APRIL 2016

SJR State Health Careers Day prepares students for next step

Health Career Day
Health Career Day
Health Career Day

St. Johns River State College recently held its third annual Health Careers Day at the Thrasher-Horne Center in Orange Park. The event was hosted by the College's Workforce Services Department Career Transitions Program and provided college and area high school seniors interested in the health field an opportunity to interact with 20 health service organizations.

The event kicked off with a well-attended human resources panel discussion. A standing-room-only crowd filled the room as students gathered to learn specific details about the interviewing and hiring process. Panelists Debra Braley, regional director of HIM operations from Parallon; Kelly Lindsay, vice president of operations from Orange Park Medical Center; Terri Easterling, recruiter from St. Vincent's Medical Center; and Darin Roark, chief executive officer from Baptist Clay, also answered a variety of questions from the audience.

SJR State nursing student Chelsea Oliver, who will graduate in May, said, "The panel broadened my horizons regarding something as simple as my resume and how to build on it." SJR State respiratory care student, Ellie Hoffman, who also graduates in May, agreed that the variety of information she gathered from the panel increased her confidence in developing her resume. "I liked that all four panelists came from different areas and had different goals and varying opinions of what's required for the interview process, including the resume and the cover letter," said Hoffman. "It was interesting to learn how similar, yet different, expectations can be regarding the hiring process."

Participating health service organizations included: Baptist Health, CareSpot Express Healthcare, Clay County Sheriff's Office, Family Life Care, Inc., Haven Hospice, Home Instead Senior Care, Integrity Health Services, Kindred Hospital, May Institute, Inc., Orange Park Medical Center, Putnam Community Medical Center, SMA Behavioral Healthcare, St. Johns County Department of Health, St. Johns County Fire Rescue, St. Vincent's Medical Center, St. Vincent's Medical Center Clay, the U.S. Army, UNF Transfer Services, and the UNF Nursing Department.

From this variety of organizations, Oliver was grateful to have learned about career options she had not previously considered. "Before I came here today, I hadn't even considered home health as a career option," she stated, "but the home health organization, Integrity, was here. After listening to them, I'm now open to a new opportunity that I had never really thought about."

About her reason for attending the career fair, Hoffman said, "I am here to explore the opportunities that are outside of my comfort zone. I am willing to travel, and there are some places that I hadn't heard of around the area that I would be willing to look into for job opportunities. I think this career fair is the perfect place to do that."

SJR State's Workforce Services Department Career Transitions Program is supported by the Job Ready, Willing, and Able Initiative funded by the Walmart Foundation and led by the American Association of Community Colleges. The Workforce programs include more than 10 Associate in Science degrees and certificates in the health care field. SJR State's health-related A.S. degrees include Health Information Technology, Health Services Management, Office Administration - Medical Office, Emergency Medical Services, Radiologic Technology and Respiratory Care.

College credit certificates offered include Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic, Health Care Services and Medical Office Management Specialist and Support. The Nursing program offers the Associate in Science and Bachelor of Science degrees in Nursing.

For more information about SJR State's graduation rates, median debt of students who completed certificate programs, and other important information, please visit our website at

For more information contact Workforce Services at (386) 312-4259 or visit the website at


A representative from St. Johns County Fire Rescue talks with an SJR State nursing student during the College's annual Health Careers Day. The event provides SJR State health care majors, as well as area high school seniors interested in the health field, an opportunity to interact with various health service organizations. The event also included a human resources panel discussion. Approximately 20 businesses and 370 students attended the event.

SJR State nursing students and Middleburg High School students were among the 370 future health care workers who attended SJR State's annual Health Careers Day. The students interacted with various health service organizations and learned about different career options available throughout the College's tri-county district.