim to improve patient outcomes and community health should enroll in WGU’s RN to BSN program, which can set you up for career longevity and professional success. In addition to strengthening your knowledge of evidence-based practices, you’ll also learn more about patient safety, technology integration, and healthcare systems and policies. By becoming a radiology nurse who works with diagnostic patients, you can satisfy your interest in radiology. Additionally, as more hospitals move toward magnet status, a bachelor's degree in nursing can help you contribute to that goal.

By building on your previous education and experience, this degree program empowers you to focus on research, theory, leadership, community concepts, healthcare policy, therapeutic interventions, and current trends in healthcare.

Some of the courses in this degree program include:

  • Advanced Standing for RN License
  • Clinical Microbiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Health Assessment
  • Professional Roles and Values
  • Evidence Based Practice and Applied Nursing Research

Bachelor of Science in Health Services Coordination

This degree program aims to prepare graduates to coordinate with health care providers, patients, caregivers, and medical services to improve the effectiveness, safety, and efficiency of an increasingly complex health care system. It’s also designed to navigate emerging value-based care systems, promote patient-centered holistic care, and provide integrated care management with lessons focused on value-based care, care coordination, and social determinants of health. Earning this degree will prepare you to progress in a variety of medical fields as an essential member of the interdisciplinary care team and it doesn’t require previous healthcare experience to enroll.

While this degree is less focused on actual patient care, health services coordinators are an integral part of a patient’s healing journey. They support the process by working with patients who need specific help with setting up appointments, understanding their care, and more. You’ll still be working with patients, just in a different capacity than nurses or radiology technicians. But if your heart is set on a radiology degree, you’ll still need to have a bachelor’s degree before going to medical school. This degree is an optimal choice for that path.

Some of the courses in this degree program include:

  • Healthcare Ecosystems
  • Introduction to Pharmacology
  • Technology Applications in Healthcare
  • Health Equity and Social Determinants of Health
  • Roles and Responsibilities in an Interdisciplinary Team
  • Care for Individuals and Families

$63,710

is the average annual salary for radiologists.

ICU nurse taking patient temperature

$75,330

is the average annual salary for registered nurses.

Careers Similar to Radiology

There are many different types of careers in radiology, and careers similar to radiology that you may wish to consider. These roles depend on strong knowledge of the healthcare industry, empathy and emotional strength, and the ability to care for patients in need. Healthcare related degrees such as a bachelor or science in nursing or healthcare coordination can prepare you for these and other medical or healthcare careers.

What Does a Radiology Technician Do?

Radiology technicians are in charge of imaging equipment, including maintaining and adjusting the equipment, as well as working with patients who come to see them for imaging. Prior to scanning a patient, a radiology technician may take a patient’s medical history and help them prepare for medical procedures. There may be other subspecialty options that require board certification such as ultrasound, mammography, magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, medical imaging, and more.

What Does a Radiologist Do?

Radiologists are medical doctors who diagnose and treat injuries or diseases using imaging equipment. This equipment may include x-rays, ultrasound, MRIs, CT scans, and other related equipment. They also analyze the imagery to help determine a course of treatment for patients.

What Does a Radiology Nurse Do?

Radiology nurses work with a variety of medical teams to support a patient’s wellness journey, including preparing them for radiation therapy or imaging procedures. They help support patient care during imaging, and work with them afterwards to maintain their post-procedure care. This subspecialty focuses on medical imaging and nursing as a combined career path.

What Does a Nurse Do?

Nurses are an integral part of any medical team in a variety of healthcare industry settings. They can work as an intermediary between patients and doctors, assist doctors as needed during procedures and examinations, assess patient health, administer medications, and more.

What Does a Health Services Coordinator Do?

A health services coordinator is the leader or supervisor of a healthcare organization, ensuring everything runs smoothly for both patients and medical personnel. This may include working with insurance companies, supporting patient care protocols, making referrals, managing records, and more.

What Does a Patient Advocate Do?

Patient advocates work as a liaison between patients and the healthcare industry, advocating for the highest possible level of care and support on behalf of the patient. This includes helping patients communicate with their healthcare providers, obtaining financial aid, setting up appointments and transportation, and managing a variety of other patient needs.

Family nurse practitioner

7%

career growth is expected by 2029 in radiology and nursing.

Why choose WGU?

There are many reasons why you would want to choose a WGU healthcare or nursing degree over a radiology degree somewhere else. Why? A WGU degree is a great fit for students because:

  • You can get low, flat-rate tuition, so you're charged the same amount per six-month term, regardless of how many classes you take.
  • You can use your knowledge to your advantage with our competency-based education, allowing you to accelerate your program, graduate faster, and save money.
  • You can take advantage of scholarships and financial aid to help with our already affordable tuition, making college education accessible for even more students.
  • Our healthcare and nursing degree programs are career-focused, ensuring the skills you learn are meaningful and will translate directly to your work post-graduation. Find out why so many students like you chose WGU.

They're Prepared

95% said that their WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs

95% of employers said that WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs.

They're Top Candidates

96% said they would hire another WGU graduate

96% of employers said they would hire another WGU graduate.

They Wow

98% of employers said WGU graduates meet or exceed expectations

98% of employers said WGU graduates met or exceeded expectations.

Source: 2020 Harris Poll survey of 300 employers

Which Degree Should You Choose?

Nursing (Prelicensure) – B.S.

A one-of-a-kind nursing program that prepares you to be an RN...

A one-of-a-kind nursing program that prepares you...

A one-of-a-kind nursing program that prepares you to be an RN and a baccalaureate-prepared nurse:

  • Locations: offered in FL, IN, TX, and UT only.
  • Tuition and fees: $6,575 per 6-month term.

WGU offers the prelicensure program in areas where we have partnerships with healthcare employers to provide practice sites and clinical coaches to help teach you and inspire you on your path to becoming a nurse.

If you don't live in one of our prelicensure states or don't qualify to apply, consider getting our Bachelor's Degree in Health Services Coordination instead. This degree allows you to work inside the healthcare industry, while also working directly with patients who need help.

Nursing (RN-to-BSN Online) – B.S.

An online BSN degree program for registered nurses (RNs) seeking...

An online BSN degree program for registered...

An online BSN degree program for registered nurses (RNs) seeking the added theoretical depth, employability, and respect that a bachelor's degree brings:

  • Time: 66% of graduates finish within 18 months.
  • Tuition and Fees: $3,795 per 6-month term, plus a Health Professions Student Fee of $350.
  • Transfers: On average, students transfer 81 credits.

With over 35,000 BSN alumni, this is one of WGU's most popular online degree programs. View our RN to BSN degree guide.

If you don't currently have an RN and don't qualify for your nursing prelicensure program, consider getting our Bachelor's Degree in Health Services Coordination instead. This degree allows you to work inside the healthcare industry in a unique way.

Health Services Coordination – B.S.

An online health degree program for students passionate about...

An online health degree program for students...

An online health degree program for students passionate about value-based care and dedicated to helping others.

  • Time: 60% of graduates of similar programs finish within 3 years.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,795 per 6-month term, plus a Health Professions Student Fee of $350.

Sample careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:

  • Care coordinator
  • Patient advocate
  • Health services coordinator
  • Patient educator
  • Community health educator

This degree allows you to work inside the healthcare industry, while also directly working with patients who need help.

Frequently Asked Questions About a Radiology Career

It takes two years to get a radiology degree, in addition to obtaining certifications and training (requirements can vary by state).

To start, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree. Once you obtain your bachelors, such as an RN to BSN, you’ll need to enroll in medical school for your radiology degree, or a Doctor of Medicine.

 

You’ll need to earn your ASN or BSN, then get experience as an RN before getting certified as a radiology nurse. To become certified, you’ll need to have a current RN license, current I.D.,

2,000 hours in radiology nursing within three years of your exam, and 30 hours of education outside of your BSN or ASN.

Each state has different licensing requirements for radiology technicians, so it’s best to check with your state’s health board to determine what licensing you need before starting work.

A degree in radiology is a great option if you wish to pursue a career as a radiologist, however there are a variety of other healthcare and medical-related degrees that may offer you more opportunities in the medical field, or support your educational goals as a radiologist.