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Lawrence Technological University (LTU) is pleased to announce that it will launch a two-year, master of science in cardiovascular perfusion (MSCVP) degree program in Fall 2022. This will be the first perfusion program in the State of Michigan.

Perfusionists are trained to operate extracorporeal circulation equipment such as heart-lung machines during open-heart surgery or other medical procedures in which the patient’s circulatory or respiratory function is temporarily supported through artificial devices. The critical shortage of perfusionists, high earning potential and relatively quick entry into the field make perfusion an extremely desirable and in demand career opportunity in healthcare.




Average Salary

The MSCVP program at LTU is built on partnership with Comprehensive Care Services Inc. (CCS), a recognized leader for providing exceptional perfusion and autotransfusion services to medical centers across North America. Students will receive rigorous perfusion education and training with access to leading edge laboratories, simulation suites, and abundant clinical rotation opportunities across the country.

Graduates from the MSCVP program will be qualified to sit for the certification examination of the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP).

Interim Program Director

Kevin McCusker, PhD, MSc, CCP, LP

Affiliated Faculty

Kristen Fanelli, MS, BScN, CCP, RN

Sean Murtha, BS, CCP


Kevin McCusker, PhD, MSc, CCP, LP


The MSCVP program learning outcomes are:

  • Develop cardiovascular perfusion competence (skills, knowledge, behaviors) that are portable across national and international healthcare and professional and professional environments.
  • Facilitate a positive outcome for patients undergoing cardiopulmonary bypass.
  • Gain expertise in medical, biological, and physical sciences in relation to cardiovascular perfusion.
  • Facilitate adequate circulatory support with the use of ancillary devices.
  • Develop circuit designs and adaptations.
  • Cultivate a commitment to the enhancement of the cardiovascular perfusion profession.

The MSCVP program has a total of 88 credits over five consecutive semesters. The curriculum aligns with the Master's degree level standard of Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) and the ABCP Qualifications   Framework. It also provides the appropriate depth and breadth of knowledge, applied, specialized preparation in critical thinking and scholarly research, problem-solving and analysis, communications, leadership, professional capacity, and autonomy in the field of cardiovascular perfusion.


Course Number

Course Title


(Total credits: 17)

CVP 5132


CVP 5003

Patient Care and Professionalism

CVP 5103

Physiological Science and Hematology

CVP 5113

Monitoring of Cardiovascular Patients

CVP 6406

Perfusion Theory and Practice I


(Total credits: 15)

CVP 5012

Professional Practice & Quality Management

CVP 5212

Applied Pharmacology

CVP 5123

Pathophysiology & Cardiac Congenital Defects

CVP 6416

Perfusion Theory and Practice II

CVP 6702

Research Methods


(Total credits: 19)

CVP 6711

Capstone Research Project I

CVP 6809

Clinical Practice CVP Phase I

CVP 6819

Clinical Practice CVP Phase II


(Total credits: 19)

CVP 6721

Capstone Research Project II

CVP 6829

Clinical Practice CVP Phase III

CVP 6839

Clinical Practice CVP Phase IV


(Total credits: 18)

CVP 6849

Clinical Practice CVP Phase V

CVP 6859

Clinical Practice CVP Phase VI

Students are evaluated for both the didactic courses and clinical assignments. The following policies are applied to the MSCVP program:

  • A student must maintain an overall GPA of B (3.0 on a 4.0 scale) in order to graduate.
  • A student can repeat a course if the grade in a course is below C+. The maximum credits a student in the MSCVP program can retake is nine.
  • In clinical rotation assignments, a student is evaluated by the clinical instructor as outlined in the syllabus of each clinical course. A final grade of B or higher is needed in order to receive a passing mark.
  • If a MSCVP student does not successfully complete Clinical Rotation I, II, III, IV, V, or VI, the student will be dismissed from the program, with appropriate warning and opportunity for remediation. The Program Director and Clinical Coordinator will establish policies regarding Satisfactory Academic Performance Warning, Probation and Dismissal. A student dismissed for unsatisfactory academic progress may reapply to the program in the future.

The MSCVP program uses a rolling admissions process. Applications received are reviewed and decisions made at regular intervals during the admissions cycle. Maturation into the MSCVP program occurs in the fall semester. Applications received are first reviewed by the Admissions Office for completeness and referred to the MSCVP Program Director to determine eligibility for applicant interviews. Final acceptance into the MSCVP Program is determined by the Program Director. Decisions on acceptance are made until the maximum enrollment for each class is reached. Candidates are encouraged to submit a completed application early in the admissions cycle.

Admission Requirements

Preferred Applicants to the MSCVP program may possess qualifications from either of these two options:

Option A

Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited college or university and/or

  • Respiratory Therapist (RRT) or Registered Nurse (RN)
  • Critical care experience within the last three years
  • A minimum GPA of 3.0, calculated using their entire RT or RN diploma/degree programs of study
  • Documentation which is relevant to training and/or experience (CV or resume)
  • A document or a letter from a recent employer confirming a minimum of one year of critical care experience within the past three years

The applicant's cumulative grade point average (GPA) will be calculated using grades from the entire undergraduate degree program of study. A minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale is required for admission to the MSCVP program.

Option B

A Bachelor of Science degree from an accredited college or university and successful completion of each of the following university courses with a minimum grade of B (GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale):

  • Anatomy
  • College Algebra or Calculus
  • Physiology
  • Physics with Laboratory (course must cover the following: Newtonian laws, fluid dynamics and fluid statics)
  • Organic or Inorganic Chemistry (course must cover the following: structure of matter, solutions, acid/base theory, and thermodynamics).

Additional requirements

In order to be considered for admission to the MSCVP program, applicants must submit documentation of the following:

  • Graduate Record Exam (verbal, quantitative and analytical writing) scores highly recommended but not required; preference to those who have completed GRE scores within the last three years.
  • An essay about why the applicant wishes to be a perfusionist and what makes the applicant a good candidate for acceptance into the program.
  • Two letters of recommendation.
  • Experience of interviewing with a practicing perfusionist, as demonstrated by a signed observation/interview form. The MSCVP program can help arrange a perfusionist referral if the applicant has difficulty finding such an opportunity.
  • Completion of the program interview process (by invitation only).

Specific Health Requirements for Admission

Accepted candidates must show documentation of meeting the following specific health requirements prior to matriculation into the program:

  • Completion of BLS First Aid/CPR training and certification
  • Submission of Immunization Requirement Form (IRF), including laboratory reports
  • Confirmation of a TB Test
  • Completion of Mask Fitting Testing due to CoVID-19 pandemic

Any costs associated with meeting the unique health requirements for admission are the responsibility of the student.

Internationally Educated Applicants

Internationally educated applicants must satisfy the program-specific admission requirements and submit a credential assessment and proof of English language proficiency. Only certified copies or original of these documents will be accepted. All documents submitted for MSCVP application purposes (transcripts, credential assessments, English language assessments) become the property of LTU and cannot be returned after the application process is completed.

LTU requires a credential assessment to verify the credentials     of international and internationally educated applicants. The credential evaluation can be obtained from World Education Services (WES): 212-966-6311 or visit Applicants are advised to   contact the LTU’s Admissions Office before using any other Credential Assessment Service.

For applicants whose first language is not English, language proficiency must be demonstrated by one of the following methods:

  • An average score of 7.0 on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). The band score in each component must be 6.0 or higher.
  • A total score of 90 or higher on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Each section score must be 21 or higher.

Special Considerations

Applicants who meet all of the admission requirements, have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, and satisfy one or more of the categories listed below will be granted an interview:
  • LTU graduate
  • LTU student
  • Veterans or active military
  • Employees of CCS
  • First-generation college student
  • Economically disadvantaged


Please email our department at with the email subject as "GRE Test date, followed by your name". We will then keep this information in your application file.

Please submit it to or upload it in the application on the Cardiovascular Perfusion Requirements page.

While we prefer our observation form to be completed, if all the same criteria and questions are answered on the form from another school, we will accept that as a substitute.

Interviews will be scheduled for the end of January and continue with rolling admissions until all spots are full.

The deadline for Fall 2022 is on February 1, 2022

Please reach out to our Cardiovascular Perfusion department at and we will get you in touch with a local perfusionist in your area for a shadowing opportunity 

The course is charged per credit hour for didactic courses and half cost per credit hour of clinical hours. Please refer to for the most up to date fees under Engineering and Graduate Course fee per Credit Hour.

The program is 21 months long and takes place over 5 consecutive semesters. The first two semesters are didactic and the final three are primarily clinical with a Capstone Research Project.

LTU students will have access to numerous clinical rotation sites at affiliated hospitals nationwide. For more information on which hospitals are affiliated please email

Cardiovascular Perfusion Faculty and Staff

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 Kevin McCusker PhD, CCP, LP Interim Program Director

Since 2003, Dr. Kevin McCusker has been an assistant professor of surgery at New York Medical College in Valhalla, New York. He trained in the disciplines of physiology, biostatistics, and multidisciplinary health and human services.

Dr. McCusker established a Cardiovascular Perfusion Program at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. He was also the program director at Northeastern University in Boston, Mass. In addition, Dr. McCusker served as an adjunct professor, teaching Pathophysiology at the University of New Hampshire and Cardiopulmonary Physiology at Northeastern University. Dr. McCusker holds several U.S. Patents towards the advancement of extracorporeal circulation and holds the U.S. Device and Method Patents for inventing Condensed Perfusion Circuitry for Cardiopulmonary Bypass and Cardioplegia. He has been a practicing Perfusionist for more than 30 years. He is the author of more than 60 publications and serves on the editorial boards of several medical journals. Dr. McCusker has released two new books, “Systems Theory: A Modified Extracorporeal Circuit to Attenuate Systemic Inflammatory Response” and “Acid-Base Balance.”

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 Kristen Fanelli, CCP Clinical Coordinator and Assistant Professor

Professor Kristen Fanelli has a Master of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion from Midwestern University in Glendale AZ. She has more than eight years of experience as a Certified Clinical Perfusionist (CCP) and clinical instructor for graduate-level perfusion students at multiple institutions. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and is licensed as a registered nurse in Ontario and Michigan.

Sean Murtha, CCP Adjunct Professor

Professor Sean Murtha has an extensive background in medical laboratory technology, adult and pediatric perfusion, and has many years of teaching experience in the healthcare field. He is a Certified Clinical Perfusionist (CCP) with more than 25 years of clinical experience. He is president and CEO of ORRUM Clinical Analytics and serves as the chief informatics officer at Comprehensive Care Services. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Cardiovascular Perfusion from Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, Penn. Murtha also holds a Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Science from Pennsylvania State University. Additionally, he has completed coursework at Northwestern University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology to pursue a Master of Science in Healthcare Analytics.

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 Patricia Fanelli, CCP Adjunct Professor

Professor Patricia Fanelli is a graduate of Wayne State University and the Harper Hospital School of Perfusion Technology. She is a board certified clinical perfusionist and has been working in cardiac surgery for over 35 years. She serves on the Lawrence Tech perfusion program’s advisory board. Fanelli has a degree as a medical technologies and has a strong background in Joint Commission guidelines, federal Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) requirements, and other federal regulations. She developed policies and procedures, education competencies, regulatory guidelines, and training manuals currently used in perfusion services and regenerative medicine. She currently serves as chief clinical officer of Comprehensive Care Services, one of the nation’s leaders in Perfusion and Autotransfusion services. Comprehensive Care Services is certified by the Joint Commission, and provides superior perfusion and autotransfusion services

Simulation Lab

CCS operates advanced simulation laboratories where the LTU students will train. Students will utilize the CCS simulation lab to practice various techniques and demonstrate competencies. 

Learn More about the Sim lab

Comprehensive Care Services (CCS)

CCS is one of the largest perfusion service companies in the United States, and provides services in more than 200 hospitals in 20 states. CCS will also provide students with clinical rotations and its staffers will act as adjunct LTU professors for the program.

Learn More about CCS

Nursing Careers


Cardiovascular Perfusion is one of the fastest growing fields in healthcare. A comprehensive survey conducted by the American Board of Cardiovascular Perfusion (ABCP) showed that 38% of current active perfusionists would retire in 10 years. The critical shortage of perfusionists, high earning potential and relatively quick entry into the field make perfusion a hidden gem career opportunity in healthcare.

What do cardiovascular perfusionists do?

Perfusionists are trained to operate extracorporeal circulation equipment such as heart-lung machines during open-heart surgery or other medical procedures in which the patient’s circulatory or respiratory function is temporarily supported through artificial devices. Perfusionists also play a role in many medical procedures related to:

  • Cardiovascular
  • Thoracic
  • Vascular
  • Orthopedic
  • General surgical
  • Gynecology
  • Trauma
  • Neurology
  • Urology