Statement of Purpose

MLS at workThe Inova Fairfax Hospital Medical Laboratory Science Program is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge, to instruction of students in laboratory theory and techniques and to the provision of laboratory healthcare. The major concern of the Inova Fairfax Hospital and the laboratory is the patient. However, within the framework of a teaching hospital, the Medical Laboratory Science program is able to afford the opportunity for medical laboratory education in a real-world setting. The program, well aware of the rapidity of change, seeks to provide the most meaningful education for its students, by constant re-examination of its methods and goals.

Our Commitment

The Inova Fairfax Hospital School of Medical Laboratory Science is committed to providing outstanding education through quality instruction, research and service, which will allow our students to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to attain a high level of competency in the practice of Medical Laboratory Science. We are driven by the belief that by graduating competent, quality minded, ethical professionals, we will enhance patient safety in the community we serve and perpetuate the highest standards in the field of medical laboratory science.

Program Goals

  • Assure that entry-level medical laboratory scientists are adequately trained and equipped with the knowledge, skills and background experience essential for becoming a professional medical laboratory scientist
  • To provide the most meaningful and high quality clinical education experience for our students both academically and clinically in all areas of the clinical laboratory so that students are well prepared for the workforce
  • To offer an exceptional and sustainable curriculum that meets and exceeds the standards of training set forth by the National Accrediting Agency for Clinical Laboratory Science
  • To provide students with adequate knowledge and background experience to qualify for and pass the national certification examination
  • To Instill the highest standards of performance, professional ethics and integrity in all graduates
  • Develop graduates with the capacity to participate in leadership roles in education and management
  • To recruit and employ program graduates in the state of Virginia and the nation
  • To perform continuous systematic evaluation and necessary modifications, of all program processes, to ensure the effectiveness of the program
  • To foster an environment which develops crucial thinking, clinical reasoning, and creative problem solving

Skills and Abilities Expected at Career Entry

Communication and Professionalism

The medical laboratory scientist communication skills extend to consultative interactions with members of the healthcare team, external relations, customer service and patient education. This may include problems or matters of a scientific, technical and/or administrative nature. Medical laboratory scientists practice professional responsibilities, ethical and moral attitudes and principles that are necessary for gaining and maintaining the confidence of patients, professional associates, and the community.

Judgment and Decision Making

The medical laboratory scientist has the ability to exercise initiative and independent judgment in dealing with the broad scope of procedural and technical problems. The medical laboratory scientist is able to participate in, and may be delegated the responsibility for decisions involving quality control programs, instrument selection, preventive maintenance, safety test procedures and reagent purchases.


The medical laboratory scientist has diverse and multi‐level functions in the principles, methodologies and performance of assays; problem‐solving; troubleshooting techniques; interpretation and evaluation of clinical procedures and results; statistical approaches to data evaluation; principles and practices of quality assurance/quality improvement; and continuous assessment of laboratory services for all major areas practiced in the contemporary clinical laboratory. Medical laboratory scientists possess the skills necessary for financial, operations, marketing, and human resource management of the clinical laboratory. They have an understanding that continuous acquisition of clinical knowledge is essential for professional development and competence.

Technical Skills

The medical laboratory scientist is capable of performing technically demanding and complex laboratory tests. They have an extensive technical and theoretical understanding of quality assurance sufficient to monitor and to implement quality control programs. The medical laboratory scientist is able to participate in the introduction and implementation of new procedures and in the evaluation of new instruments and methodologies. This includes knowledge of accuracy, precision, normal ranges and correlation with existing methods.

Outcomes Measures

Class of # of Students Graduate Rate Employment Rate Board of Certification First-Time Pass Rate
2023 8 100% 100% 100%
2022 7 100% 100% 100%
2021 7 100% 100% 100%
2020 6 100% 100% 100%
2019 6 100% 100% 100%

Graduation and Certification

At the end of the clinical year and upon successful completion of all program requirements, the student is granted a certificate from the Inova Fairfax Hospital School of Medical Laboratory Science at a graduation ceremony. At this time, the student is eligible to take a national certification examination. Obtaining the certificate for successful completion of the program is not in any way contingent upon taking or passing the national certifying examination. A student who is enrolled in a 3+1 option will receive transfer credit to their universities upon completing the program. The affiliated university will offer credits per the affiliation agreement. The baccalaureate degree is awarded by the universities. Examinations are conducted by the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), Board of Certification, 33 W. Monroe St., Suite 1600, Chicago, IL 60603-5617, Upon successful completion of this examination, the MLS (ASCP) certification is awarded.