Implementation of a Clinical Laboratory Science Internship Program at Dominican University of California

Graduation Date


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Clinical Laboratory Sciences

Department or Program Chair

Mary Sevigny, PhD

First Reader

Mary B. Sevigny, PhD

Second Reader

Howard Koo, MS, CLS, MT(ASCP)


The demand for California licensed clinical laboratory scientists (CLS) is rapidly growing due to increased CLS retirement, a high CLS vacancy rate, and decreased California approved training programs. With only 13 approved training programs in California, hundreds of qualified applicants are declined each cycle due to lack of space in clinical training facilities. Dominican University of California is in a prime position to help solve the CLS internship crisis. The objectives are three-fold: (1) to demonstrate the need for Dominican University of California to develop a NAACLS (National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Sciences) accredited CLS internship program; (2) to design a curriculum that truly prepares students for clinical laboratory scientist professions; and (3) to develop a proposal for a new CLS internship program at Dominican University of California. Data were collected from the American Society for Clinical Pathology’s (ASCP) 2014 Vacancy Survey of Medical Laboratories in the United States, the 2007 Healthcare Laboratory Workforce Initiative (HWLI), the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BSL), and an independent email and phone survey sent to the 13 California approved CLS internship programs. The results strongly support the need for more CLS professionals and CLS internship programs. They revealed an overall increase in vacancy rates between 2012 and 2014 along with a higher than anticipated retirement rate. The independent survey revealed the lack of an adequate number of California approved training programs and clinical training sites, resulting in qualified applicants being declined entry into programs. The independent survey also revealed current program options and the rationale to support a NAACLS approved program at Dominican University of California. The key to resolving the critical shortage of CLS professionals is to establish more approved clinical laboratory internship programs, and Dominican University of California is in the perfect position to help solve this CLS shortage.

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