From Military Medic to Nurse

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From Military Medic to Nurse

Grants to nursing schools help veterans

By Elizabeth Hanink, RN, BSN, PHN
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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has announced a new program that will help military medics pursue civilian nursing careers. According to the agency’s news release, the program is designed to help vets use their unique skills and experience to earn a BSN degree.

The new program will be administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and will fund up to nine cooperative agreements of up to $350,000 a year. A total of $3 million will be awarded by September 30, the end of the 2013 fiscal year.

Program Goals

The money awarded through this initiative will be used to help accredited nursing schools:

• Incorporate career development for veterans into existing BSN programs.
• Train faculty in teaching strategies that address the unique needs of veterans, such as physical and/or emotional issues related to service.
• Incorporate veteran-specific information into coursework, such as the differences in scope of practice between civilian and military healthcare environments.
• Develop methods of assessing veteran competencies and awarding academic credit for prior healthcare experience and/or training.
• Provide mentorship, veteran’s organization outreach and other support services to address the challenges that veterans face when transitioning to civilian life, including post-traumatic stress disorder and other behavioral and mental health issues.

A Win-Win Solution

According to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, this initiative “helps veterans formalize their skills to get jobs while strengthening Americans’ access to care.”

 HRSA Administrator Mary K. Wakefield, RN, Ph.D., adds, “Through this innovative program, veterans with valuable medical expertise can now help fill the ranks of nurses across the nation.”   

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