Brainerd High School students are learning about health careers through a Central Lakes College course offered in collaboration with Brainerd Lakes Health System. Students in the Health Care Professionals class learn about the healthcare industry, why it’s growing and what career opportunities are available. They have the opportunity because BLHS foresees a shortage of healthcare professionals. “One course objective is to encourage high school juniors and seniors to consider coming back to central Minnesota once they have completed their professional career studies,” said Jean Mershon, instructor. Students participate in classroom work, hear presentations by St. Joseph’s Medical Center employees about their healthcare job cluster, and shadow staff in various departments. The culmination of the course includes a presentation by the students on specific health careers. Career presentations emphasize the importance of direct patient care and supportive roles, exposing students to a broad scope of opportunities in the healthcare field.