New Healthcare High School Coming to Queens: Northwell School Admissions Will Not Be Screened, Will Prioritize Queens Residents

By Celia Bernhardt | [email protected] 

Rendering of what Northwell School of Health Sciences will look like. Courtesy of School Construction Authority

A new kind of high school is coming to Queens.

Northwell Health and New York City Public Schools announced on Feb. 14 that they plan to collaborate on a first-of-its-kind school designed to prepare students for well-paying jobs in the healthcare field — the Northwell School of Health Sciences. The school is slated to open on Northern Boulevard in Woodside in September 2024.

The high school’s admission process will prioritize Queens residents, and will not use screened admissions, according to a DOE spokesperson.

Supported by a $2.49 million investment from former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Bloomberg Philanthropies, the school will serve about 900 students at full capacity. Its curriculum will be co-developed by Northwell and the NYC Public Schools, and is set to include specialized healthcare coursework, work-based learning opportunities, industry-standard training facilities, career mentorship, and opportunities to earn industry certifications and credentials alongside more traditional academic offerings. Freshman and sophomores will have access to job-shadowing programs, while upperclassmen will have the opportunity to complete paid clinical internships.

Students will be able to specialize in either nursing, diagnostic medicine, physical therapy, or behavioral health. A press release from Northwell stated that these paths were selected based on “the availability of entry-level salaries that either offer a living wage or are a clear steppingstone to living wage positions,” as well as the projected workforce needs in New York’s healthcare industry. The idea is to graduate students directly into high-demand, family-sustaining jobs, while also creating a talent pipeline to address healthcare workforce shortages—New York is expected to face a shortage of 40,000 nurses by 2030, according to Northwell, and the healthcare sector accounts for 20% of the city’s ecnooomy.

The new  Woodside school is one of ten that Bloomberg plans to open in urban and rural areas throughout the nation. A $250 million initiative overall, the organization is set to launch healthcare career-training high schools in Boston, Charlotte, Dallas, Durham, Houston, Nashville, Philadelphia, Demopolis, and Northeast Texas. The schools should seat approximately 6,000 students all together.

“For too long, our education system has failed to prepare students for good jobs in high-growth industries,” said Bloomberg. “By combining classroom learning with hands-on experience, these specialized health-care high schools will prepare students for careers with opportunities for growth and advancement. America needs more health care workers, and we need a stronger, larger middle-class — and this is a way to help accomplish both goals.”

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