Healthcare Career Community


Are you considering a career in healthcare?

If so, that’s great!  Did you know there are over 500 healthcare professions?  Healthcare professionals can work clinically and non-clinically.  GVSU has a variety of majors that lead to healthcare careers and students have the opportunity to work on the medical mile in downtown Grand Rapids.

Join Healthcare Community       Healthcare Career Events

Explore Healthcare Majors and Careers

Increase knowledge of healthcare-related majors and career options. 

Clinical vs. Nonclinical Careers

Learn about healthcare career paths and occupation requirements.

How to Get Involved and Gain Experience

Find ways to gain experience and network within healthcare.

Parallel Planning

Learn about your options and set up a back-up plan that aligns with your career goals.

Explore Healthcare Majors and Careers


Many students are interested in pursuing healthcare at GVSU but aren’t sure how to get started.  Here are some tools to help you learn more about yourself, GVSU majors, and healthcare careers.  

Explore GVSU Majors

  • Review the majors and graduate programs in the College of Health Professions.
  • Explore program options and requirements in the Kirkhof College of Nursing.
  • The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Pre-Professional advising team helps students prepare for graduate healthcare programs outside GVSU.  Students formulate a plan to use their GVSU undergraduate major to apply for graduate and professional school options like medical school, dental school, pharmacy school, etc.  
  • Did you know you most majors at GVSU can lead to healthcare?  Search the majors through the GVSU majors, programs, certificates, and badges.  If you are interested in a major, use the What Can I Do With This Major resource to see how a major can connect to healthcare.
  • Not sure what to do?  Don't stress, the Career Center can help. Identify some majors you might be interested in and write down your questions.  A career advisor can help you to move forward and get your questions answered.  You can schedule an appointment with a career advisor through Handshake.  

Engage in Self-Assessment and Career Research

  • PathwayU- Complete our quick, free career assessment. Be sure to take all 4 assessments (Interests, Values, Personality, and Workplace Preferences).  You can use this tool to identify healthcare careers you might be interested in.
  • Explore Health Careers- Review job titles and degree requirements for various healthcare professions.
  • O*Net- Learn more about the skills, employment trends, salary ranges, work contexts, and related healthcare occupations.
  • Career Guides- Review the career guides to explore past internship, job titles, and involvement opportunities by major at GVSU
  • What Can I Do With This Major?-  Explore how majors can connect to careers and identify the experiences needed to move forward in your professional development.
  • Candid Career- Watch video clips of healthcare professionals.

Clinical vs. Nonclinical


Understanding the clinical and non-clinical professional options requires career investigation and information gathering to help you with your career planning.

Understand the Difference Between Clinical and Nonclinical Careers

Secondary Admission in Healthcare

  • Many healthcare programs may require secondary admissions. This means you will need to apply to the specific program.  Be sure to review the admissions requirements and talk with academic advisors to ensure you are on track to apply to the program of interest.
  • You might be considering more that one major/career path.  That’s ok!  Continuing your career investigation, working with advisors, and gaining experience will prepare you for your next steps.
  • We encourage all students who are considering a secondary admit program to explore a parallel plan.  You can work with your academic and career advisors to design a parallel plan that aligns with your career goals.

How to Get Involved and Gain Experience


Now that you’ve explored some healthcare majors and careers, you are probably craving to learn more.  Now it is time to get involved and gain experience!  Getting involved and gaining experience in the industry will allow you to “test out” healthcare and see if it is the right field for you, while simultaneously gaining the experiences that might be necessary to apply to healthcare programs. While you gain experience and actively explore the field on-site, be sure to reflect on your experiences.  What did you like and dislike?  What skills have you obtained?  Consult with healthcare professionals.


Get Involved and Test it Out

  • Complete a job shadow or do an informational interview with a healthcare professional. This is a low risk activity and can provide you with helpful information when making career decisions. 
  • Join a student organization.  There are a variety of professional-focused student organizations (ex-Pre Nursing Association, Pre-Physical Therapy Club), or consider joining an organization that helps the community.
  • Volunteer on or off campus to gain an understanding of community needs.  Check out the Volunteer and Healthcare Experience listing for health related volunteer opportunities.  
  • Gain research experience with a faculty member.  Understanding the research process and ethics will help you to make informed decisions in your future healthcare profession.
  • Apply for a micro-internship - short-term, paid projects for employers that can be completed within 5-40 hours.

Gain Healthcare Work Experience

  • Obtaining a position working in direct patient care can be a great way to “test-out” if clinical work is right for you.  You might find a role at a hospital, nursing home, rehabilitation facility, or providing in-home care.  Entry-level job titles include terms like direct care worker, nurse tech, rehab tech, patient care assistant, psychiatric tech, resident aid, therapy tech, patient transporter, patient sitter, etc. In these roles, you will learn basic clinical skills and you will gain experience working directly with patients.
  • Any experience working in the healthcare industry can give you insight information into the field. Entry-level positions in supporting departments including nutrition services, environmental services, guest services, etc. will help you to build skills in interacting with patients and healthcare staff members.  
  • Some entry-level roles such as pharmacy tech, phlebotomist, and EMT, may require specific training.  Here are resources where you can obtain these certifications.
  • Watch our previously recorded healthcare events to learn more about gaining healthcare experience.
  • Check out our Healthcare Experience listing and Handshake to learn more about clinical and non-clinical opportunities.


  • Non-clinical internships are available for students and the undergraduate and graduate level.  Students can search for positions through Handshake and job posting sites.  Students should talk with their academic advisor and internship coordinator in their academic department if they are interested in receiving credit for their internship.
  • Utilize Handshake, attend career events, and network with employers to identify internship opportunities.  Be sure to consider a variety of health-related environments including hospitals, non-profit/community-based organizations, health insurance agencies, and health-focused businesses.  
  • Check out the career guides to see where other students have interned.
  • Listen to our Work Like a Laker podcast episodes on internships.

Related Work Experience

  • Working in customer service is a great way to build your communication and leadership skills.  Focus on the transferable skills you are obtaining in your non-healthcare roles.  For example- working in the food services industry can teach you how to operate in a fast paced healthcare environment.  Working in customer service can help you to build your communication skills and give you experience working with the public.  
  • Listen to the podcast episode- “Do Employers Care About My Part-Time Job?” to learn more about translating your skills to healthcare.
  • If you are concerned about transportation or your student schedule, consider working on campus.  Working on campus will help you to build skills and develop as a professional.  Additionally, there may be opportunities to work in health related positions, such as working as a resident assistant, working at GVSU Health Campus running the simulation labs, or working as a student dispatcher for the police department. 

Parallel Planning


You’ve done a great job researching healthcare careers.  At this point you might have one or more career paths in mind.  You may have also learned that some healthcare careers are competitive.  A parallel plan can help you to pursue more than one career path, and can help you identify an alternative career plan in case you are not admitted to your program or you change your mind. 

Check out the Parallel Planning Website

Healthcare Career Community Handshake Postings

6/13/24 Referral Specialist for job 9045455
Gift of Life Michigan
Expires: 7/1/24

6/4/24 Psychologist II for job 9022422
Illinois Department of Human Services
Expires: 6/18/24

5/31/24 Counselor for job 9012854
Meaningful Day Services, Inc.
Expires: 6/30/24

View More Jobs

See what alumni are doing

Healthcare Spotlights

Hanna Benedek '21 Spotlight

Hanna Benedek '21

My favorite Grand Valley memory is when I first moved into Hoobler Living Center during my freshman year.

Mike Michalski '18 Spotlight

Mike Michalski '18

I was working late in Kindschi Hall on pouring an agarose gel for electrophoresis but I had mistakenly poured the gel too thick. I remember just laughing with my classmates because I'd review the progress hour after hour and nothing would change.

Grace Bommarito '12 Spotlight

Grace Bommarito '12

My favorite memory from Grand Valley was meeting my best friend and navigating life together as young adults.

View More Healthcare Spotlights

Find more Healthcare alumni on LinkedIn!

Don't have a LinkedIn profile? Read these tips to learn more!


Interested? learn more by...

Viewing the Healthcare Experience Panel Fall 2021 Recording

View the Healthcare Experience Panel Fall 2021 Recording

Student Organizations and Professional Associations - Healthcare

On-campus student organizations with a professional goal are an excellent way to explore your future career and get involved in your field. For more information on the organizations below use the GVSU LakerLink.

  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

  • American Society for Clinical Laboratory Scientists

  • American Society of Safety Professionals

  • Anatomy Club

  • Beekeeper Club

  • Best Buddies

  • Biology Club

  • Chemistry Club

  • Child Life Specialists

  • Colleges Against Cancer

  • Doctors Without Boarders

  • Genetic Counseling Club

  • Kids in Motion

  • Laker Leadership

  • Medical  Science Discussion Club

  • Microbiology Club

  • Parks, Adventures and Recreation Club

  • Pre: vet, med, med/Ph.D., pharm, opt, PA, dental, nursing

  • Radiologic and Imaging Sciences Student Organization (RISSO

  • Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography

  • Therapeutic Recreation Student Association

Attend Events to Learn More

Career Community- Healthcare

Build Project Information Session

June 18, 2024 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The GVSU Career Center has partnered with the Build Fellowship to provide short-term experiences to students. Join a virtual information session to explore the dynamic 8-week programs, led by industry-professionals...

Traveling Career Quiz

August 23, 2024 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Embark on a journey of self-discovery outside of Kleiner Commons with the Career Center's student staff as your guides. First-year students, come and explore a myriad of career quizzes tailored...

View More Career Community- Healthcare

Meet Your Healthcare Career Advisors

Stephanie Dombrowski

Stephanie Jensen

Office Address: 200 Student Services
Phone: (616) 331-3311
Email: [email protected]

Stephanie is a Career Advisor who works with students, faculty, and employers in the natural and hard sciences and health related programs. 

Meghan Veltri

Meghan Veltri

Office Address: 200 Student Services
Phone: (616) 331-3311
Email: [email protected]

Meghan is a career advisor who works with students, faculty, and staff in the health and science programs. She also helps students parallel plan as they seek entrance into competitive programs. 

Page last modified February 21, 2024