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From left, UH Mānoa nursing student Ryan Yamada, graduate Brian Sullivan, student James Henry, Student Veteran Advisor Kenith Scott and former student Kristen Haley.

Many veterans with medic and corpsman experience choose to continue their education by pursuing a degree in nursing. Beginning in fall 2016, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene 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 degrees.

UH Mānoa 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 its support of veterans.

Said UH Mānoa Nursing Dean Mary G. Boland, “UH Mānoa Nursing is proud to be one of 20 schools of nursing and the only program in Hawaiʻi to participate in this national initiative. Veterans are a vital community asset and we are fully committed to providing them with excellent nursing education.”

Modularized curriculum

The modularized curriculum allows for veteran students to test content separately using didactics, 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 Mānoa Nursing Undergraduate Curriculum and Evaluation Committee, chaired by 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 Debra Mark, associate professor and project director of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grant.

Program support

The Achieving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing: A Veterans’ Initiative Program grant is supported by the HRSA of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 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 the nursing website or contact Project Director Debra Mark via email or at (808) 956-5297. Student veterans who are interested in pursuing a bachelors of science in nursing may contact Student Veteran Advisor Kenith Scott via email or at (808) 956-3793.

A School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene news release

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