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A cardiovascular perfusionist is an essential member of the cardiac surgical team who specializes in operating extracorporeal circulation equipment to support the patient during an open-heart surgery or other medical procedures that necessitate artificial circulatory support.  You will learn how to safely operate and maintain patient circulatory and respiratory functions with the use of the heart lung machine and other cardiopulmonary assist devices. You will learn how to safely monitor patient diagnostics, maintain homeostasis during surgery, introduce proper cardiovascular support medications, and manage blood loss and anticoagulation. 

Graduates are eligible to sit for the Perfusion Basic Science Examination (PBSE) and the Clinical Applications in Perfusion Examination (CAPE) through the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP) after completing 40 clinical cases as a primary perfusionist post-graduation. Students will complete a minimum of 75 cardiopulmonary bypass cases, 10 pediatric procedures, and 5 extracorporeal circulatory support or ventricular support procedures prior to graduation. 

For more information or questions, please email

The application cycle begins September 15th each year. The deadline for completed applications is Feburary 1st of the subsequent year.

Click here to begin your application process.


Perfusionists are in high demand with only 20 perfusion programs in the country. The advancement in medical technology and the perfusionists role outside of the operating room increases the demand for perfusionists across the country. Graduates will enter a highly specialized career field with excellent job placement, job security, and competitive salary.  Certified perfusionists are employed in adult medical centers, pediatric medical centers, education, medical sales, private contract groups, and as travel perfusionists throughout the country.

Program Contact Information

Jeremy Engel

Jeremy Engel, DHSc, MHS, CCP
Developer and Director

MS Cardiovascular Perfusion Program

Founders Hall | FH 395 M


Jeremy Engel

Amy Sterrett
Academic Specialist
MS Cardiovascular Perfusion Program
Founders Hall | FH 395 L



Northern Kentucky University’s cardiovascular perfusion program is accredited by the Committee of Accreditation of Allied Health and Education Programs (CAAHEP) through the Accreditation Committee-Perfusion Education (AC-PE).


10940 S Parker Rd. Suite 455

Parker, Colorado 80134

Phone #: 303-495-8989




It is important for students to have clinical experience at various institutions in order to develop the necessary skills and knowledge to be a proficient entry level perfusionist upon graduation. Clinical experience enables the students to integrate perfusion theory to clinical practice. Students will have three semesters of clinical practice at various medical centers throughout the U.S. Students will complete at least 75 adult cardiopulmonary bypass cases and observe or conduct at least 10 pediatric cardiopulmonary bypass cases before graduation.