Rural Health Education and the Pathway to Rural Practice

This month, RhPAP is asking about Rural Health Education and the Pathway to Rural Practice.
Did you know? A survey of nursing practice in rural and remote Canada found that 56 per cent of rural Alberta nurse respondents grew up in a community with a population of less than 5,000.[1]

Research shows that the two biggest predictors of rural practice are:

1. Having a rural background

2. Exposure to rural training and placements during post-secondary education

The pathway to rural practice is a framework of programs and initiatives that exposes rural high school students to health-care careers and provides rural practice and community lifestyle learning opportunities to post-secondary health science students.

A range of organizations and stakeholders, such as RhPAP, Alberta Health Services, regional school districts, rural attraction and retention committees, post-secondary institutions, and local health-care providers, all contribute to the initiatives that form the pathway to rural practice.

By exposing local youth to health-care careers and engaging with post-secondary health sciences students who may be visiting for learning experiences or placements, rural communities play an important role in supporting students along the pathway to the rural health workforce.

This month, RhPAP is asking about rural health education in your communities. Our intent is to understand what types of resources and initiatives are available locally and to see if further supports or information are needed that would help communities in their efforts to promote rural health careers to local students.  

We will share the survey results with our partners in education, health care, and community development.

This survey should take less than five minutes to complete.

[1] Source: Kulig, J., Kosteniuk, J., Jónatansdóttir, S., Olynick, J., Mix, N., Garraway, L., & MacLeod, M. (April, 2017). Alberta Survey Fact Sheet: Nursing Practice in Rural and Remote Canada. Prince George, BC: Nursing Practice in Rural and Remote Canada II. RRN2-04-02.

Question Title

* 1. Are you a resident of Alberta?

Question Title

* 2. If you answered "Yes" to Question 1, in which AHS (Alberta Health Services) zone do you live?

Question Title

AHS Zone Map

<strong>AHS Zone Map</strong>

Question Title

* 3. Do you live in a rural or remote community with a population under 15,000?

Question Title

* 4. Are you currently working as a health professional (physician, nurse, nurse practitioner, midwife, or allied health-care professional)?

Question Title

* 5. Please rate your agreement with the following statements:

  Strongly agree Agree Somewhat agree Somewhat disagree Disagree Strongly disagree I am not aware
Information about health-care education pathways and careers is available in my community.
My community encourages local youth to pursue health sciences career paths.
There is a need to develop my community’s resources and supports that encourage students to consider careers in rural health care.

Question Title

* 6. Has your community implemented or utilized any of the following activities and initiatives? Choose all that apply.

Question Title

* 7. Are there additional supports that would help your community encourage and promote rural health-care career paths to local students? Please provide a brief description below.

Your feedback will help to inform RhPAP’s discussions with stakeholders in education, health care, and community development.

Please Note: Personal information shall not be used or disclosed for purposes other than those for which it was collected, except with the consent of the individual, or as required by law.