NRHA Student Resources

For students interested in learning more about rural training, check out NRHA's student resources vetted by the association:


Prospective Medical Students


  • CCOM Rural Iowa Scholars Program (CRISP) - CRISP is a comprehensive program that begins in the summer before students enter medical school and continues throughout medical school. The goal is to attract, educate and inspire future rural physicians who will help Iowa meet its need for health care in rural areas of the state.


  • Indiana University School of Medicine Rural Medical Education Program - IU School of Medicine offers the Rural Medical Education Program (RMEP) at the Terre Haute campus. This unique four-year medical school program emphasizes primary care and other specialties of need in rural communities. The curriculum is constructed to maximize the exposure of medical students to clinical experiences early in the training process. 


  • Introduction to Rural Primary Care Track ETSU - The Quillen College of Medicine's Rural Primary Care Track (RPCT) is a 4-year community-based experiential curriculum whose core goals emphasize community and rural culture. 


  • LSU School of Medicine Rural Scholars Track - The Rural Scholars Track at LSUHSC School of Medicine—New Orleans was created to directly address this dire physician shortage. The RST is designed to recruit highly motivated students who are committed to practicing primary-care medicine in rural areas of Louisiana. 


  • Rural Health Scholars Geisel School of Medicine - The Rural Health Scholars is an organization comprised of medical students striving to attain the leadership and skills necessary to successfully provide care to rural, underserved patient populations. This foundation will serve as a source of mutual support and encouragement for pursuing a career in rural medicine. 



  • Rural Medical Track at OSU - The rural medical track prepares medical students for a rural primary care residency and a successful practice in rural or underserved Oklahoma. The rural medical track offers unique learning opportunities for motivated students to fully develop their skills, knowledge, and abilities to succeed in a challenging practice environment. 


  • Rural Physician Associate Program at The University of Minnesota Medical School - The Rural Physician Associate Program (RPAP) is a nine-month, community-based educational experience for University of Minnesota third-year medical students who live and train in rural communities across Minnesota and western Wisconsin. RPAP students experience hands-on learning as they care for patients of all ages. 


  • UC Davis Rural-PRIME – This program was created to train the best and the brightest medical students for a fulfilling career in a rural community. It is an opportunity that offers a range of experiences, from public health and community service to the use of leading-edge medical technologies like telemedicine. Rural-PRIME creates a new model for non-urban medical practice, one that utilizes advanced technologies to provide up-to-date health-care knowledge while also preserving the positive aspects of smaller, more remote clinics. 


  • The University of Alabama Rural Programs - The Rural Health Leaders Pipeline at the College of Community Health Sciences was created to address the shortage of primary care physicians in Alabama’s rural communities. The pipeline is a sequence of programs from high school through medical school that recruit students from rural Alabama who are interested in health-care careers and working as health-care professionals in rural communities. In 2013, the Rural Health Leaders Pipeline was named the Outstanding Program of the Year by the National Rural Health Association. 



  • University of New Mexico’s School of Medicine Rural and Urban Underserved Program - Beginning in 2015, the University began an innovative program that offers a unique opportunity for these students, the Rural and Urban Underserved Program (R.U.U.P.). Students can apply for this program designed to support, mentor, and prepare interested medical students to fulfill their goal of effectively providing health care to underserved groups in New Mexico. We invite you to consider participating; applications will be available in late spring. 



Medical Students

  • MAHEC 4th Year Rural Medicine Electives - This program is specifically designed to train full- scope family doctors to serve in rural and underserved settings through rotations in Hendersonville and Boone, NC. MAHEC is a Teaching Health Center, where the residency is combined with a Federally Qualified Health Center. This partnership ensures that our residents will have a broad exposure, and they will be able to serve all patients, regardless of ability to pay.
  • Rural Prep – Preparing for rural practice. The Rural PREP Resource Library is a curated list of webinars, studies, journals, programs, and websites focused on rural health and primary care.
  • Rural Immersion Institute of the North - The Rural Immersion Institute of the North (RIIN) is a roughly 3-week program that introduces health care students to the realities of providing care in rural Alaska. Students spend the beginning of the program in Anchorage, learning about Alaskan culture and meeting with health care professionals to hear about their experiences. The middle 10 days are spent shadowing health care professionals in a rural community somewhere in the state. The program ends back in Anchorage, where students present their experiences and lessons learned.
  • The RTT Collaborative – The purpose of The Rural Training Track Collaborative is to sustain health professions education in rural places through mutual encouragement, peer learning, practice improvement, and the delivery of technical expertise, all in support of a quality rural workforce.
  • Rural Family Medicine Residency Program at UNLV – This program provides residents with the opportunity to provide primary care to residents in both underserved and rural communities. The three-year program meets all family medicine national accreditation requirements for medical education and training, where residents should expect to receive their training in both the large city (Las Vegas) and small town (Winnemucca) settings of Nevada.
  • Train Rural - Real Stories from Rural Students and Residents. This blog is part of an ongoing effort to tell the story of rural medical training programs. Blog postings here tell the story of individuals who have chosen to focus on rural practice and why they have done so.
  • Rural Community Health, MS at The University of Alabama – a 30-hour degree program is designed to provide some of the tools necessary for future rural Alabama physicians and other rural health care providers to become community health leaders. It will help prepare them to lead in the development and maintenance of community health center practices and other health care practices.
  • Policy Brief - Rural Residency Training for Family Medicine Physicians: Graduate Early-Career Outcomes.

Nursing Students

  • Rural Nurse Organization - Recognition of the diversity of rural nursing practice. A voice for rural nurses to health care agencies, academia, and government. Offers continuing education and access to resources for rural nurses with the goal of providing quality health care for rural communities.
  • Promising Practice: Getting More Nurses Working in Rural Montana - Using a grow-your-own approach, MORH has joined with the Montana State University College of Nursing (MSU CON), where it is housed, to get more nurses trained and working in rural areas. The effort has been funded by two Health Resources and Services Administration grants, Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention (NEPQR), which prepares BSN-level nurses to work in rural primary care, and Advanced Nursing Education Workforce (ANEW), which trains rural-ready DNPs.
  • Reality Tour in Rural and Public Health Nursing - A rural immersion experience, as part of a nursing program, is one strategy to attract nurses to work in a rural area.
  • Guide to Rural Nursing - Rural nurses are an increasingly important part of the health care landscape in the United States. With many remote regions in the country lacking health care facilities, practitioners, and access to proper care, rural nurses are often the medical lifeline for isolated communities. Take a closer look at what rural nursing is and explore some common questions about this growing area.

  • Center for Rural Health and Nursing - The Center is working to increase access to high quality health care through building sustainable partnerships between The University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation and underserved rural communities in Texas. Increased access to care has been shown to be critically important to the underserved rural communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The partnerships aim to reduce the nursing shortage by educating the nursing professional workforce of the future.

  • Policy Brief – RN Programs: Challenges for Rural Nurse Education.

Advanced Practice Nurses and Physician Assistants

  • Urgent Care and Rural Medicine Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Fellowship - This unique, intensive program will build upon the strength of our highly successful P.A. and N.P. practice already in place, combined with the largest and most effective family practice and urgent care practice in southwest Virginia. The fellowship will be a complement to the Urgent Care and Rural Health program, as N.P. and P.A. fellows will benefit from didactic and clinical experiences that mirror family medicine physician residency training.
  • Rural Health Doctor of Nursing Practice - Students at any UIC Nursing campus enrolled in any of the college’s 12 advanced practice DNP programs can elect to earn a concentration in rural nursing.
  • Rural Health Concentration Master of Science Program UCSF - The Rural Health concentration includes a minimum of two courses and two 40-hour week rural health clinical intensives. It aims to train advanced practice nurses and prepare them to fill the existing primary care gap disproportionately affecting rural areas. The development of a Rural Health concentration was established to provide students with tools, principles, and knowledge to be able to investigate and problem-solve unique rural health issues. This concentration provides didactic content via lectures, case study review and forum discussions. The clinical intensive placements will assist in keeping students connected to their rural health pursuits with experienced rural health community preceptors. Both didactic and clinical components aim to help nurse practitioner students feel well-prepared to practice in rural settings.
  • Physician assistants in rural communities - PAs in rural areas are more likely to practice in primary care specialties, have a wider scope of practice, and see patients who are uninsured or covered by Medicaid or Medicare.
  • Policy Brief - Which Physician Assistant Training Programs Produce Rural PAs? A National Study.

Public Health Students


  • Certificate in Rural Public Health at Colorado School of Public Health - This certificate, offered primarily at the University of Northern Colorado with many electives at Colorado State University, is designed to help meet the need for talented public health professionals in rural communities. In this program, you'll learn about health disparities that affect rural populations, gain an understanding of effective community engagement strategies, and learn how to access and address community health needs.

  •  Ohio University Master of Public Health – This program prepares students to address community health needs locally, nationally, or internationally, in collaboration with partnering organizations and entities. Since OHIO is uniquely situated in the heart of rural Appalachia and our faculty work with many underserved communities, students will complete coursework related to social, behavioral, environmental, and cultural determinants of the health of rural and other underserved populations as well as courses focused on the assessment, design, implementation, and evaluation of health interventions in settings that serve these communities.

  • Rural and Community Health Certificate Program at Central Washington University - Offers students the chance to pursue graduate coursework in public health with a focus on rural and underserved communities.

  • Rural Community health, Master of Behavioral Science at Western Colorado University – This program prepares for work in various behavioral and social science fields including health psychology, substance abuse prevention, elder care, youth health and empowerment, sociology, education and advocacy, training and technical assistance, and program evaluation. MBS students develop applied behavioral science projects that respond to the needs of local organizations, academic institutions, and practitioners.

  • Rural Health Professions Program (RHPP) at The University of Arizona - The Arizona Center for Rural Health and UA Zuckerman College of Public Health Rural Health Professions Program (RHPP) is a partnership with the Arizona Area Health Education Center (AHEC) and the five regional AHECs. Partnerships with Arizona’s AHECs serve as the platform for active learning and reflection on assuring health equity and eliminating health disparities. The overall goal of our program focuses on increasing the numbers of public health students who practice in rural and underserved communities in the state of Arizona.

  • UNC Gillings School’s MPH Program in Asheville – The mission of this program is to foster thriving, healthy, and connected communities in Western North Carolina by equipping the next generation of public health advocates through place-based learning, community connection, justice-oriented relationships, and community-driven solutions that bridge the gap between research and practice.

  • The University of Texas - School of Community & Rural Health.
  • Policy Brief – Special Needs in Rural America: Implications for Healthcare Workforce Education, Training, and Practice.