Penn State Health is Building the Next Generation of Health Care Professionals through GROW Career Pathways

To continuously improve the health and well-being of Pennsylvanians, Penn State Health strives to create a culture of continuous learning and development within the communities we serve and our internal Penn State Health employees.

As part of that culture, we are focused on the expansion of learning and career growth opportunities through a variety of programs including partnerships with local colleges and paid on-the-job training and apprenticeships.

Grow brand logo

“We have to take care of our employees first and provide them and future employees the guidance and support they deserve to advance their careers for the jobs and skills we need tomorrow.” - Hillary Miller, vice president and chief learning officer, Penn State Health. 


Direct college pay

We have partnered with local schools, including HACC, Central Pennsylvania's Community College to provide fully funded educational opportunities in areas critical to the ever-changing health care industry. Through the program, Penn State Health covers 100% of tuition and materials in exchange for a one-year work commitment.

Sign up to receive information on future programs and cohort dates.

Earn while you learn

Whether you are starting your very first job or want to start a new career in health care, Earn While You Learn programs provide an opportunity for you to jumpstart your career with structured coursework, paid on-the-job training and full-time benefits.

All positions require a minimum of a high school diploma or GED.

Positions are filled on an as-needed basis. Visit our Careers page to search for current openings.

Graduate Nurse Residency

Penn State Health’s Graduate Nurse Residency is a yearlong, full-time paid registered nurse position for new graduates that begins during your first week of nursing. It provides a uniquely designed support system for a seamless transition from college to career.

Life Lion EMT Apprentice

This 10-week apprentice program provides paid, one-the-job training for individuals to secure their emergency medical technician (EMT) certification. At the end of the program, and successful completion of the National Registry Exams, graduates are promoted to an EMT position with Penn State Health Life Lion.

Trainee programs

The trainee roles listed below are available to individuals with no prior experience or formal training. You are hired as a trainee. While you complete your training, you are paid a full-time salary and benefits. Most of the training programs last 6-12 weeks. Upon completion of the program, you have the opportunity to transition into a permanent position.

Neurophysiology Tech Trainee

This training program teaches employees how to assist in performing diagnostic tests on patients’ nervous systems, such as EEGs and EMGs.

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Patient Escort Service Aide/Patient Transport Trainee

This training program teaches employees how to safely and efficiently transport patients and equipment throughout the hospital.

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Sterile Processing Aide and Trainee

This training program teaches employees how to sterilize and assemble the equipment required for surgery, exams and other medical procedures.

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Entry-level jobs

These entry-level jobs are available at different Penn State Health locations to individuals with no prior experience or minimal training. You can choose to stay in these roles long-term or use them as a learning experience for future roles in health care.

Nursing Assistant/ Patient Care Tech

Assist registered nurses in caring for the personal needs and comfort of the patient, including exams, patient behavior, hygiene and mobility.

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Operating Room Aide

Responsible under the direct supervision of nursing staff to perform the essential duties to assist patient care providers in the care of Perioperative patients.

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Personal Care Assistant (PCA)

A PCA is an entry level member of the patient's health care team. They provide important patient-centered care and tasks under the supervision of a licensed nursing staff.

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Sterile Processing Technician

  • Maintain sterilization equipment and surgical instruments, issuing packing and sterilization of supplies, instrument trays and inventory service to surgery and patient care units
  • 18 months to obtain Certified Registered Central Service Tech (CRCST) or Certified Sterile Processing and Distribution Technician (CSPDT) credential in order to maintain employment  

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Radiology Support Associate (RSA)

Assists technologist/RA/physician with standardized examinations, which involve positioning and handling patients, utilizing care, courtesy and safety, to include patient transport.

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Educational benefits for employees

TestPenn State Health encourages our employees to be lifelong learners who expand their knowledge through education. As an employee, you can earn a degree or professional certification, take continuing education courses or explore a new vocation within health care. The following education benefits enable you to accomplish this by providing financial support.

  • Harrisburg University Tuition Discount
  • Penn State and Affiliated Schools Tuition Discount*
  • Tuition Reimbursement

Learn more about these benefits

*eligible only for full-time employees at Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Frequently asked questions

What are the hiring requirements of Penn State Health if I want to apply for this program?

You will need to meet all of our hiring requirements at Penn State Health which are outlined in the application. This will include clearances and a drug screening.

Are there any fees associated with participation in the GROW - HACC Direct pay MA or Phlebotomist program?

Medical assistant and phlebotomist training programs provided through GROW Career Pathways include 100% paid tuition upfront, at no cost to the student. Tuition coverage is contingent on successful completion of the program and one year of employment with Penn State Health.

What are the technology requirements?

You must have a working computer that is accessible to you during class times as well as reliable Wi-Fi. Some classes may require you to have a web camera (either on your computer or bought separately).

What do the GROW - HACC MA and Phlebotomy training programs include?

GROW Career Pathways dedicated HACC MA and Phlebotomy cohorts, covers all program tuition and fees. For example, this includes fees for either part-time or full-time medical assistant training or part-time phlebotomist training. After successfully completing the program, students will earn a certification in their chosen role and a guaranteed job at Penn State Health. Tuition is paid upfront by Penn State Health at no cost to the student.

What is the program commitment for GROW - HACC MA and Phlebotomy training program?

Students must complete part-time or full-time coursework, depending on the program. Clinical time is also required for programs (3 weeks, full-time clinicals for MA students). Students who successfully complete the program and earn certification must commit to a minimum of one-year employment at Penn State Health as the agreed/required FTE, prior to completion of the program, to receive the full 100% benefit of tuition coverage.

What is the rigor of the classes?

Classes will require time outside of class and work to complete. These are difficult classes that are fast paced. There are supports through the educational partner to assist you.

Is employment guaranteed after the GROW - HACC MA or Phlebotomist program?

After successfully completing the training program, students are guaranteed employment with Penn State Health. Students are expected to complete at least one year of employment.

What are expectations while I am working at Penn State Health and taking classes?

You should communicate with your manager your schedule and any planned time off for clinicals. You should be meeting all of your work responsibilities and putting the patient and team first prior to doing any classwork during down-time. You may utilize breaks to do school work. This should be discussed with your manager.

How do I plan for clinicals?

Penn State Health will help to coordinate your clinicals. You will need to plan your PTO to use during this time if you need to take time off of work, or you will be taking unpaid leave. If you take unpaid leave, any benefits cost will be required to pay in future paychecks.

After completion of this program and hire at Penn State Health, when will I be eligible to participate in future tuition reimbursement offerings?

  • Because you received funding for this program, you will NOT be eligible for tuition reimbursement for a full year after completion of your program and upon hire at Penn State Health or transfer into your new role.

Educational Partners

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Penn State College of Medicine brand logo

Harrisburg Area Community College brand logo