Title of a News Article: High School Students Explore Health Care Careers at UNK Health Careers Fair
Raymond Central High School junior Sophia Novoselov recently attended the UNK Health Careers Fair to gain a better understanding of various health care professions and the educational programs available. Novoselov, who is interested in a health care career, believes that forming personal relationships and making a difference in patients’ lives is rewarding. While she is currently completing classes to become a certified nursing assistant at Bryan Medical Center in Lincoln, she is still unsure of which medical field she wants to pursue long-term. Novoselov expressed her interest in surgery, chiropractic, physical therapy, and other areas, and she wanted to gather more information before making a final decision.
The Health Careers Fair, held on the University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK) campus, provided Novoselov and over 300 students from 50-plus high schools the opportunity to explore various health care options. The fair allowed students to meet with health care providers, learn about UNK programs and professional schools, and participate in hands-on sessions focused on occupational therapy, medical nutrition, and medical lab science/radiography.
The event was organized by UNK Health Sciences as part of the Health Science Explorers program, which aims to introduce more middle and high school students to a range of health care careers and educational paths. The program seeks to address the current need for health care professionals, particularly in rural settings. Sara Bruner, coordinator of the Health Science Explorers program, emphasized the demand for nurses, physicians, pharmacists, X-ray techs, and medical lab scientists, stating that job opportunities can be found in both large and small towns.
Employers from various communities, including Kearney, Lincoln, Omaha, Beatrice, and North Platte, were present at the fair to connect with students. Kylie Christensen, a respiratory therapist at Phelps Memorial Health Center in Holdrege, praised the interest shown by young people in health care careers. She acknowledged the importance of the next generation of professionals to ensure the continuous provision of quality care.
The fair also served as a recruitment tool for UNK, which offers more than 20 pre-professional programs and degrees in health science, communication disorders, athletic training, mental health counseling, and other health care-related fields. With the Health Science Education Complex and the upcoming Rural Health Education Building, UNK aims to provide education and training opportunities for more students in Kearney. The collaboration between UNK and the University of Nebraska Medical Center also includes the Kearney Health Opportunities Program (KHOP), which supports students committed to practicing in rural Nebraska as medical professionals.
In addition to promoting the health care professions and educational programs, the Health Careers Fair aimed to spark interest among students and guide them towards rewarding professional paths. Bruner highlighted the importance of health care and expressed her excitement about the number of young people interested in these professions. She emphasized UNK’s commitment to supporting students during their transition from high school to college and providing mentorship and professional development opportunities.
Overall, the UNK Health Careers Fair provided high school students like Sophia Novoselov with valuable insights into the diverse health care career options available to them and the educational paths to pursue.