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RHOP student pushing a patient in a wheelchair.

Want to live in a rural Nebraska community and work in the healthcare field? Two programs have become very popular among rural Nebraska high school students, the RHOP and the KHOP. In this blog, we’ll cover some of the specifics of these programs.

What do RHOP and KHOP stand for?

RHOP is the Rural Health Opportunities Program offered through Wayne State, Chadron State, and Peru State Colleges in Nebraska. Similarly, KHOP stands for Kearney Health Opportunities Program, offered through the University of Nebraska at Kearney. RHOP and KHOP are cooperative programs between the colleges listed above and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC).

What is the purpose of the programs?

The programs are designed to address the healthcare needs of rural Nebraska. They attract high school seniors who are committed to becoming healthcare providers in rural areas of the state. Students will attend one of the four colleges to fulfill their pre-requisite courses and then attend UNMC to complete their education and training in their chosen field.

Which health professions are part of this program?

There are 10 health professions to choose from; Dentistry, Dental Hygiene, Medical Lab Science, Medicine, Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy, and Radiography.  Check with the college you’re interested in to make sure they offer your desired field of study.

What are the benefits of the program?

Each student accepted into the program will receive the following benefits:

  • A full tuition scholarship for their pre-requisite coursework at the college that admitted them.
  • Exposure to experiences in rural health and other healthcare settings and practices.
  • A special curriculum and interaction with other health pathways students to help prepare and develop them for their healthcare programs at UNMC.
  • Guaranteed admission to UNMC, in their specific healthcare program, upon completion of all required coursework.
  • Opportunities to visit UNMC during their undergraduate program.

Who is eligible to apply for these health opportunity programs?

Rural Nebraska seniors who:

  • Will receive a high school diploma or equivalent at the conclusion of the current academic year.
  • Demonstrate the ability to succeed in their chosen UNMC program via academic achievements and test scores throughout high school.
  • Have a sincere desire to become a healthcare provider and practice in a rural Nebraska community.

What are the application details?

Students must submit an admission application to the campus where they will be applying for the KHOP or RHOP program.  They may begin applying for these rural healthcare pathways as soon as admission applications open at each college. The college must receive the completed program application and materials by December 1 for program consideration. Contact the college for additional details.

The KHOP and RHOP programs are highly competitive and only a select number of students are chosen for each of the 10 program pathways. Contact the college early so you don’t miss deadlines and other important details.

By Jacquie Butler