Samford University’s Ida V. Moffett School of Nursing will launch a program designed specifically to meet the needs of veterans seeking a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Funded by a $1,047,385 grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Samford’s nursing school will introduce an innovative program that prepares veterans to pursue careers as registered nurses.
“It is our goal to create a program that helps bridge the gap between the military culture and today’s professional nursing culture,” said Stephanie Wynn, grant administrator and associate professor in the School of Nursing.
“Many veterans have significant health care training and experience that make them uniquely qualified to care for patients in the military. However, after leaving the military, without a degree, they are not allowed to care for civilians in the same capacity. Our program will afford these veterans the opportunity to transition into the civilian workforce while also giving credit for the valuable hands-on medical experience they already possess,” Wynn added.
Samford’s program will offer a curricular pathway tailored to each veteran. After development and review of a portfolio, students may opt to complete a traditional or accelerated B.S.N. track. Veterans with prior health experience/training may receive credit for some courses and will have the opportunity to take refresher/remediation courses as needed. School of Nursing faculty will receive special preparation in order to equip them to teach veterans more effectively.
According to Wynn, veterans often seek careers compatible to the one held during active duty. For those with medical experience, a career as a registered nurse is a viable option.
“In Alabama, registered nursing has been identified as one of the top 13 occupations classified as high demand based on growth rate, annual openings and wage criteria. The number of job openings throughout the state is also expected to continue to grow, so the timing is perfect for a program like this,” she added. Alabama has an estimated 398,343 veterans and the 6th largest Army National Guard in the United States.
Samford’s program will admit honorably or generally discharged service members and reservists of the U.S. Armed Forces with prior health care training. The School of Nursing seeks to graduate 30 B.S.N. prepared veterans over the course of the three-year grant. The first class of students will begin in summer 2016 and applications will be accepted starting in January.
“This grant presents an exciting opportunity for creative and meaningful programming for this important student group,” said Eleanor V. Howell, dean of Samford’s nursing school. “Our faculty are committed to serving these individuals and we look forward to their future success as students and registered nurses,” she added.
Earlier this year, master's programs in Samford’s School of Nursing were ranked among the top in the country for veterans by U.S. News & World Report. Samford participates in the national Yellow Ribbon program that makes courses less costly for veterans and offers student support services specifically designed to meet the needs of veterans.
This project is/was supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UF1HP28517, entitled Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention Veterans’ Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program, in the amount of $1,047,385. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.