Internships and Volunteer Opportunities for High School and Pre-Nursing Students
| Maura Deering
This guide provides information and state-by-state listings of healthcare and nursing programs for high school and pre-nursing students. For students interested in learning about healthcare careers and work environments, these programs offer an inside look at health professional jobs, including nurses.
Through these opportunities, teens can gain valuable information prior to applying to nursing school, along with work experience that enhances their college applications. Most positions take place in nonclinical settings, as clinical rotations do not happen until nursing school. Prior to that time, students must adhere to limitations imposed by their unlicensed status. Regardless, students still experience ample opportunities to observe what nurses and other practitioners do in the workforce.
While not all of the listings specify high school nursing programs, volunteers, interns, and fellows typically interact with nurses. Even general healthcare volunteer positions offer explorations of nursing and other professions.
Popular Types of Internships and Volunteer Opportunities
- The largest number of opportunities for high school students involve volunteer positions, either as part of a summer program or as year-round community volunteers. Most hospitals welcome teen volunteers to perform duties that tend to be nonclinical in nature, such as assisting staff, visiting patients, and providing information to visitors.
- Nursing internships for high school students typically require junior or senior status. Internships can involve more patient care and responsibility under supervision of a nurse or other practitioner. Some hospitals and medical centers offer summer residential internships and college scholarships.
- Job shadowing programs offer students the chance to follow a nurse or other health professional on their regular shift for a set time period (e.g., half day, full day, or 24 hours). These opportunities are generally "hands-off" while students just observe.
- Summer Camps
- Camps may involve volunteering, group activities, and presentations. They take place over 1-2 weeks and focus on letting students explore different career options in healthcare.
- Research Internships
- Students with an interest in nursing or health research pair with a researcher on a project, attend classroom or informational sessions, and learn about specific research areas, such as cancer, diabetes, and other diseases and conditions.
Internships and Volunteer Opportunities Near Me
*Please note that some opportunities may be temporarily suspended due to COVID-19.
Opportunities geared toward high school students ages 15 and older include job shadowing, a medical career explorer program, and hospital student volunteer positions. School-affiliated internships are available for undergraduates.
This medical center and hospital offers summer opportunities for teen volunteers, ages 15-18, and college students. Volunteers may assist in various departments or observe bedside procedures.
Teens can learn about healthcare careers at USA Health facilities in southern Alabama. Volunteers care for newborn babies, mentor pediatric patients, and educate families about cancer detection and prevention.
High school students can volunteer at this residential retirement facility and assist staff during outings, take residents for walks or shopping trips, or lead an exercise class.
Educational opportunities include a competitive summer internship program for high school graduates and summer internships for Alaska Native high school students in the Juneau area.
The Della Keats Health Sciences Summer Program offers opportunities to explore health careers to first-generation and underserved Alaska high school juniors and seniors.
Teens ages 13-15 participate in summer project sessions geared toward helping hospital patients. High school students ages 16 and older can volunteer throughout the year.
ASU's West Campus in northwest Phoenix invites students in grades 9-12 to a summer college immersion that features learning communities in areas of nutrition and health.
High school juniors can benefit from patient-oriented volunteer opportunities within this Phoenix health system which include placements in the emergency department, pediatrics, pet therapy, radiology, and surgery.
Students ages 14-18 can learn about caring for children and providing support to families in a hospital setting at Little Rock's Arkansas Children's Hospital.
Baptist Health offers volunteer youth programs at its various facilities, including Caring Teen and START Volunteen. They also provide an annual $12,500 Volunteen Scholarship to help pay for college.
The HEALERS program invites Little Rock high school students to learn about medical careers from practitioners, perform first aid and CPR, and gain clinical experience.
High school students can shadow a current Health Scholar through hospital and medical center placements in the Los Angeles, Orange County, and Bakersfield areas.
Palomar, located in San Diego County, offers clinical opportunities through its Pathmaker Internship Program in acute, progressive, and intensive care, along with rehabilitation and emergency medicine.
Student opportunities at San Diego County-based Scripps include the High School Exploration Internship Program, University City High School Collaboration, Young Leaders in Health Care, and onsite training through student placements.
Stanford's Cardiothoracic Surgical Skills and Education Center offers a summer internship for high school students interested in surgical careers, including nursing. Topics include dissection, suturing, and cardiac valve replacement.
In partnership with Denver Health, the Medical Career Collaborative Program prepares underrepresented students for future nursing and other healthcare careers with hands-on training and professional development.
At Centura's Littleton Adventist Hospital, Junior Volunteers join an eight-week summer program where they assist nurses and interact with patients and families in the emergency department, infusion center, and nursing units.
UCHealth offers student volunteer, job shadowing, and clinical observation opportunities at its hospitals throughout the state, including in the Denver area, Fort Collins, and Steamboat Springs.
Junior Volunteers, ages 14-17, work on patient care units, perform administrative duties, and help with events. Stamford offers internships to graduating seniors.
The Hospital of Central Connecticut offers teen volunteer opportunities in its hospital departments and a summer program at its Southington and New Britain campuses. Volunteers must be high school students, ages 15-18.
High school juniors and seniors at select area high schools can participate in the School-to-Career Internship Program during the spring and summer at Yale New Haven Hospital.
At its hospitals in Wilmington and Newark, ChristianaCare offers its Summer VolunTeen program to high schoolers ages 14-18. Volunteers interact with patients and learn about hospital careers.
High school students can volunteer during the summer in positions such as physical therapy assistant, information desk staff, and patient visitor.
The competitive summer high school volunteer program chooses participants by lottery. Selected students interact with children and their families in the Wilmington hospital.
The clinic, located in Jacksonville, offers a summer program for high school students, along with year-round programs for home-school and early college enrollees. Teens volunteer in gastrointestinal recovery, oncology, and surgical units.
Teens wanting to learn more about pediatric health can volunteer in a specialty care program in either Pensacola or Jacksonville by assisting staff with supporting patients and families, including serving on pet visitation teams.
High school students and recent graduates interested in nursing and healthcare can volunteer at Pensacola's West Florida Hospital assisting physicians and staff with patient care.
Opportunities at the CDC in Atlanta for high school students curious about public health include internships and worksite volunteer positions.
This hospital offers two volunteer opportunities for high school students: VolunTeen, a summer program with patient interaction, and the Explorer Program where teens learn about medical careers from professionals.
Though not a medical organization, this Atlanta faith-based not-for-profit offers teens enrolled in high school or recent graduates under the age of 19 the chance to learn about the organization's mission of helping children and families in crisis. In addition to foster care and homeless services, Christian City includes senior assisted living facilities.
High school students in the Honolulu area can participate in an immersive experience working alongside healthcare professionals at Adventist Health Castle in Kailua.
The Pre-Health Career Corps engages students in learning about health careers and supporting them through college with volunteer positions, career shadowing, internships, and financial resources. The center is housed at the University of Hawaii at Manoa John A. Burns School of Medicine.
The Health Careers Summer Internship Program offers high school students the chance to explore career options, learn about hospital systems, and talk to practitioners.
Teens can gain work experience in a professional environment and learn about the healthcare industry through a summer session or school-year volunteer programs. Scholarships for college are also available.
High school students can apply for externships, internships, shadowing, and volunteering opportunities. Madison Memorial Hospital provides training for all positions, along with exploration of a variety of health careers.
This Boise not-for-profit healthcare organization's Junior Volunteer Program accepts students ages 14-18 looking to gain hospital experience, customer service and leadership skills, and patient interaction.
High school juniors and seniors in select Illinois towns can apply for a Kendall Smith Healthcare Exploration Scholarship. Recipients spend six weeks in a summer hospital immersion and receive a stipend.
Volunteers, including high school students, receive orientation and on-the-job training in patient care and advocacy at hospital settings in the Naperville and Elmhurst areas.
Designed to interest high school juniors and seniors, along with graduating seniors, in healthcare careers, SIH's Summer Internship Program includes tracks in nursing and other healthcare-related fields.
Ascension welcomes students ages 15 and above as volunteers at its various locations, including Peyton Manning Children's, St. Vincent Fishers, and St. Vincent Warrick hospitals.
High school students interested in health-related research can choose among several scholarships in areas like behavioral sciences, biomedicine, and molecular medicine.
Fort Wayne-based Parkview partners with affiliated schools to pair high school seniors with health professionals in their areas of interest for semester-long internships and externships.
Southwestern Iowa high school students in grades 10-12 can participate in free Health Care Career Exploration Camps that introduce teens to different healthcare careers.
The center offers one-on-one clinical internship and preceptor programs, job shadowing, and youth volunteer opportunities to introduce students to healthcare careers.
This Dubuque healthcare organization offers student job shadowing opportunities in its Finley Hospital. Job shadowers must be high school seniors and log 30 volunteer hours.
The Via Christi Hospitals in Wichita offers nursing unit volunteer positions to teens, including greeting visitors, delivering gifts to patients' rooms, and aiding with dismissals.
Students from underrepresented groups can apply for the STAR 2.0 program. Participants work on an original project, earn a stipend, and learn about medical research, ethics, and careers.
The School to Career program provides observational experiences for high school students taking healthcare courses or participating in a health career-focused internship.
The Norton High School Academy Program includes three tiers: high school volunteer, academy summer internship, and an academy apprenticeship through which students can progress and explore careers.
The High School Senior Internship Program offers service learning experiences for students in their senior year. Interns explore the different hospital departments and their impacts on patient care.
This healthcare organization's Louisville-area hospitals offer volunteering and job shadowing for teens in emergency departments, surgery waiting areas, clinics, and pastoral care.
High school juniors and seniors with 2.5 GPAs can volunteer in areas like the Center for Health, surgery waiting area, pediatric rehab, and radiology.
The career shadowing program includes opportunities to shadow nurses and other practitioners in various hospital departments. Students must be 16 or older. The hospital also offers volunteer positions.
High school student volunteers at Tulane can work at the information desk, emergency department, patient relations, the cancer center, and additional medical center units.
The junior volunteer program invites applications from independent, enthusiastic, and responsible teens ages 14-17 for school-year and summer shifts.
MaineHealth's Center for Workforce Development introduces students to career options within the health system through summer internships, its Pipeline Program, junior volunteers, and student partnerships.
The hospitals within this health system offer volunteer opportunities for teens, including junior volunteers at Portland-area locations and patient and rehab care at the Blue Hill hospital.
Johns Hopkins and its agency partners host a Summer Scholars program that includes a track for underrepresented Baltimore high school juniors enrolled in the MERIT Health Leadership Academy.
The Leonardtown hospital offers CNA student internships in which high school students assist nursing technicians with basic nursing tasks. Interns must be enrolled in a health professions program.
High school students can apply to the NIH Clinical Center Summer Internship Program, which pairs students with researchers and health professionals in nursing and other research areas.
Teens ages 15-18 in the Randallstown area can earn community service hours and learn new skills as volunteers in surgical services, patient advocacy, and the emergency room.
Beth Israel's Winchester Hospital introduces students ages 14-18 to healthcare careers through its Junior Volunteer Program. Participants assist with patient discharge and deliver charts and lab samples.
Boston's BWH features summer internships that open up healthcare careers to students, the Student Success Jobs Program that provides mentoring, and Project TEACH for 10th graders enrolled in partner schools.
Students ages 16-18 can apply to the Junior Track volunteer program and learn about healthcare careers. Volunteers commit 100 hours of service and work after school.
Worcester-area teens can attend the Summer High School Student Program, in which they gain healthcare skills and earn a recognition certificate if they log 50 hours.
Ascension's Borgess-Lee, Macomb-Oakland, and other hospitals provide student volunteer opportunities in patient care. Students can apply for the Summer Teen Volunteer Program at the Ascension Providence Novi campus.
Student experiences at Spectrum include job shadowing with a practitioner, internships for those attending affiliated schools, and a variety of volunteer positions at its greater Grand Rapids locations.
High school students ages 16-18 can apply for summer volunteering, along with year-round positions if they have an agreement with a research area or lab.
The Summer Health Care Internship Program matches high school seniors and graduates with hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities to provide experiences working in healthcare.
Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota high school students can learn about healthcare careers at the Health Occupations & Professions Exploration Camp on the North Dakota State University campus.
High school students ages 16 and older can apply for job shadowing positions in which they observe a professional caring for patients.
The CRASH Course camp invites applications from high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors. The summer camp introduces students to careers in nursing at several Baptist Memorial hospital locations.
This organization fosters student interest in healthcare careers through several programs, including a summer health academy, summer volunteering, job shadowing, and scholarships.
Student volunteers can find nonclinical summer opportunities in the cancer center, emergency department, and radiology at Pascagoula and Ocean Springs hospitals.
Springfield's CoxHealth accepts high school volunteers ages 15 and up with a 3.0 GPA and recommendations. The student program focuses on engaging volunteers for possible future recruitment.
Children's Mercy Hospital provides observerships for high school students who want to explore healthcare professions by observing a physician for a full or half day.
The St. Louis-based hospital offers volunteer opportunities where students gain insight into healthcare careers. Student volunteers provide support, comfort, and facility navigation service to patients.
The clinic welcomes student volunteers ages 15-18 who can commit to one four-hour shift a week for eight weeks minimum. Students must also attend a two-day orientation.
Junior volunteers support patients in the emergency department and cancer center along with assisting families waiting for patients in surgery. Shifts take place during the school year.
Missoula's Providence St. Patrick's Hospital invites high school students interested in learning about healthcare careers to volunteer and assist hospital staff and patients.
BBGH offers clinical and nonclinical summer internships to high school students who want to experience and explore careers in a variety of hospital departments.
High school students in grades 10-12 can participate in free Health Care Career Exploration Camps that include group activities, interactive learning, and tours of facilities and departments.
The Omaha-based High School Alliance Health Sciences Enrichment Program for juniors and seniors features observation and shadowing tracks. Participants can also take college-level courses taught by practitioners, including nurses.
The hospital partners with Las Vegas schools to provide High School to Healthcare program funding for seniors heading to college, along with offering student volunteer opportunities.
Students ages 18 and older can learn about public health agency work as community health volunteers, helping the public access resources.
Teens ages 16-18 with a 2.5 GPA can participate in the summer volunteer teen program at Las Vegas-area hospitals. Volunteers attend an orientation covering infection prevention, patient confidentiality, and safety.
Students ages 14 and up learn about health professions and develop new skills by greeting and escorting patients, helping staff deliver emergency care, and updating family members on surgical progress.
Students ages 16-17 can join the VolunTeen program at Elliot Hospital in Manchester. VolunTeens assist patients, visitors, and staff while learning about careers in healthcare.
The teen volunteer program provides opportunities to students ages 14-18 during the afternoons and weekends. The program also awards six $1,000 scholarships each year to teen volunteers.
Student volunteers ages 14-17 at Camden-based Cooper acquire experience in patient care, perform clerical tasks, and serve as radiology ambassadors. Volunteers can earn community service and internship hours.
High school students can apply for summer volunteer positions working with patients and clinical staff, performing clerical duties and providing patient services, such as patient escorting.
The institute offers numerous education and training events for students in middle school and above with the goal of training the next generation of cancer researchers.
The Running Start for Careers and Job Mentor programs provide career discovery opportunities for students in participating schools, including in nursing and healthcare.
High school graduating seniors can explore healthcare careers during this six-week paid summer internship. Interns rotate through departments and observe nursing, clinical, and support staff.
UNM Health's Youth Empowerment Program introduces high school students to healthcare careers with summer and after-school hands-on activities, volunteering, and classroom instruction.
This organization serves Manhattan and Staten Island. Its Summer Health Internship Program places high schoolers in healthcare facilities to learn about health professions and issues.
Based in Garden City, Adelphi offers a pre-college introduction to nursing track for high school students. Held in the summer months, students live on campus and earn three college credits.
The Lourdes Vestal Medical Center's Junior Volunteer program allows students in the Vestal, NY area to assist staff with patient care in the emergency room, surgical and primary care departments, and on patient floors.
Cabarrus offers concurrent enrollment in its healthcare programs, including nursing, for high school students who have completed at least their sophomore year with a 3.0 GPA.
The Annie Penn Hospital Teen Volunteer Program consists of a six-week summer opportunity for Reidsville-area high school students to experience working in a hospital environment.
UNC's summer high school volunteers benefit from eight-week positions in nursing units at its Chapel Hill and Hillsborough sites. The program teaches practical job skills in an academic hospital setting.
Grand Forks-based Altru accepts applications for its junior volunteer program from students ages 14 and up who have completed eighth grade. Volunteers gain on-the-job experience and explore health occupations.
The Future Nurse Scholarship Program offers high school seniors $500 towards their nursing education and invites them to the center's annual conference where they pair with a nurse mentor.
High school students in North Dakota, Minnesota, and South Dakota can learn about healthcare careers at the Health Occupations & Professions Exploration Camp at the North Dakota State University camp.
Graduating high school seniors can apply for eight-week summer internships in which they work with a mentoring physician in a pediatric specialty area.
The clinic's Zielony Nursing Institute partners with schools nationwide to mentor and develop new nurses through senior projects. The project matches each student with a nurse in an assigned unit.
High school students can job shadow and observe a healthcare worker in a selected department, including nursing, at Dayton-based Premier Health.
The Junior Volunteer programs at Ascension St. John hospitals in Broken Arrow, Owasso, and Sapulpa provide summer and school-year career discovery and exploration opportunities for students ages 15-18.
Recipients of high school fellowships observe surgeries, childbirth, and emergency procedures and shadow physicians. Former fellows have entered nursing and other medical fields.
The center's VOLUME program grants service-based, hands-on learning for high schoolers planning for healthcare careers such as nursing. Activities include job shadowing, pediatric patient care, and team building.
Oregon high school juniors and seniors can survey various healthcare careers, including nursing, while working with patients through the KP Yeah! Internship program. The paid internships last four weeks.
Portland-based OHSU houses a nursing school and offers numerous K-12 student experiences, such as a summer scholars program with partner schools that focuses on cancer research, treatment, and prevention.
Teen volunteers ages 15-18 can apply for school-year and summer placements at PeaceHealth Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend located in Springfield.
Bryn Mawr invites high school student volunteers to gain healthcare experience, earn community service credits, obtain letters of reference, and shadow clinicians and practitioners.
High school summer volunteer opportunities include working with patients and clinical staff. Students also participate in Career Day where they can ask questions to health providers.
Penn's junior volunteer programs offer high school students exposure to healthcare professions, patient care, and daily duties. Placements depend on site availability and students' interests.
The Teen Volunteer Program exposes students who have completed one year of high school and aspire to healthcare careers to numerous medical professions.
The Lifespan Summer Youth Employment Program provides students ages 16-19 with an inside look at healthcare, paid summer employment, career advice, and potential employment beyond the summer.
Volunteer opportunities at South County Hospital for students ages 16 and up include assisting postoperative patients, cancer center and surgical service staff, and helping emergency department nurses.
The greater Charlotte-area clinics invite teens to volunteer as nursing unit assistants and patient mentors, along with job shadowing nurses and occupational and physical therapists.
Underrepresented high school students in the Pee Dee area can apply for summer fellowships and internships with the Health Careers Program. Interns receive a stipend, and the fellowships include housing, meals, and a stipend.
Prisma's Healthcare Exploration programs seek to engage students through the Health Careers Club, virtual career talks, summer academy and volunteering, and a health science career center at Carolina High School.
Health Occupations & Professions Exploration Camp offers high school students in South Dakota, North Dakota, and Minnesota a chance to investigate healthcare careers at the North Dakota State University campus.
The PROMISE Scholars Summer Internship provides high school students with 10-week internships in biomedical sciences research, three University of South Dakota credits, and $2,500 scholarships.
Ascension St. Thomas hospitals offer summer volunteer opportunities for students ages 15-18. Volunteers support staff, patients, and families while observing patient care.
The Knoxville hospital's summer VolunTeen Program invites high schoolers to help at its diabetes camp or at camps for rehabilitation center patients.
The Volunteen Program at Memphis-based St. Jude's provides opportunities for teens to work with patients and their families and explore potential career paths caring for children with cancer.
West Texas' Covenant offers nurse observation experiences for students ages 16 and above, along with pre-nursing school internships for college-level students.
The Caring Teen Volunteer Program accepts applications from community youth and delivers opportunities to network with medical professionals and provide supplemental hospital services.
The Dallas-Fort Worth network invites teens to become junior volunteers at its various facilities during the summer. Volunteers curious about healthcare operations can develop professional skills.
Teen volunteers at Intermountain medical facilities can work with pediatric patients at Primary Children's Hospital, coordinate with pet therapists at Park City Hospital, and find numerous other opportunities.
High school students can join nurses and other practitioners at this Salt Lake City community clinic and provide administrative support and perform services, such as reading to children in the waiting room.
The Youth Volunteer Summer program offers after-school opportunities working with patients and staff in a Salt Lake City clinical setting.
Career exploration programs for high school students include career counseling, summer residencies, and "There is a Career in Healthcare for Everyone" classroom presentations.
The statewide Office of Primary Care and Area Education Centers Program facilitates community and academic partnerships that connect students to healthcare careers.
This Northern Virginia nonprofit health system offers numerous volunteer options for teens that suit their interests and enable them to explore potential careers.
Area high school students ages 14-17 can apply for summer junior volunteer positions working with patients, families, staff, and visitors at this Fredericksburg healthcare organization.
Teens ages 16 and up can volunteer and assist staff with direct patient care in inpatient units, women and infant health, and outpatient services at this Arlington hospital.
High school students can learn about patient care from a current health scholar at the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle or Multicare Health Systems in Spokane.
The KP Yeah! internship program offers Southwest Washington high school juniors and seniors the chance to explore healthcare careers, including nursing. Interns in the four-week program receive payment.
At Vancouver-based PeaceHealth, volunteer positions are available to teens ages 14-18 in medical and surgical nursing units, the emergency department, the intensive care unit, and oncology and other departments.
The Summer High School Volunteer Program provides students ages 15-18 a first-hand look at working in a children's hospital. The eight-week program starts with an information session and training.
GU hosts a three-week college-prep summer program for high school seniors with seminars in health studies, test prep workshops, and mentorships.
The D.C.-based VA medical center offers students nationwide an inside view of career options, ways to gain healthcare experience, and qualification for college scholarships.
Students ages 13 and older can join the VolunTeen program to learn about healthcare careers, professional roles, and community health.
WVU Medicine's Ruby Memorial Hospital invites high school students to apply for its summer Junior Volunteer Academy. Students gain hands-on experience as they pursue their interest in various health professions.
Teens ages 16 and above can volunteer year-round at Ascension NE Wisconsin-Mercy Campus, Sacred Heart Hospital, Columbia St. Mary's hospitals, and many other locations.
Milwaukee-area teen volunteers work with pediatric patients in hospitals, advocate for children's health to state legislators, and assist at fundraising events.
In partnership with Milwaukee's Carmen High School, student interns can gain work experience, home life skills, and earn scholarships for college while learning about healthcare careers.
CCH's junior volunteers can learn new skills and provide aid to the community by supporting services to children, working with clerical records, and helping at the Legacy Living and Rehabilitation Center, among other roles.
High school students find volunteer opportunities by working in a hospital environment, providing support to patients, their families, and visitors at the Sweetwater County facility.
Casper-based WMC accepts applications from teens ages 16 and up for the junior volunteer program, and ages 18 and older for adult volunteer opportunities.
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