SNHU GEM and HEaRT: Creating Pathway to Careers in Care for Refugee Learners

SNHU GEM student at computer

Through the HEaRT model, SNHU GEM students intern with nursing and healthcare employers to gain hands-on experience.

Healthcare is a fast-growing field that offers diverse career opportunities for students who are committed to helping others and improving the lives, health, and safety of their communities. Southern New Hampshire University’s Global Education Movement (SNHU GEM) partners with the Higher Education and Real-World Training (HEaRT) experiential learning model to provide refugee students with internships that offer real-world experience in the nursing and healthcare fields. As part of the HEaRT model, SNHU GEM learners work with international teams of SNHU students to complete projects.

In 2018, SNHU founded HEaRT to equip students with the hands-on experience, skills, and tools they need to stand out in a competitive global job market. To date, more than 2,200 learners, including 544 SNHU GEM students, have completed an internship through one of HEaRT’s more than 16 employer partners.


“To date, 544 SNHU GEM students have completed an internship through HEaRT.”


“The first cohort of the HEaRT internship was one of the best experiences I had in my professional life. It allowed me to work with students around the globe,” said Julia, a SNHU GEM student. 

As part of HEaRT’s flexible, online model, SNHU GEM students work in virtual teams with their peers to solve real challenges presented by healthcare industry leaders, including University of Missouri Health Care and Spaulding Rehabilitation Network. Through these internships, SNHU GEM students develop the team collaboration, professional communication, and leadership skill sets needed to navigate today’s complex work environment.

For example, while interning with Spaulding Rehabilitation Network, students researched and presented recommendations to improve admissions and transfer processes and maximize clinicians’ time with patients. At Quintessential Health, another HEaRT employer partner, SNHU GEM students developed a marketing strategy that would help them to reach potential telehealth patients and increase awareness of their mental health services.

“Through the HEaRT model, I have gained a lot of skills that will benefit me in my professional life, and I will continue to develop them in the future, such as time management, teamwork, and critical thinking to find solutions,” said a SNHU GEM student in the 2022 HEaRT Annual Report.

To meet the needs of tomorrow’s workforce, the education of today’s students must extend beyond the classroom and emphasize career-readiness and practical, hands-on experience in their industries of choice. The proof is in our students’ success – more than 85% of SNHU GEM alumni find meaningful employment within six months of graduation.

Read more about the SNHU GEM and HEaRT partnership in the 2022 HEaRT Annual Report.