Many veterans with medic and corpsman experience choose to continue their education by pursuing a degree in nursing. Beginning in fall 2016, the Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing at the University of Hawai’i at Manoa will offer student veterans the opportunity to challenge nursing courses and enter as advanced standing students. This new approach acknowledges the military medical experience and training of veterans and will shorten the time to receiving their nursing degree.
UH Manoa Nursing faculty Patricia Brooks, Penny Morrison, and Abbie Neves modified the entry-level nursing course (fundamentals) curriculum into modules. This new curriculum design was adapted from the University of Texas at Corpus Christi, highlighted by the Obama Administration as a model nursing school due to their support of veterans.
UH Manoa Nursing Dean Mary G. Boland, DrPH, RN, FAAN said, “UH Manoa Nursing is proud to be one of 20 schools of nursing and the only program in Hawaii to participate in this national initiative. Veterans are a vital community asset and we are fully committed to providing them with excellent nursing education.
The modularized curriculum allows for veteran students to test content separately using didactic, skills, and clinical examinations. If the veteran student passes all didactic modules and skills, they will only be required to take an abbreviated clinical rotation. Because the entry-level fundamentals course is now divided into testable modules, a veteran student who is not successful on any one module will only be required to take that portion of the course. The UH Manoa Nursing Undergraduate Curriculum and Evaluation Committee, chaired by Dr. Karol Richardson, unanimously passed this new policy and guided the faculty to continue this work with other nursing courses. Faculty will commence work on the second nursing course this semester.
“Student veterans enter nursing programs with a wide variety of skills and experience. Some have taken training in the medical field, some have served as medics in combat, and others have worked on nursing units at major military medical centers. A thorough evaluation of nursing knowledge, skills, and abilities provides the veteran with an opportunity to demonstrate their capacity for meeting course requirements while ensuring their ability to pass the Registered Nurse licensing examination upon graduation,” said Dr. Debra Mark, PhD, RN, Associate Professor and Project Director of the HRSA grant.
The Achieving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing: A Veterans’ Initiative Program grant is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Grant no. UF1HP26981. The program also provides academic and social support services to veterans and dependents, and facilitates new enrollment and academic progression.
For more information about the program, visit www.nursing.hawaii.edu/vetstonurses or contact Project Director Dr. Debra Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org or (808) 956-5297. Student veterans who are interested in pursuing a bachelors of science in nursing may contact Student Veteran Advisor Kenith Scott at email@example.com or (808) 956-3793.
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