Peru, Nebraska – Peru State College is proud to announce that seven students have been accepted into the Rural Health Opportunities Program (RHOP). Students admitted into the RHOP Program must be from a rural background and have a desire to become a health care professional.

RHOP is a cooperative program between Peru State and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). The program's purpose is to recruit and educate students from rural communities who plan to return to rural areas to practice. Students accepted into the highly selective program will receive a full tuition waiver from Peru State. Those who meet all RHOP program requirements and complete their pre-professional curriculum will be accepted to UNMC to continue their studies. 

“Peru State College is committed to preparing the rural health workforce in Nebraska,” said Dr. Paul Hinrichs, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences. “With programs like the RHOP guaranteed admission pathway programs for rural residents, Peru State is playing a vital role in developing healthcare providers who will improve access to quality healthcare in rural communities throughout the state.”

Peru State has been allocated seats in the following programs at UNMC: three seats in the Pharmacy program, four in the Nursing program, three in the Physician Assistant program, three in Medical Laboratory Science, two in Occupational Therapy, two in Physical Therapy, two in Radiography, two in Dental Hygiene, and two in Dentistry. 

The 2023 RHOP Program recipients include:

Alanea Babb of Malcolm (Malcolm Public School) -- Nursing  

Breckin Berg of Plattsmouth (Conestoga High School) -- Pharmacy

Rylan Boellstorff of Auburn (Auburn High School) -- Physical Therapy

Christina Gilkerson of Falls City (Falls City High School) -- Nursing 

Jaylin Harsh of Kearney (Kearney High School) -- Occupational Therapy 

ViviAnne Sayer of Schuyler (Schuyler Central High School) -- Occupational Therapy

Jayden Widler of Plattsmouth (Conestoga High School) -- Dentistry 


The RHOP program began in 1990. In 2012, Peru State College joined Wayne State College and Chadron State College in the cooperative programs with UNMC in RHOP.  Peru State, Wayne State, and Chadron State are all part of the Nebraska State College System. 

“The Nebraska State College System and the UNMC health professions pathway program have pledged to attract, train, and produce healthcare professionals who are dedicated to serving in rural areas of Nebraska,” said Hinrichs. “Our goal is to develop leaders who will provide healthcare services to the communities in need.”

For more information, visit or call 402-872-2237. 

Nestled in the hills of historic southeast Nebraska, Peru State College offers a mix of innovative online and traditional classroom undergraduate and graduate programs, including online graduate degrees in education and organizational management.

Established in 1867 as Nebraska’s first college, Peru State has transformed over the past century and a half into a state-of-the-art institution offering diverse, multifaceted educational programs annually to nearly 2,000 students.