Rural Health Scholars Program

Healthcare Professional Student Rotations in Rural Louisiana

The Rural Health Scholars Program encourages healthcare professional students to practice in Louisiana’s health professional shortage areas (HPSAs) by building partnerships between rural and underserved healthcare facilities and colleges and universities. Each grant year, up to 20 students will participate in a short-term rotation to gain experience in a rural healthcare setting.

Participating as a Healthcare Facility

Rural healthcare facilities in HPSAs can partner with Well-Ahead to host a healthcare professional student for a 180-hour (minimum) clinical rotation. As a participating site, this is your opportunity to show students, who are also potential employees, what it means to work in rural Louisiana. You will also have access to technical assistance from Well-Ahead in recruiting and filling current vacancies and strengthening your recruitment and retention plan.

Each year, up to 20 healthcare professional students within one-two years of graduation will match with participating facilities. Approved sites will receive $5,000 for each student hosted to help cover administrative costs. The ultimate goal of the program is to assist healthcare professional students with permanent job placement in a rural HPSA upon graduation.

Eligible healthcare facilities include:

  • Critical Access Hospitals
  • Rural Health Clinics
  • Federally Qualified Health Centers
  • Responsibilities of Participating Sites
    • Host each student for a 180-hour (minimum) clinical rotation. Hours must be completed within 90 days.
    • Work with Well-Ahead to onboard the healthcare student participant. Onboarding includes:
      • Assisting with identifying lodging for the healthcare student (if needed).
      • Identifying a qualified preceptor (MD, DO, NP, or DDP).
      • Conducting a tour of the area, providing information about the healthcare issues faced by the population.
      • Developing a work plan for the healthcare student to include hours, patient volume expected, etc.
      • Provide for EHR access to allow the healthcare student to start the preceptor’s notes and analyze patient data (e.g. history, prior notes, labs, tests, etc.)
    • Complete any documents required from the college or university.
    • Measure progress of healthcare student and assist with completing of the student’s service report
    • Develop or strengthen your facility’s recruitment and retention plan.
    • Enroll with 3RNet and post current position vacancies.
    • Complete Rural Health Scholars Program evaluation.
  • Parishes with Participating Facilities

    We have participating facilities in the following parishes:

    • Acadia
    • Allen
    • Ascension
    • Assumption
    • Avoyelles
    • Bienville
    • Grant
    • Iberville
    • Jefferson
    • Jefferson Davis
    • Lafayette
    • Lafourche
    • Lincoln
    • Livingston
    • Morehouse
    • Natchitoches
    • Orleans
    • Ouachita
    • Pointe Coupee
    • Rapides
    • Sabine
    • St. Helena
    • St. James
    • St. John the Baptist
    • St. Landry
    • St. Martin
    • Tangipahoa
    • Union
    • Vermilion
    • Vernon
    • Webster
    • Winn

Partnering as a College or University

Colleges and universities can help improve access to healthcare in rural Louisiana by recruiting healthcare professional students within one to two years of graduation for the Rural Health Scholars Program. Participating schools receive $5,000 for their assistance with recruiting students to participate.

Well-Ahead works with colleges and universities to recruit students committed to practicing medicine in rural and underserved areas throughout Louisiana. We deliver a student presentation that outlines the program and provide technical assistance to schools for the duration of the program. Depending on student interest, location and number of applicants, Well-Ahead connects students with a rural healthcare facility located in a HPSA for their rotation.

In addition to recruitment, participating schools will provide support by ensuring students meet the required qualifications (including certifications and immunizations) and review the student work plan to ensure it aligns with university goals.

Eligible universities or colleges must offer one (or more) of the following programs:

  • Family or General Practice, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology and Pediatrics (MD/DO Physicians)
  • General and Pediatric Dentistry (DDS/DMD)
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Physician Assistant (PA)
  • Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH)

Participating Colleges & Universities

  • Franciscan University (Baton Rouge)
  • Grambling State University (Grambling)
  • Loyola University (New Orleans)
  • LSU Health Sciences Center (New Orleans)
  • LSU Shreveport (Shreveport)
  • Northwestern State University (Natchitoches)
  • Southern University (Baton Rouge)
  • Responsibilities of Participating Colleges or Universities
    • Work with Well-Ahead to recruit healthcare student participant(s).
    • Provide healthcare facility with preceptor roles, responsibilities and mandatory qualifications.
    • Review work plan developed by the healthcare facility for the student to include hours, patient volume expected, etc.
    • Complete any documents required from the healthcare facility.
    • Ensure that students meet standards for immunizations, CPR, liability insurance, background, drug testing, etc. prior to beginning rotation.
    • Facilitate open communication between the University and healthcare facility.
    • Ensure that student clinical rotation aligns with university goals.

Participating as a Healthcare Professional Student

Students within one to two years of completing their respective program have the unique opportunity to experience practicing in a healthcare facility in a HPSA through the Rural Health Scholars Program. Participants will learn from rural healthcare professionals during their rotation. This exposure could help with a future career in rural healthcare, and participants will be offered assistance with job placement if applicable. Additionally, each student will receive a total of $8,000 that includes a stipend and living expenses. Previous Rural Health Scholars Program participants are not eligible.

Eligible disciplines include:

  • Family or General Practice, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics/Gynecology and Pediatrics (MD/DO Physicians)
  • General and Pediatric Dentistry (DDS/DMD)
  • Nurse Practitioner (NP)
  • Physician Assistant (PA)
  • Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH)

Students who are selected must agree to complete a 180-hour (minimum) clinical rotation. They are also required to participate in an online training that will detail health disparities, discuss health equity and provide information on chronic disease prevention efforts in rural Louisiana. Additionally, students will participate in a post-rotation survey and will be required to submit an essay detailing their experience in the healthcare facility, as well as a service report at the end of rotation that outlines hours worked and patient profile statistics.

Depending on student interest, location and number of applicants, Well-Ahead connects students with a rural healthcare facility located in a HPSA for a rotation. You can see the parishes where participating healthcare facilities are located by viewing the list above. Well-Ahead also assists participants with registration to 3RNet and permanent job placement post-graduation.

  • Responsibilities of Participating Students
    • Complete a 180-hour (minimum) clinical rotation at the assigned healthcare facility. Hours must be completed within 90 days.
    • Work closely with the assigned preceptor, following the developed work plan. Negotiate a clinical schedule that facilitates the needs of all participants.
    • Complete an online training that will detail health disparities, discuss health equity, and provide information on chronic disease prevention efforts in rural Louisiana.
    • Submit an essay detailing their experience in the healthcare facility.
    • Participate in a post-rotation survey.
    • Complete any documents required from the college or university institute of higher education and healthcare facility where placed.
    • Complete a service report that outlines hours worked and patient profile statistics.
    • Create a profile and upload a current CV in 3RNet.
    • Arrive prepared for clinical with necessary equipment and resources.
    • Be punctual, respectful and professional at all times.

Interested in Participating? Connect with Us!