The Veterans to Nurses grant, a program of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Nursing and Dental Hygiene, launched a five-part video workshop series titled, “What You Need to Know About Student Veterans,” aimed at increasing faculty member awareness of student veteran’s unique needs and providing tools to create veteran-friendly classrooms. Faculty members from all departments, campus-wide and nationwide, will gain insight into understanding student veterans and building culturally-safe learning environments. The videos are meant for faculty viewing but can also be used in curriculum to facilitate discussion about the veteran population.

Ten percent of the U.S. population over 18 years old, or more than 22 million men and women, are veterans. In the next five years, more than one million service members will separate from the military. While serving our country, members of the military develop discipline, team focus and specialized skills; however, veterans experience barriers to educational and employment opportunities when they transition to the civilian sector.

Debra D. Mark, principal investigator and retired lieutenant colonel with the U.S. Army, spearheaded this grant because of her personal experiences transitioning from the military into academia. “As a veteran myself, I saw a need to better support our young veterans entering academia. I saw an opportunity to create lasting change while promoting the nursing profession. My hope is that we are able to enroll veterans and fast track them to a career in nursing.”

Student veterans contend with a myriad of barriers to enrollment, retention and graduation. It is estimated that veterans are using only 17 of 36 months of their educational benefits, and only 6 percent have used the entire benefit. Despite military training and experiences, veteran academic success is in jeopardy because of the disconnect between student veteran needs and campus programs and services. As a result of their military affiliation, these students differ from their civilian counterparts and possess characteristics similar to nontraditional students; their unique experiences align them with disadvantaged student populations.

The video workshop series fulfills one of the grant’s many priorities: faculty development. Training faculty in supporting veterans for academic success and learning is an important aspect of transitioning veterans to the academic environment and increases the likelihood they will stay in school. Faculty development is also important for identifying and addressing physical and mental health issues that may interfere with learning.

“What You Need to Know About Student Veterans”

  1. Military in Hawaiʻi (8:32)
  2. Overview of the U.S. Military (5:36)
  3. Reintegration into Civilian Life and Workforce (6:41)
  4. Reintegration into an Academic Setting (7:01)
  5. The Faculty’s Role in Veteran Student Success (6:02)

The workshop videos are broken down into short, easy-to-watch segments. There is also a full-length video with all five modules that runs back to back.

View all videos on the school’s Vimeo channel: https://vimeo.com/channels/uhmnursingvbsn.

More about Veterans to Nurses

The Veterans to Nurses grant is designed to facilitate veteran student success in the nursing program from admission to graduation and beyond. The grant aims to increase the number of BS prepared nurses in Hawaiʻi, improve employment opportunities for veterans, and provide support services. Veteran students participating in the Veterans to Nurses grant may enroll in any of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Nursing pathways. Veterans with military medical training and experience may be able to receive academic credit toward completion of a nursing program with the goal to decrease time to graduation.

“UH Mānoa Nursing is committed to supporting veterans and has found an innovative way to streamline veterans with medical military experience into the nursing profession,” said Dean Mary G. Boland. “The Veterans to Nurses grant is able to provide academic credit to veterans while ensuring their success during and after graduation.”

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under Grant no. UF1HP26981. For more information about the Veterans to Nurses program, visit the program website or contact Debra D. Mark at debramar@hawaii.edu or (808) 956-5297.