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USF gets $1.25 million to transition veterans' healthcare skills into nursing careers

Monday November 11, 2013
From left, USF College of Nursing's John Clochesy, RN, professor of nursing; Alicia Gill Rossiter, RN, military liaison; and project director Rita D'Aoust, RN, associate dean of academic affairs and interprofessional initiatives, are members of the grant project team building the Veterans' Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing program.
From left, USF College of Nursing's John Clochesy, RN, professor of nursing; Alicia Gill Rossiter, RN, military liaison; and project director Rita D'Aoust, RN, associate dean of academic affairs and interprofessional initiatives, are members of the grant project team building the Veterans' Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing program.
(Photos courtesy of the University of South Florida)
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A $1.25-million, four-year federal grant will help the University of South Florida in Tampa offer veterans and service members the opportunity to earn BSNs through a program that builds upon their military healthcare training and experience. The USF College of Nursing was one of nine institutions across the country awarded funding by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, to create a Veterans’ Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing Program, according to a news release.

USF’s Creating Access to Registered Nurse Education for Veterans, or V-CARE, program provides an efficient pathway for veterans in their journey to become nursing professionals and awards credit for previous military training and service. The college expects to begin with 12 to 24 students in fall 2014, and plans to enroll 120 veterans and service members, including reservists, over four years.


Team members from USF College of Nursing's V-CARE program
“We want to tap the expertise of a growing supply of medically trained veterans to help address the nation’s nursing workforce needs while expanding American access to high-quality care,” project director Rita F. D’Aoust, PhD, ANP-BC, CNE, FAANP, FNAP, associate dean for academic affairs and director for interprofessional initiatives at the USF College of Nursing, said in a news release. “USF’s V-CARE model will help fill important gaps for highly skilled registered professional nurses in Florida and our nation by capitalizing on the valuable skills and experiences that veterans can bring to our healthcare delivery system.”

V-CARE supplements the College of Nursing’s ongoing strategic priority known as RESTORE LIVES, which focuses on evidence-based research and education programs to train a nursing workforce that can help veterans and service members overcome psychological stress and other combat-related health problems, according to the release. “The USF College of Nursing has a long history of supporting our nation’s service members, veterans and their families with innovative educational programs and partnerships tailored to meet the complex needs of this population,” Dianne Morrison-Beedy, RN, PhD, WHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, senior associate vice president of USF Health and dean of the College of Nursing, said in the release. “This new program will build upon the strengths of our existing links with the USF Office of Veterans’ Affairs, our clinical collaborations with leading healthcare and VA agencies, our partnerships with key personnel at military bases and our strategic focus on military and veterans’ health.”

For information on V-CARE, email Alicia Gill Rossiter, RN, MSN, ARNP, military liaison for the USF College of Nursing, at arossite@health.usf.edu.


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