65+ Free Online Healthcare Courses + Certificate & Credit Options

Smiling female researcher sitting at a laboratory and writing noIf you want to increase your education in the area of healthcare, you are in luck. There are today many quality online providers of free healthcare-focused classes. Some of the providers are well known and others less so, but all of them offer highly valuable, free online health care classes.

SEE ALSO: MHA Degree Salary Outlook

You won’t find a bigger list of free health care classes online anywhere!

Harvard/edX:

  1. Health and Society - Harvard University/edX – The idea of this class is to introduce you to the big social variables that have an effect on population health. These include social class, gender, poverty, race, social networks and community cohesion. You will learn about the theoretical basis of every construct above, and you will study the empirical research related to each one.
  2. Fundamentals of Clinical Trials – Harvard University/edX – This class will give you a solid introduction to the scientific, ethical and statistical aspects of the research of clinical trials. Included are the first in human studies and also Phase I, II, III and IV. All of the aspects related to the development of a study protocol are addressed.
  3. Human Health and Global Environmental Change – Harvard University/edX – One of the biggest challenges today is to deal with major changes in the global environment, such as biodiversity loss and climate change. These problems, if they become severe, could affect billions of people negatively around the world. This class deals with these changes and their causes, as well as the health consequences.
  4. Health in Numbers – Quantitative Methods in Clinical and Public Health Research - Harvard University/edX – This is an online adaption of material that is from the public health schools classes in biostatistics and epidemiology. The course addresses the key aspects of biostatistics and epidemiology. You will learn about outcomes measurement, study design options, bias and confounding, diagnostic tests and probability, life testing, survival methods, regression, and sample survey techniques.

Johns Hopkins University/Coursera

  1. The Science of Safety in Healthcare - Coursera – This class will teach you all of the basic principles about the science of safety and how it relates to health care. The content of this course is most important to health care delivery teams, nurses, as well as health care consumers in the general public. It will provide definition and context to patient safety concepts and terms with a systems approach.
  2. Nutrition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention - Coursera – This health care class covers all of the essentials of nutrition for the best health outcomes and also evidence-based diets to control many types of disease. You will learn about the basics of nutrition science and build upon them to explore the latest diet therapies. You will analyze modern nutrition research and learn how to do dietary interventions and plan good meals.
  3. Vaccine Trials: Methods and Best Practices – Coursera – Any vaccine that is available to the public has to be carefully evaluated for long periods of time through highly controlled clinical trials to ensure they are safe and effective before they are released to the general public. All trials are bound in the US by FDA regulations. This course will teach you about how Good Clinical Practices are applied in vaccine trials to ensure proper scientific study.
  4. Instructional Methods in Health Professions Education – Coursera – After you finish this class, you will understand educational theory and how it relates to health professions education. Also you will be able to match instructional methods with desired educational outcomes, and will learn about successful teaching strategies. This class will be of most value to people who work in the health professions, including medicine, nursing, pharmacy and public health.
  5. Contraception: Choices, Culture and Consequences – Coursera – This health care class provides you with a good overview of the many contraceptive methods that are available and explores issues that are related to contraceptive choices today. You will learn about action, effectiveness, risk and benefit, side effects and contraindications.
  6. An Introduction to Global Health - Coursera – This class will explore the major issues in modern global health, such as health and poverty, the main areas of global illness, environmental health, women’s health, child health, and health for refugees. You will learn about both communicable and non-communicable diseases.
  7. Introduction to Pharmacy – Coursera – This health course will provide an overview of what pharmacy is, how it has changed and where the profession is headed. It also will talk about the history of the pharmacy, educational and career paths, medication safety, adverse events, and also will talk about the regulatory and ethical problems in a modern pharmacy practice.
  8. Epidemiology: The Basic Science of Public Health - Coursera – Epidemiology is the cornerstone of public health. It is the study of the determinants of health problems and events in a population and how to control that health problem. You will grasp the basic principles of epidemiology as it is related to real life how to use the knowledge to improve public health and policies.
  9. Case-Based Introduction to Biostatistics - Coursera – The objective of this class is to boost your quantitative scientific reasoning about issues related to human health. You will learn essential quantitative approaches to address health problems and bioscience. The class is divided into three, two week modules where different areas of biostatistics will be explored.
  10. Global Health: Interdisciplinary Overview – Coursera – This class will discuss some of the many global challenges for global health today. You will learn about infectious diseases, non communicable diseases, governance for global health, research, development and innovation in global health, the environment and sustainable development in global health, and global health care systems.
  11. Epidemics – the Dynamics of Infectious Diseases – Coursera – This exciting health-related class will cover important concepts that are related to the emergence, spread and control of many infectious diseases. You will learn about the basic history of such diseases, the emergence and spread of diseases, how to control them and what the future of infectious disease control is.
  12. The New Nordic Diet – From Gastronomy to Health - Coursera – This course will give you all of the details about how to experience a healthy new eating style called the New Nordic Diet and an understanding of how diets and food can affect your mental and physical health.
  13. Health for All Through Primary Health Care – Coursera – This unusual health care class deals with the phrases ‘health for all’ and ‘primary health care.’ This class will explore what these terms mean in the context of global public health, what they mean and what their origins are. This class also will explore some effective, low cost ways to obtain health for all through effective primary health care.
  14. Health Policy and the Affordable Care Act – Coursera – The class will deal with the Affordable Health Care Act, its structure, its goals and the general state of the American health care system. It also will detail the history of health care reform in America and the many challenges that have been overcome to achieve health care for all in America.
  15. Community Change in Public Health – Coursera – This health care class looks at community context of the many changes that are need to promote public health. You will learn what the definition of a community is and be able to identify community components, characteristics and typologies.
  16. Health Informatics in the Cloud - Coursera – You will be able to gain in this class a basic understand of health informatics, even if you have no technical training, which is the application of computing to the delivery of health care, public health and clinical research.
  17. Social Epidemiology - Coursera – This class will help you to understand what determines what health is, from a broad point of view. The focus is on how institutions and social relationships can help to promote or hurt population health. This class will cover the existing evidence on disparities in health, methods of research and all theories that are relevant to these topics.
  18. Nutrition, Health and Lifestyle – Coursera – This nutrition and health class will help you to analyze what you eat and drink, through the use of an innovative nutrient database. You will conduct research of a dietary supplement that you choose, and you will look at the idea of energy balance through an analysis of your caloric needs. This class overall will provide you with real steps forward to live a healthier and a more nutritious life.
  19. Rationing and Allocating Scarce Medical Resources – Coursera – If there is one donated liver, but three patients who need it, what should you do? Who gets the organ? What are the correct criteria to determine who gets the liver? Would it be fair for an alcoholic to get it? These are the kinds of complex ethical and moral questions that you will study in this health class.
  20. The Science of Safety in Health Care – Coursera – You will learn all of the basic principles of the culture and science of safety in the world of health care. You will learn definitions and context of patient safety and also the terms, while using a systems-based approach. You will also get an introduction to the strategies for mitigating and identifying risks through using human factors.
  21. Vaccines – Coursera – This health course will deal with all issues pertaining to vaccines and vaccine safety. You will study the history of vaccines and will focus on different ways to they have been made in the last 200 years. You also will look at the science of vaccines, and will focus on methods of creating them from various bacteria and viruses.
  22. Healthcare Innovation and Entrepreneurship – Coursera – This course will enable you to define and describe the key aspects of the health care innovation process, and you will become more aware of the many challenges to healthcare quality and the chance for better patient care and lower costs. All students will have the chance to gain more knowledge of the basic elements of the health care innovation process.
  23. An Introduction to the US Food System – Coursera – This class gives you a solid introduction to the US food system and how food production practices have an effect on our world. The instructor will discuss key  political and historical factors that have assisted in shaping the modern food system.
  24. Principles of Obesity Economics – Coursera – This health class will discuss how different consumer choices will lead people to having different weights. It will also deal with if there is any economic rationale for intervention by the government in markets that are related to food and personal activity choices.
  25. Principles of Public Health - Coursera – This class stresses the major aspects of public health and what determines your health status in communities around the globe. The class will deal with the ecological model that will focus on linkages and relationships between the many natural and social aspects that affect health. You will look at the most successful examples in public health and learn how scientific discoveries and strong regulatory initiatives have lessened risk factors.
  26. Diabetes – A Global Challenge – Coursera – This course in diabetes will give you the newest update on research of this serious public health problem. You will study the key clinical aspects of diabetes, and how to regulate insulin secretion, the epidemiology of the disease and the heritability of diabetes.
  27. Understanding Evidence-Based Healthcare: A Foundation for Action - Johns Hopkins – This course is designed to help health care consumer advocates to grasp the fundamentals of health care skills and concepts. Most people who take the course can complete it in three months.

MIT OpenCourseWare

  1. Principles of Human Disease – MIT – This class will teach you about the current understanding to various human diseases and will stress both the molecular and cellular basis of genetic diseases and cancer.
  2. How Bugs Trick Our Immune Defenses - MIT – You will learn about the many ways that microbes are able to beat the immune system. You will look at primary research literature to explore the many aspects of host pathogen interactions. This class will particularly stress the latest experimental techniques in the field.
  3. Immune Evasion - MIT – Every infection in the human body has a battle between the pathogen that is invading and the host that is resisting. The pathogen has to escape all of the defenses of the immune system. This class will detail how these pathogens are able to evade the body’s defenses and lead to illnesses.
  4. Regenerative Medicine – MIT – This class will look at the basic aspects of how cells are made into specific tissues, as they respond to biological signaling molecules. This class will deal with in vitro tissue production and also the many cellular mechanisms that are involved in animal cloning.
  5. Cholesterol in Health and Disease – MIT – This class will deal with the role of cholesterol in the body and in the cells. You will learn about its function as a structural component and also its functioning as a signal. You will learn about cholesterol in the brain and in the circulation, and also an overview of good and bad cholesterol.
  6. A Clinical Approach to the Human Brain – MIT – This health class will give you a good grasp of how the brain works in disease and health. You will learn about the regional anatomy of the human brain and will get a solid introduction to the cellular function of neurons, neurotransmitters and synapses.
  7. Weight Training – MIT – This health class consists of 12 sessions that is made for the health conscious person who is a beginning or novice in weight lifting. It is well suited for people who have some weightlifting experience but have not been given appropriate instruction. The class will detail the many biomechanics involved, the muscles that are used for an exercise and how to develop your own personal weightlifting program.
  8. Chemistry of Sports – MIT – This health course focuses on the chemistry of swimming, cycling and running. There are classroom sessions and a laboratory of sorts that will provide you with a structured training program in these three sports. You will learn in class about the chemistry of your own body, and then you will apply that knowledge to complete a triathlon after the class is over.
  9. Exploring Pharmacology - MIT – This course will discuss how drugs can cause many medicinal and recreational effects in our bodies. Topics include OTC drugs, dietary supplements, drugs of abuse, psychiatric drugs, and treatments for neurological problems.
  10. Autism Theory and Technology – MIT – You will learn about the modern theories of autism, and also will discuss the challenges of people with autism. You will study theories in communication, social interaction, how to manage cognitive and affective overloads, and how people with autism can live an independent life.

Tufts Open Courseware

  1. Biology of Water and Health – Tufts – This course will encourage you to think about how to effectively think about water-related public health problems. You will learn about how waterborne pathogens have an influence upon human and environmental health. You also will learn about how to identify the major role of water in preserving good health.
  2. Epidemiology and Biostatistics – Tufts – This class will teach you all of the basic skills that you need to provide a strong critique of medical literature by giving you a good understanding of biostatistics and epidemiology. This is a small group format that will give you a good chance to have close interaction with a member of the faculty online.
  3. Introduction to Clinical Pain Problems - Tufts – You will be introduced to the basic principles of biomedical evaluation and the management of clinical pain issues. This class will show you how to evaluate the pain experience, its severity, location, quality, intensity and factors of relief.
  4. Nutrition and Medicine – Tufts – This innovative health and nutrition class will teach you all of the basic principles of nutrition that are important and relevant to other aspects of medicine. After this class you will be able to integrate nutrition’s role into the many issues of general health and disease development.
  5. Quality Oversight in the Health Care Marketplace – Tufts – In this class for various medical professionals, you will learn how quality concerns are having an effect on our health care system. Who is monitoring the performance? How is quality being defined? What are the current criteria and methods? You will learn new information, strategies and tools to provide the most cost effective care for patients.

Open University

  1. Introducing Public Health - Open University – This free class will give you some of the most important aspects of public health and the promotion of good health in the local community. There is a strong focus on the major features that make up good health and also the total scope of work in the field of public health.
  2. Extending Your Contribution to Healthcare Practice – Open University – This free class will help health care assistants understand the many opportunities and challenges that health professionals face in promoting good, healthy living. You will deal with a wide range of case studies that will allow you to reflect on your practice and to gain the knowledge you need to meet patient needs.
  3. Public Health in Community Settings – Open University – This course for public health students is free and will provide you with some of the most important concepts of community level engagement. You will learn how to consider various factors as you decide where you want to conduct public health research, approaches that will improve engagement at the community level, and the skills that are required to work in a constructive fashion with the local community.
  4. Using Numbers and Handling Data – Open University – Math is one of the most important aspects of health care. As a matter of fact, poor calculations can kill people. After you study this free health care class, you will have a better understanding of the decimal system, and you will be able to explain the ideal ways to write down numbers in decimals. The end goal is to provide you with a good grasp of the decimal system so that you can always avoid confusion in the workplace.
  5. Leading Health Care Improvements – Open University – This free online health class will help you to investigate changes in your local medical practice and to better develop leadership skills as they relate to innovation, policy and improvement of services. This class is a highly effective and guided inquiry into what leadership can achieve on a local level, where you can be a potential agent of change.
  6. Issues in Complementary and Alternative Medicine – Open University – This class will look at why patients use complementary and alternative medicines; what the critical issues are in the therapeutic relationship; and the issue of ethics in complementary and alternative medicines.
  7. Epidemiology – An Introduction – Open University – After you take this intermediate health course, you will understand the key principles of epidemiology, and will understand the routine methods of data analysis, and also be able to apply them in your own work in epidemiology.
  8. Predictive Medicine – Open University – You will study how advances in  genetics can change the ways that diseases are managed and diagnosed. The start of predictive medicine could eventually change the relationship between patient and doctor, and this class will inform you of some of the key aspects of this new form of medicine.
  9. Understanding Cancers - Open University – This free health class gives you a solid, scientific introduction to cancers, a very complex group of diseases that kill millions of people around the world every year. You will study the properties of cells and how they normally divide, how tumors form and spread, risk factors, and how cancer can be prevented around the globe.
  10. The Limits of Primary Care – Open University – This free class online will deal with access to important health care community services. You will understand the key moral issues that are related to the limiting of health care resources, and will also grasp how heavy drug users tax the limits of health care community services.
  11. Imaging in Medicine – Open University – This advanced class will show you how to accurately read X-rays, CT scans and MRI scans. You will understand the scientific principles of these imaging techniques, and will be able to explain how they work. You also will understand the positives and negatives of each technology.
  12. Health and Environment - Open University – This class examines the complex interactions between animals, plants and the chemical and physical environment, and also how humans are changing the environment for better and worse. Many of the changes that occur tend to take time to be seen and are not obvious at first.
  13. Recruiting the Right People Into Nursing – Open University – This class discusses the key aspects of recruiting the right type of workers into the nursing field. There currently are more than 300,000 nurses employed in the US, and the demand for more is high.
  14. MMR Vaccine – Public Health and Private Fears – Open University – This health class will talk about some of the scientific issues that relate to the controversy about the safety of the MMR vaccine in the United Kingdom. You will be able to understand the arguments for and against the use of the vaccine.

Yale University

  1. Autism and Related Disorders – Yale – This is a weekly online class that concentrates on autism and various related disorders of socialization. This seminar will cover both clinical practice and research, in the context of a developmental psychopathology framework. Topics include etiology, diagnosis and assessment, treatment and advocacy.

Ohio State University

  1. Research Design in Comparative Effectiveness Research - Ohio State – This online class deals with how to design effective clinical studies in health care and medical research. You will learn about double blind randomized controlled trials, non blind trials, cross over experiments, factorial experiments, group randomized trials, observational studies and more.
  2. Working With Health Care Claims and Complex Survey Data – Ohio State – You will learn about both the strengths and limitations of both types of data, and will be given examples of source data that is commonly used in many types of health services research.
  3. Translating CER Evidence into Practice, Policy and Public Health – Ohio State – This online class in health care tells you about the foundations for translations of evidence in health care into practice and police. You will learn about definitions, implementation examples, the taxonomy of translational science and the great importance of quality in evidence translation.
  4. Pragmatic Clinical Trials – Ohio State – This module deals with the capacity, principles, and barriers to guide the use of clinical trials. The importance of RCTs in medical practice and the creation of medical guidelines also is highlighted.

Related: