Versiti Specialist in Blood Banking (SBB) Program

Credits earned as part of the Specialist in Blood Banking SBB Program can be used toward a masters of science in transfusion medicine at Marquette University.

SBB Program Overview

 

Versiti’s Specialist in Blood Banking (SBB) Program was established in 1965. Onsite faculty have experience and expertise in:

  • Transfusion medicine
  • Platelet and neutrophil immunology
  • Molecular genetics
  • Histocompatibility and transplantation
  • Immunohematology

SBB students learn all aspects of:

  • Blood collection, donor testing and component preparation
  • Hemapheresis, donor management and blood inventory management
  • Immunohematology, compatibility testing and transfusion therapy
  • Hemostasis and platelet and neutrophil immunology
  • HLA and transplantation and molecular genetics
  • Quality systems, select administrative/management processes and procedures, and educational techniques 
 

Required SBB activities include:

  • Presentation of an SBB lecture
  • Journal club (participation and presentation)
  • Essential abilities (leadership development program)
  • Develop, design, coordinate and present an original “wet workshop”
  • Coordinate a blood drive
  • Prepare and present an abstract at a state blood bank meeting
  • Research project

SBB students graduate with:

  • Expertise in all areas of transfusion medicine
  • Experience in respected diagnostic reference laboratories
  • Interaction with world-renowned researchers, lecturers and educators
  • Insights in transformational learning
  • Research experience
  • Graduate credits

 SBB Program outcomes:

  • First-time pass rate for the SBB ASCP Board of Certification exam: 92% (2018-2020)
  • Five-year average pass rate: 94% (2016-2020)
  • Graduates are successful in advancing their careers, with a five-year placement rate of 100%

Versiti is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs upon the recommendation of the Specialist in Blood Banking Technology Committee on Accreditation.

 

SBB Program Information

Applications for admission to the blood bank specialist program are available January 1 – April 1. Final selections are determined by mid-June; the program begins in September.

Applicants must meet the following Board of Registry requirements for SBB accreditation/American Society of Clinical Pathology (ASCP) certification:

  • One year of full-time clinical laboratory experience, with an emphasis/interest in blood banking preferred.
  • One of the following two options:
    • MT/MLS or BB (ASCP) certification and a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college/university.
    • Baccalaureate degree from an accelerated college/university with a major in a biological or physical science, including the required courses listed above.

Individuals interested in applying to the program must also provide the following:

  • Completed application form. Applicants are ONLY accepted January 1 – April 1.
  • Three letters of recommendation, including one from a current supervisor.
  • College transcripts, including laboratory training records, if applicable (certified medical laboratory scientists, MLS (ASCP) or MT (ASCP) do not need to provide training records).
  • List of continuing education for the last two years.
  • Letter of intent stating reasons for application to this program and how SBB certification will impact your professional life and further your career.

SBB Certificate Program Fees:

  • SBB certificate program fee: minimum of $1,208 paid in installments. Fees are reviewed annually and subject to change.
  • A $50 application fee to Marquette University’s Graduate Program is also required once the student has been accepted to the SBB certificate program. Admitted students are in non-degree status while earning 18 credits from the SBB program. These 18 credits may be used toward a 39/40-credit Master of Science in Transfusion Medicine degree. There is a dual-admission policy with Versiti and Marquette University.
  • For a Master of Science in Transfusion Medicine, Marquette University graduate credit hour tuition rates apply.

The Master of Science in Transfusion Medicine (TRME) program is an ongoing collaboration between Marquette University and Versiti. After successful completion of the SBB Program, students have the opportunity to continue their studies toward a masters in transfusion medicine at Marquette.

Students specialize in one of three areas:

  • Business administration
  • Education
  • Science

The first 18 credits, consisting of the SBB Program, must be completed at Versiti within 2.5 years of starting the program. An additional 21-22 credits are completed exclusively at Marquette University. SBB students have the option to enroll in degree status at Marquette prior to completing the SBB Program, if it does not interfere with their coursework at Versiti.

Master’s Degree Requirements

Please note: Applicants must be enrolled in Versiti’s SBB Program to be eligible to apply for the Master of Science in Transfusion Medicine at Marquette University.

Students in the Transfusion Medicine Master’s Program must complete a minimum of 39 credit hours of graduate-level coursework:

  • 18 credit hours in transfusion medicine (TRME) courses offered at Versiti
  • 19.5 credit hours in the business administration specialty, 18 credit hours in education, or 18-19 credit hours in science subspecialties
  • 3 credit hours of capstone essay work (under certain conditions, a student may complete an additional 3 credit hours of coursework and write a thesis instead of an essay)

Prerequisite for Admission

One year of full-time clinical laboratory experience is required prior to admission, and an emphasis or interested in blood banking is preferred.

In addition, applicants must meet one of the following two ASCP certification requirements:

  • MT/MLS(ASCP) or BB(ASCP) certification and a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college/university, including biology and chemistry courses
  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college/university with a major in a biological or physical science, including the required courses listed above

Application to the SBB Program

Application for admission to the SBB Program must be submitted by April 1 for potential admission beginning in the fall term of that year. The following must be completed:

Complete an application form between January 1 – April 1.

Application materials include:

  • An evaluation verifying degree equivalency and a subject breakdown. Please submit an original or notarized copy of the evaluation. Please review acceptable evaluation agencies for foreign transcripts.
  • Laboratory training records (if applicable)
  • List of continuing education for the last two years
  • Three original letters of recommendation signed by the individual. One must be from your current supervisor.
  • Letter of intent regarding your desire to obtain SBB certification and a Master’s Degree in Transfusion Medicine.
  • GRE and TOEFL scores (copies of official documents accepted at Versiti; official documents must be submitted to Marquette University)

Admission to the Master’s Degree in Transfusion Medicine (TRME) Program requires that students submit an application to the Marquette University Graduate School. This application requires:

  • A completed application form and application fee
  • Official transcripts from all current and previous colleges and universities (except Marquette)
  • Three letters of recommendation

Application materials must be submitted to:

Marquette University Graduate School
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53012-1881

SBB students can expect to complete this structured, yet self-paced, program in 2.5 years. SBB students spend approximately three hours per week attending lectures, either in person or remotely. Students are required to attend all lectures during their first year.

Time in clinicals varies depending on the student’s schedule, experience and location. On average, students require 8-16 hours/week to complete. SBB students are also required to complete a guided research project as part of the curriculum.

Curriculum components:

  • Clinical experience in one or more Versiti Blood Centers (Illinois, Indiana, Michigan or Wisconsin) for hands-on training
  • SBB Series Lectures presented by Versiti staff and invited speakers
  • Research practicum under the guidance of a mentor

The quality of our program, coupled with teamwork and cooperative learning, are part of the student experience. Our students have an exceptional rate of passing the SBB Board of Certification exam and boast successful careers upon graduation.

Credits earned during the 2.5-year program can be applied toward a Master of Science in Transfusion Medicine degree at Marquette University.

MS in Transfusion Medicine for International Students

International students are required to simultaneously complete the Master’s Degree in Transfusion Medicine (TRME) Program at Marquette University and the SBB Program at Versiti. This requires duplication of certain documents as part of both applications.

Please note that Versiti does not have a visa program and is not able to sponsor students who require a student visa. Such students must apply for admission to Marquette University and must work with Marquette University Graduate School and Office of International Education to be admitted and receive a visa.

International students should begin the application process with Marquette University early. Review the following information prior to completing an application:

Prerequisite for Admission

One year of full-time clinical laboratory experience is required prior to admission, and an emphasis or interested in blood banking is preferred.

In addition, applicants must meet one of the following two ASCP certification requirements:

  • MT/MLS(ASCP) or BB(ASCP) certification and a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college/university, including biology and chemistry courses
  • Baccalaureate degree from an accredited college/university with a major in a biological or physical science, including the required courses listed above

Application to the SBB Program

Application for admission to the SBB Program must be submitted by April 1 for potential admission beginning in the fall term of that year. The following must be completed:

Complete an application form between January 1 – April 1.

Application materials include:

  • An evaluation verifying degree equivalency and a subject breakdown. Please submit an original or notarized copy of the evaluation. Please review acceptable evaluation agencies for foreign transcripts.
  • Laboratory training records (if applicable)
  • List of continuing education for the last two years
  • Three original letters of recommendation signed by the individual. One must be from your current supervisor.
  • Letter of intent regarding your desire to obtain SBB certification and a Master’s Degree in Transfusion Medicine.
  • GRE and TOEFL scores (copies of official documents accepted at Versiti; official documents must be submitted to Marquette University)
 
Marquette University Master of Science in Transfusion Medicine
 
Professional and Continuing Education
Versiti’s beLearning is a continuing education, self-directed learning module for healthcare professionals in blood banking, transfusion medicine and more.
 
Transfusion Medicine Blood Banking Fellowship
Transfusion medicine blood banking fellowships cover topics including transfusion medicine, therapeutic apheresis, diagnostic laboratory services and more.
 
TxMD Transfusion Medicine Resources
TxMD transfusion medicine program provides blood transfusion client education and blood management guidelines to partner hospitals.
 
Education
Clinical education for medical professionals, including information about transfusion medicine, hematology, transplantation, SBB/MSTM degree and more.