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HEaRT Challenge Education and Real-world Training for Health Professionals

Looking to gain professional healthcare experience, and market your skills along the way? Do it with HEaRT.

Specially designed for learners in healthcare and nursing, HEaRT (Higher Education and Real World Training) is a powerful experiential learning opportunity at SNHU. These online, asynchronous, voluntary experiences help connect students with employers to help solve real-world business problems – so you can be ready to make an impact in your field.

Not yet enrolled at SNHU? Reach out today to find out how our healthcare and CCNE-accredited nursing programs can help you reach your goals.


Build skills

Apply what you know to develop both soft and technical skills

Save money

Apply toward course credit and save up to $5,400 in tuition

Expand your network

Collaborate with global healthcare leaders, peers and faculty

Earn digital badges

Market yourself to future employers

Higher Education and Real-World Training (HEaRT) Informational Video

How it works

At SNHU, we're committed to expanding access to education. HEaRT takes that commitment to the next level, giving global healthcare and nursing students a powerful hands-on experience to help them achieve their goals. Watch the video to learn more.

Two Ways To Engage

We introduced our innovative HEaRT challenges in 2018 as a way to further close the gap between higher education and employers. With the global pandemic, we saw an even greater need to create offerings that were flexible and equitable for all students.

That's why, in March 2021, we launched the HEaRT Solutions Lab (HSL). HSL is similar to HEaRT in that it offers experiential learning within teams, with real projects presented by real employers. It is, however, very different in a number of ways – from who is eligible, to duration of the learning experience, to the credits you receive. Additionally, HSL provides multiple projects each term that undergraduate learners can selectively choose to work on, allowing them to pursue experiential opportunities that align with their personal and professional goals. Badges earned in HSL can be stacked to earn undergraduate course credits through the credit for prior learning process.

Take a look at the side-by-side comparison chart to learn more.

  HEaRT Challenges HEaRT Solutions Lab (HSL)
Who's eligible? Undergraduate & Graduate Nursing and Healthcare Students* Undergraduate Nursing, Healthcare and Human Services Students*
How long is it? 8 weeks 4 weeks
When is it offered? 2 challenges every graduate term Fall and spring
Who would guide me? Guided by mentors Led by facilitators
What course credits can I get? Get credit for IHP 510, IHP 610 and IHP 630 Get credit for SNHU 290 Experiential Learning
What does the final project look like? Complete with Executive Summary & slide presentation Complete with final deliverable of choice

*Please note that other eligibility requirements may apply. Contact an admission counselor today for a full list of eligibility requirements.

Julia Oduol

What Students Are Saying

Julia Oduol

"I have gained a lot of experiences that will benefit me in my professional life, and I will continue to develop them in the future – such as time management, teamwork and critical thinking."

Digital Badges

When you complete a HEaRT challenge or HEaRT solutions lab, you earn badges. And they're not just great for your resume – they can save you money, too.

Here's how it works: Each HEaRT challenge falls under 1 of 3 content areas. Challenges within each content area ladder up to a specific graduate-level course. When you complete all the challenges in a specific content area, you can get course credits for a small fee by applying for credit for prior learning.

Content Area Corresponding Course
Marketing and Communication Strategies IHP 510 Marketing, Communications Strategies and Outreach
Regulations and Policy IHP 610 Health Policy and Law
Reimbursement and Finance IHP 630 Health Finance and Reimbursement

And because HEaRT is free, that means you can save thousands. For every course you satisfy, you save about $1,800 in tuition; if you satisfy all 3 courses, you can save over $5,000.

Here's an example of how the badges you earn for HEaRT challenges can ladder up to course credit:

Infographic of 3 digital badges with unique colors: golden yellow for foundational badges leading to sky blue for meta badges leading to ink blue for micro-credential badges 

Note: The HEaRT Solutions Lab works a little different. For each HSL project completion, students earn an experiential learning badge. Once you complete three experiential learning badges, you are eligible to obtain course credit for a small $100 fee toward SNHU-290 Experiential Learning.

Awards and Recognition

Highlighted as a Microcredential in Practice in the 2022 EDUCAUSE Horizon Report, Teaching and Learning edition.

WCET Outstanding Work (WOW) Award, 2022.
A national award by WCET (leader in the practice, policy, & advocacy of digital learning in higher education) that recognizes outstanding efforts by member institutions and organizations in applying innovative solutions to a challenging educational need.

Association of Continuing Higher Education (ACHE) Distinguished Program for Non-Credit Award, 2021.
A national award that recognizes outstanding contributions to the advancement of continuing higher education.

D2L Excellence Award, 2021.
A national award that recognizes educators, trainers, and leaders in employee engagement who have used the Brightspace platform to deliver learning experiences that are innovative, collaborative, or have made an extraordinary impact on learning outcomes.

University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) New England Excellence in Engagement Award, 2020.
A regional award that recognizes an outstanding mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources between a member institution and one or more external constituents such as local communities, corporations, government organizations, or associations.

Online Learning Consortium (OLC) Effective Practice Award, 2020.
A national award that recognizes successful efforts that help make quality online education accessible and affordable for anyone, anywhere, at any time, and provide an opportunity for recipients to share effective techniques, strategies, and practices in online education.

Fred, Chief Compliance Officer, University of Missouri Health Care

What Employer Partners Are Saying

Chief Compliance Officer, University of Missouri Health Care

"A digital badge tells me an individual is engaged. I want employees on my team who are engaged, who are willing to receive feedback, and who have taken steps in their past to go above and beyond.”

Frequently Asked Questions