Creating a Pathway to Health-Care Professions for Historically Marginalized Students

Creat Nurs. 2023 Nov;29(4):389-394. doi: 10.1177/10784535231212474. Epub 2023 Nov 5.


Developing a diverse talent pool starting at the high-school level, while students are making future education and career decisions, should be a national priority, given the need to build a diverse health-care workforce. This article describes a 6-week immersive simulation-based summer program to introduce 20 junior high-school students (13-15 years old) to the range of health professions. Because precollege students typically receive limited exposure to clinical settings, high-fidelity simulation is an excellent surrogate for providing realistic experiences in health care. Students heard lectures on health careers, earned basic life support certification, learned to perform basic vital signs measurement, practiced the management of acute asthma, and received an introduction to the daily activities in the life of a nurse and an anesthesiologist. They researched, developed, and presented public service announcement videos about a health-care issue affecting their community. Participants reported being excited about health careers. Future programs will focus on longitudinal support and mentoring, essential for mitigating the higher rates of attrition from health professions among minoritized individuals.

Keywords: health profession; pathway program; simulation; underrepresented students.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Career Choice*
  • Health Occupations
  • Health Personnel
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Students*