Resources for Healthcare Career Pathways

This section of the CHAMPS website introduces healthcare career pathways, containing program examples, tools, articles, academic studies, guides, etc. related to health professions education and training (HP-ET) programs that prepare future health center workforce and/or support current staff advancement. These resources have been designed to help health centers (primarily community, migrant, and homeless health centers) and Primary Care Associations pursue pipeline programs in their communities in support of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Professions Education and Training (HP-ET) Initiative.

Please contact the CHAMPS Programs Coordinator, Health Center Workforce if you have any questions about these materials or would like to share any other useful resources.

In order to better understand HP-ET pathway programs, please click or scroll down for:
Introduction to Health Workforce Pathways
Early Pathway Resources
Support Staff Pathway Resources
Advanced Practice Provider Pathway Resources
Doctorate-Level Provider Pathway Resources
Resources for Advancing Health Equity in Healthcare Career Pathways
Additional Online Pathway Resources


Health workforce pathways (previously referred to as “pipelines”) seek to expose interested individuals to health fields and to train staff throughout their careers. To help address the need for high-quality primary care for underserved populations, the HP-ET Initiative strives to increase the exposure of health and allied health professions students, trainees, and residents to health center careers, and to support the advancement of existing staff members.

The current health workforce landscape contains numerous challenges, from anticipated deficits in primary care providers to issues retaining support staff. Studies and other resources with data about current and future health workforce are listed within each page of this section, as well as under Additional Online Pathway Resources below. They demonstrate the necessity for increased education and training in the primary care field, particularly for those serving in health centers.

Education Health Centers (EHCs), those that serve as training sites for health professions students and residents, function as one solution. There are typically multiple pathways to becoming an EHC—a much broader approach than just the limited number of federally-funded Teaching Health Centers (THCs). Despite limitations to developing THCs, it has been demonstrated that residents who train in them are significantly more likely to practice in settings primarily associated with underserved populations. Investing in residency programs, other grow-your-own programs, and general EHC development helps build a more culturally competent and long-lasting community health workforce.

The HP-ET program examples and resources below function as support for those striving to create a workforce pathway that benefits employers, students, and communities at large. Additional examples of HP-ET programs at Region VIII health centers are listed throughout these pathway-related webpages. CHAMPS Organizational Members can also visit the Members Only section of this website for an online and interactive CHAMPS Region VIII Health Center Directory, and search for “Teaching Sites” under “Program” to explore Region VIII health centers involved in HP-ET efforts (member log-in required).


Early pathway programs are typically those that seek to reach kindergarten through 12th grade students in order to expose them to the wide variety of health professions available and/or prepare them for a future in health care. Health centers can play a role in increasing the exposure of young students from rural or medically underserved areas to health careers by participating in similar programs, encouraging their communities to participate, or simply sharing opportunities with interested patients.

Visit the Early Pathway Resources webpage for examples of student programs and additional online resources.


Support staff pathway programs are typically those that prepare individuals working toward (or with) high school diplomas/GEDs, associate’s degrees, or bachelor’s degrees to work in health settings as medical assistants, dental assistants, nurses, pharmacy technicians, administrative front desk roles, and more. Other programs provide advancement opportunities for already working staff through career-ladders and additional training. Health centers might offer shadowing and apprenticeship programs for students interested in joining the health workforce in the future and might also develop pathways for advancement for those already at their health centers, a proven method for retaining staff.

Visit the Support Staff Pathway Resources webpage for examples of support staff development and advancement programs and additional online resources.


Advanced Practice Provider (APP) pathway programs are typically those that offer training for providers with (or in the process of obtaining) master’s-level degrees. They help nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and others to complete their training as well as support career development of existing APPs. Health centers might host APPs in clinical training or fellowship programs, support current APPs in their career development, etc.

Visit the Advanced Practice Provider (APP) Pathway Resources webpage for program examples, academic studies, and additional online resources.


Doctorate-level pathway programs are typically those that offer training for individuals in the process of obtaining clinical doctorate degrees (e.g., future and post-graduate physicians, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists, psychiatrists, etc.). Health centers might host residents in clinical training or fellowship or support current providers in their career development.

Visit the Doctorate-Level Provider Pathway Resources webpage for program examples, academic studies, and additional online resources.


In order to develop and retain a workforce that represents and supports the patients served by health centers, it is essential to be intentional in how workforce pathways are created.

Visit the Advancing Health Equity in Healthcare Career Pathways webpage for more information about diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workforce pathway, plus program examples, academic studies, and additional online resources.


3RNet National Rural Recruitment and Retention Network
Candidate Job Search Resource Library
A loan repayment guide and overview on health professional shortage areas.

Arkansas Rural Health Partnership (ARHP)
Careers in Healthcare
A website with resources and tools highlighting educational institutions, degree programs, and career paths for students interested in a future in healthcare in Arkansas.

Association of Clinicians for the Underserved (ACU) STAR2 Center
Financial Impact Assessment Tool
Tool outlining the financial impact an HP-ET program could have on a health center, including assessments on areas of potential costs and benefits along with opportunities for improving the financial stability of HP-ET plans.

Community Health Association of Mountain/Plains States (CHAMPS)
Recruitment and Retention Surveys and Data
General survey and data resources on health professions workforce trends to guide staff recruitment and retention policies.

Region VIII Health Salary Surveys and Reports
Biennial Region VIII Health Center, Salary, Benefits, Turnover, and Vacancy Survey Report, plus companion Clinical Staffing and Provider Productivity Expectations Reports. Member log-in required.

Uniform Data System (UDS) Workforce Metrics Infographic
Two-page infographics that presents an overview of health professions education programs in Region VIII health centers, including the most trained disciplines, based on annual UDS data.

Council on Graduate Medical Education (COGME)
Strengthening the Rural Health Workforce to Improve Health Outcomes in Rural Communities
A multi-page report outlining recommendations to bolster the rural health workforce and improve access to health care in rural areas.

Community Health Vs. Public Health: What’s The Difference?
Comparison of community health and public health, including careers within each industry.

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
Bureau of Health Workforce Clinician Dashboards
Data tools and information related to the retention and geographic distribution of Bureau of Health Workforce (BHW) program participants.

For Schools: Apply for a Loan
HRSA funding for schools that includes health professions student loans, loans for disadvantaged students, nursing student loans, primary care loans, etc.

Health Professions Training Programs
Metrics behind HRSA’s health workforce training programs, including the programs and courses offered, the number of participants and faculty trained, and the location of training sites.

Review Health Workforce Research
Health workforce projections, program accomplishments and outcomes, data on diversity in the workforce, and geographic distribution of the workforce.

United States Health Workforce State Profiles
General data on 34 types of health occupations by state.

My Colorado Journey
Get Connected to Careers, Education and Resources
Website with a wide variety of tools and information to connect individuals of all ages to careers, education planning, and support resources.

National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC)
Academic Partnerships
NACHC’s college and university partnerships increase educational and career opportunities for health center staff, providing benefits including tuition discounts, training reviews, and more.