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Anatomy and Physiology | Health Science | National Healthcareer Association (NHA)

NHA vs. iCEV: Which is Better for Teaching Anatomy and Physiology?

October 19th, 2023 | 9 min. read

Brad Hummel

Brad Hummel

Coming from a family of educators, Brad knows both the joys and challenges of teaching well. Through his own teaching background, he’s experienced both firsthand. As a writer for iCEV, Brad’s goal is to help teachers empower their students by listening to educators’ concerns and creating content that answers their most pressing questions about career and technical education.

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When teaching your CTE health science students, finding the right anatomy and physiology (A&P) curriculum is pivotal to their success. Because your students need to know A&P concepts for nearly every healthcare field, it’s critical to give them a complete curriculum equipping them for certifications and career opportunities.

If your current anatomy and physiology textbooks and other materials are missing the mark, you’re probably looking for more engaging resources. Two anatomy and physiology curriculum options you may have heard of are NHA and iCEV. You might even use NHA materials to prepare students for certification tests.

In this article, we’ll compare NHA’s anatomy and physiology resources and the iCEV anatomy and physiology curriculum.

Specifically, you’ll learn answers to these questions:

  1. What Anatomy and Physiology Topics Do NHA and iCEV Cover?
  2. How Is Each Anatomy and Physiology Program Structured?
  3. What Is the Purpose of Each Anatomy and Physiology Resource?
  4. What Does Each Program Cost?

After reading, you'll better understand both NHA and iCEV’s anatomy and physiology offerings to determine if one suits your program.


1. What Anatomy and Physiology Topics Do NHA and iCEV Cover?

When choosing the right resource for your students, it’s essential to understand what anatomy and physiology topics are covered and to what extent.

Below, we’ll take a closer look at the topics discussed in each A&P resource.

Topics Covered by the NHA Anatomy and Physiology Resource

The National Healthcareer Association (NHA) covers all the basics with their anatomy and physiology program.

NHA divides its A&P topics into 25 short, teachable sections called modules. Some of these modules cover whole body systems, while others focus on functions, concepts, diseases and disorders, or basic cellular makeup within a particular system:

  • Organization of the Human Body
  • Chemistry, Matter, and Life
  • Cells and Their Functions
  • Tissues, Glands, and Membranes
  • Disease and Disease-Producing Organisms
  • Integumentary System
  • Skeletal System
  • Muscular System
  • The Spinal Cord and Spinal Nerves
  • The Brain and Cranial Nerves
  • Sensory System
  • Endocrine System: Glands and Hormones
  • Blood
  • The Heart and Heart Disease
  • Blood Vessels and Blood Circulation
  • Lymphatic System and Lymphoid Tissue
  • Immunity
  • Respiratory System
  • Digestive System
  • Metabolism, Nutrition, and Body Temperature
  • Urinary System
  • Body Fluids
  • Male and Female Body Systems
  • Development and Birth
  • Heredity and Hereditary Diseases

Although the NHA resource has many modules, NHA assures that each contains easily digestible, “right-sized content.”


Topics Covered by the iCEV Anatomy and Physiology Curriculum

iCEV provides an Anatomy and Physiology course that contains 54 lessons for Career and Technical Education (CTE) health science classes.

The Anatomy & Physiology course is designed for students to fully understand the workings of each body system and how they apply to real-world scenarios.

iCEV’s Anatomy and Physiology course includes lessons covering a variety of topics, including:

  • The Human Body
  • Understanding Homeostasis
  • Metabolic Pathways
  • The Human Anatomy of Each System
  • The Human Physiology of Each System
  • The Human Diseases & Disorders of Each System
  • Careers within Anatomy & Physiology
  • Impact of Science: Anatomy & Physiology
  • Science Explained: Anatomy & Physiology
  • Experimental Design: Anatomy & Physiology
  • Conducting Lab & Field Investigations: Anatomy & Physiology

Systems included in the lessons are:

  • Nervous System
  • Skeletal System
  • Muscular System
  • Integumentary System
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Respiratory System
  • Digestive System
  • Urinary System
  • Endocrine System
  • Lymphatic system
  • Reproductive System

This extensive overview of the human body and all of its systems develops a solid foundational knowledge that prepares students for success when continuing their health science education, taking industry certification exams or when entering the workforce.


2. How is Each Anatomy and Physiology Program Structured?

The NHA and iCEV anatomy and physiology programs are structured differently, so you’ll want to take note of the focuses of each.

In this section, you’ll find more details about the learning design of these two resources.


How is the NHA Anatomy and Physiology Resource Structured?

Each learning module follows a similar structure within the NHA Anatomy and Physiology resource. Students can expect to encounter information in the same order as they progress through the program.

NHA anatomy and physiology modules generally include these elements:

  • Pretest
  • Overview
  • Case Study
  • Structure, Function, Diseases/Disorders, and Treatment
  • Case Study Revisited
  • Quiz
  • Practice Enrichments
  • Resources

The standout for teachers about the NHA structure is the prominent use of case studies before and after learning the core content within each unit. These case studies are unique to the NHA resource.

How is the iCEV Anatomy and Physiology Curriculum Structured?

The iCEV anatomy and physiology curriculum consists of lessons organized by body system. Each lesson uses the same educational framework to ensure students have a deep, well-rounded understanding of each system.

Within each system, the lessons are organized to first walk students through the anatomy of the system. Then, once that is mastered, students will move on to the physiology of the system before working through the diseases and disorders of the system. 

This is not only the best practice for you, the teacher, to implement A&P in your classroom. But you can also rest assured that your students are developing a true foundation of knowledge that will help them succeed well past your class.

Additionally, iCEV’s anatomy and physiology lessons generally include these resources:

  • Hands-on activities and exercises
  • Vocabulary handouts
  • Case studies
  • Career Connections
  • Projects
  • Industry expert interviews
  • Assessments

With these resources, students are able to engage with elements that help build their knowledge of the human body while also exploring potential careers and interests within the health science industry. In addition to these resources, iCEV tests a student's knowledge and skills with a capstone project, where students implement all the information that they’ve learned throughout the course into one final project.

iCEV doesn’t only provide resources to students. You and other educators can expect to find the following resources:

  • Single sign-on with automatic grading
  • Implementation guide​
  • Answer keys for activities and exercises 
  • Pedagogical strategies for effective teaching
  • Pre-made lesson plans and slides
  • Aligned to state and national standards
  • Formative and summative assessment answer keys

These resources, designed to help educators balance their instructional and administrative tasks, ensure that you have the tools needed to create an engaging and positive classroom environment.


3. What Is the Purpose of Each Anatomy and Physiology Program?

Both NHA and iCEV have anatomy and physiology resources that can help improve your student’s performance in the classroom and on certification tests. But the purpose of each program is different.

Here, we’ll compare the goals of these two popular anatomy and physiology programs.


What Is the Purpose of the NHA Anatomy and Physiology Resource?

NHA’s anatomy and physiology resource is designed to improve engagement and retention in CTE health science programs. Because it’s specific to anatomy and physiology, it can supplement an existing A&P curriculum or serve as an interactive tool teachers can use in other classes.

As a certification provider, NHA’s primary focus is preparing students for the healthcare workforce through one of its many certification assessments. The anatomy and physiology resource can help students prepare for certifications from NHA or other providers.

The NHA anatomy and physiology materials are often used in these certification programs:

  • Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA)
  • Billing & Coding Specialist (CBCS)
  • Pharmacy Technician (CPhT)

Overall, the NHA anatomy and physiology resource offers students right-sized content that adds to their comprehension and understanding of essential concepts. This means it's likely to be a great supplemental resource for many CTE teachers.


What Is the Purpose of the AES Anatomy and Physiology Curriculum?

The iCEV anatomy and physiology course forms an integral part of the comprehensive health science curriculum that is offered. It gives students a broad and encompassing knowledge of anatomy and physiology, including terminology, body systems, and diseases and disorders, that is useful in other health science courses offered by iCEV.

This A&P curriculum can be used in a year-long anatomy course. It’s designed to fit into a complete CTE health science program to teach students anatomy and physiology, meet state standards, and prepare students for certifications - including those offered by NHA.

Overall, the iCEV curriculum allows students to learn anatomy and physiology as part of a cohesive, comprehensive learning experience that prepares them for the health science career pathway.


4. How Much Does Each Program Cost?

NHA and iCEV price their anatomy and physiology resources differently. In this section, you’ll learn more about what you can expect to pay for each program.


How is the NHA Anatomy and Physiology Resource Priced?

Like most NHA offerings, the anatomy and physiology resource is priced per student. That means you can estimate your price based on the number of students enrolled in your class or school.

The NHA Anatomy and Physiology resource costs $65 per student. However, if you’re already working with NHA or are interested in multiple sets of materials, you may be able to bundle your resources for a reduced price.

You should contact NHA for how much a bundle would cost your institution.


How is the iCEV Anatomy and Physiology Curriculum Priced?

The iCEV anatomy and physiology course is part of a comprehensive curriculum solution for teachers to engage students across the CTE health science pathway.

The cost of iCEV’s A&P curriculum is dependent on a few factors like subject areas, certification vouchers, student licenses, etc. However, the starting price for one subject area is $1500 and increases with each additional subject area, license or voucher.

One thing to note is that when purchasing iCEV’s health science curriculum, you gain not only access to the A&P course but also all health science courses available. For the most accurate pricing, you can always request a quote from iCEV.


Which Anatomy and Physiology Resources Are Right for You and Your Students?

Which anatomy and physiology program is the right choice for you and your students will depend primarily on what you hope to get out of the learning experience.

If you’re looking for supplemental anatomy and physiology resources focused on preparing students for certification tests, consider the NHA program.

Because it covers all the basics, it’s a good choice for students who need to learn A&P as part of a course or ahead of certification tests. Teachers who use case studies to illustrate anatomy concepts may prefer NHA since studies appear in every module.

Finally, educators who already use other NHA resources in their classrooms will want to consider the bundle opportunities for educators who purchase multiple products.

If you need to teach a year-long anatomy and physiology course using a comprehensive curriculum system for your entire health science pathway, consider iCEV.

You can integrate A&P curriculum modules into any health science course you create with iCEV, allowing you to teach and remediate anatomy and physiology in classes throughout your program. The iCEV curriculum system is also an excellent fit for teachers who want the flexibility to incorporate the content their students need the most to provide an engaging, custom learning experience.

If you think that the iCEV anatomy and physiology curriculum is right for you and your students, sign up for a free trial.

In your trial, you’ll receive full access to an extensive A&P program that’s part of an overarching, comprehensive health science curriculum. You’ll be able to use the materials directly with your students to help you decide if it’s right for them.

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