GREENSBORO, NC July 22, 2014 – Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing just became easier and faster for military veterans who have hands-on medical experience. The School of Nursing at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro today announced the launch of an accelerated nursing degree program that provides course credit for military experience.
The new program, the UNCG Veterans Access Program (VAP), will start January 2015 with a cohort of approximately 24 veterans. With some prior college credit, veterans who are RNs can earn the bachelor’s of science in nursing (BSN) within nine months, and those earning the BSN leading to RN licensure can complete the program within 18 months.
“Many veterans worked as medics, physical therapists, nurses’ aides, licensed practical nurses, pharmacy techs and respiratory therapists in the military. UNCG’s Veterans Access Program provides course credit to veterans for their valuable hands-on medical experience,” said Dr. Susan Letvak, program director and chair of the Adult Health Nursing Department in UNCG’s School of Nursing.
The program is funded by a three-year federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant of just under $1 million. UNCG is the only university in North Carolina to receive the HRSA grant, which will fund teaching faculty, a tutor, a part-time counselor and family orientation days.
The program targets medically trained veterans in central North Carolina and South Central Virginia, especially disadvantaged and medically underserved areas. North Carolina is home to more than 776,000 veterans; about 1,500 medically trained veterans live in the target region.
The BSN degree is becoming increasingly important to nursing students and their employers. Health care providers more frequently prefer or require nurses to have the BSN degree as having BSN-credentialed nurses at the bedside has been shown to improve outcomes for patients. The Institute of Medicine’s 2010 report on The Future of Nursing recommends that at least 80 percent of bedside nurses have the BSN degree by 2020.
Since UNCG participates in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Yellow Ribbon Program, veterans with out-of-state residency will pay lower, in-state tuition rates. UNCG’s Office of Veterans Services can assist veterans with relocation housing.
Classes will be a mix of online and in-person sessions. Letvak, a U.S. Navy veteran, and Jean Reinert, a U.S. Air Force veteran, a nurse and manager of staff education with Cone Health, will teach a Transition to Civilian Nursing class. In addition, veterans will study as part of a peer learning community.
“We want our veteran students to feel supported and peer-mentored, and to know that the entire nursing faculty will be behind them,” Letvak said.
For more information about UNCG-VAP, contact Dr. Susan Letvak, program director, at 336-256-1024 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is a challenging, supportive and engaged community where learning is carried forward to Do something bigger altogether. Founded in 1891, UNCG is the largest and most diverse university in the Triad, serving nearly 18,000 students. Standing apart from other universities, the UNCG community is joined together by a shared value: We define excellence not only by the people we attract, but by the meaningful contributions they make.