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VA partners with College of Nursing

The College of Nursing in partnership with the Ralph H. Johnson Veteran's Administration (VA) Medical Center was selected to participate in the VA Nursing Academy (VANA) program. This VA initiative was developed to bring more nurses into the national workforce and improve the quality of health care veterans receive through partnerships with VA medical centers and schools of nursing. Currently, there are 15 universities participating in this program. This partnership enabled the college to increase enrollment in the accelerated bachelor of science in nursing program by 20 percent. This year the college had 165 students who had clinical rotations at the VA.
“The expanded role of VA in the education of nurses will ensure the department has the nurses needed to continue our world-class health care for veterans,” said Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake. “The VA Nursing Academy expands our teaching faculty, improves recruitment and retention, and creates new educational and research opportunities.”
The VA Nursing Academy is a virtual organization with central administration in Washington. It expands learning opportunities for nursing students at VA facilities, funds additional faculty positions so competitively selected nursing school partners will accept additional baccalaureate-level students, and increases recruitment and retentions of VA nurses. The five-year, $4 million program began in 2007.
“Our relationship with the MUSC College of Nursing has always been a strong  one, but being a recipient of one of the VANA grants has provided us with an opportunity to strengthen our partnership even more. Not only is this a program that had provided professional development for many of our VA staff as they move into clinical instructor roles, but it also has provided a greatly enhanced clinical experience for the students at the Ralph H. Johnson VAMC. These positive student experiences have improved their knowledge base, and been an extremely valuable recruiting tool for our faculty—a true win-win situation for everyone involved,” said Mary Fraggos, R.N., associate director for nursing and patient care services, Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.