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Healthforce Minnesota

Getting Students Excited About Healthcare Careers

Recruiting and retaining an expanded and more diverse student population in healthcare careers is one of HealthForce Minnesota’s primary objectives. Scrubs Camp, Girl Scouts ConnectZ Scrubs Camp and Camp Explore are the primary tools we’re using to accomplish that objective.

“At first I was skeptical about coming, but now I really want to be in healthcare.”
2016 St. Cloud Scrubs Camper

Scrubs Camp was launched in 2008 at Winona State University and has expanded to additional campuses and growing number of student attendees every year since. A collaborative effort where college campuses host summer camps, industry partners welcome tours and provide clinical experiences and HealthForce Minnesota coordinates curriculum, registration and scholarships.

At Scrubs Camps, students get to interact directly with many working professionals in the field and through field trips, get a tour and experience of what it would be like to work in a particular career field.

In 2014, HealthForce Minnesota began a collaborative partnership with Girl Scouts River Valleys to develop a one-day Scrubs Camp experience during the academic year. Designed to serve students who identify as girls of color and/or qualify for free and reduced meals at their school district, this program is help to diversify the workforce pipeline.

Last year, recognizing that boys were less apt to attend Scrubs Camp, HealthForce Minnesota piloted Camp Explore, a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) camp with a strong Health Sciences Technology component.

“Without the exposure to healthcare career pathways that Scrubs Camp provides, there are many students … who would be left behind due to lack of knowledge on opportunities in healthcare; and our industry would be left behind in terms of pipeline of workers to fill our future career vacancies.”
Meghann Whiting, Workforce Planning & Sourcing Specialist, Essentia Health