TAMUCC program helping veterans transition into civilian life, become nurses

Posted at 5:03 AM, Mar 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-05 07:50:57-05

More schools of nursing are recognizing the value veterans can bring to the profession and are gearing up nursing programs.

One way Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is helping veterans is through their Veteran to Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program.

Texas A&M Corpus Christi’s nursing programs started in the early 70’s, and now they have one of the top nursing programs in the country.

Thanks to programs like the Veteran to Bachelor of Science in Nursing, (VBSN) which launched in 2010, military members are provided with an opportunity to translate their military education and experience into a civilian degree.

“We have a lot of veterans out there, and one of the problems is if they don’t have employment then they tend to get depressed, and we know the suicide rate is extremely high among veterans. So it is important that they have a career for a lifetime as well as their career in the military service,” said Founding Dean of College Nursing and Health Sciences Mary Jane Hamilton.

The Federal Health Resources and Services Administration awarded a $1.5 million grant to extend the program for another year.

“That money goes to support the case workers, support the management of the grant.  Each veteran receives an iPad or a laptop to help them with their studies, and they also have faculty that are financed through this grant,” said Hamilton.

“So many of our students, whether they be Corpsman, Medics, Airmen, they come in with this vast amount of experience. They’ve  been on the front lines, they’ve been working in clinics, they’ve been working in hospitals, and this grant and program allows those students to use experiences and apply it towards their nursing education,” said Veteran/Clinical Assistant Professor Christina Brumley.

The flexibility of this program is what attracts veterans, and with projected nursing shortages and an increasingly older population, the University knows they can play a big role.

“Once they are in our program, we are awarding credit at the competency level which surpasses what a lot of other schools are doing when they just award based on their military transcript. And that gives the students the ability to go through the program quicker and get back into the workforce quicker and address the nursing shortage quicker,” said Veteran/Director of Innovative Programs Jason  Saladiner.

To be eligible for the program, applicants must be a current resident of Texas and either a veteran, reservist, or active duty service member with previous military medical training and experience.

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