By SARA GIBONEY
KEARNEY – More high school students are expressing interest in learning about health science programs at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
The Health Science Education Complex, a partnership between the University of Nebraska Medical Center and UNK, opened in August 2015.
“From last fall through now, we’ve seen a big increase in students touring campus who are interested in learning about the health science programs,” said Peggy Abels, director of Health Science Programs.
Programs offered in Health Science fulfill a need for expanded education opportunities for nurses and new opportunities for allied health professions. Those professions include physicians assistant, physical therapist, clinical laboratory scientist, radiographer and diagnostic medical sonographer, in addition to new graduate nursing and expanded undergraduate nursing opportunities at UNMC.
“We’ve seen a big increase in the number of pre-nursing students in the last couple of years, ever since the Health Science Education Complex was being planned. As our newer programs like physical therapy get up and going and word gets out about them, we’ll see more of an increase,” Abels said.
Hundreds of high school students recently attend the annual Health Careers Fair to network with professional schools, organizations and employers. The Health Careers Fair has been offered to students the past 20 years.
“We invite high schools from all over the state of Nebraska. Attendance has been over 200 for the last five years. We’re seeing steady growth,” Abels said.
This year more than 20 companies and organizations attended, including Bryan College of Health Sciences, CHI Health, Mary Lanning Healthcare School of Radiologic Technology, Kearney Regional Medical Center, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Nebraska Health Information Management Association and Regional West Hospital of Radiologic Technology.
The Health Careers Fair began as an opportunity for students to network with colleges and prospective employers, but has grown into an educational experience.
This year’s fair included a keynote speaker; a session about scholarships; a presentation for high school counselors, parents and teachers; breakout sessions; and tours of campus, the UNK Physical Activity and Wellness Lab and Health Science Education Complex.
Pre-Professional Health Science Programs
Pre-Chiropractic, Pre-Osteopathy, Pre-Podiatry
Pre-Clinical Laboratory Science
Pre-Health Information Management