Milwaukee VA partnership to fund 10 additional faculty positions, increase Marquette undergraduate nursing class size by 40 students
The Department of Veterans Affairs has chosen Marquette University College of Nursing and the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center as one of six sites in the nation to participate in a five-year VA Nursing Academy Nursing Academic Partnership Program. The $5 million partnership will prepare Marquette nursing students to promote health, healing and social justice for veterans and their families through culturally based and spiritually reflective clinical practice.
The program will fund 10 additional, full-time College of Nursing faculty members during the next five years. These faculty members will enable the College of Nursing to increase its freshman class size by 20 students this year (from 110 last year to 130 admitted for fall 2013) and by 20 students in subsequent years, for a maximum enrollment of 150 students beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.
“This significant partnership will allow us to meet an important health care need in the Milwaukee community, and to be a part of the solution for the national nursing shortage,” said Dr. Margaret Faut Callahan, C.R.N.A., F.N.A.P., F.A.A.N., dean of the College of Nursing and interim provost at Marquette University. “Marquette’s College of Nursing is committed to embedding itself within the Milwaukee community by partnering with health care leaders like the Milwaukee VA. We are thrilled to be able to teach the next generation of nurses a veteran-centric approach to health care with the support and partnership of the Milwaukee VA and the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
Veteran-centric educational opportunities will be woven throughout the college’s pre-licensure curriculum for all undergraduates. Undergraduate students interested in veteran-centric care can also apply to a competitive cohort program, where they will follow the pre-licensure curriculum but will complete their five required clinical placements at the Milwaukee VA. Students in the cohort may also participate in a cultural immersion experience at various VA locations. The program’s goal is to place graduates into nursing positions at the Milwaukee VA or another VA facility.
“We are honored to be partner with such a prestigious university to help educate our nurses of the future,” said Beth Taylor, associate director for patient care services at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has projected that the nursing shortage could grow to 1 million registered nurses by 2025. The number of direct care nurses at the Milwaukee VA who are eligible for retirement is roughly 20 percent. The veteran-centric cohort program will help fill expected future vacancies with nurses who are prepared to care for the specific needs of veterans and their families, and who require less training and orientation time due to their clinical experiences in VA settings.
Marquette University College of Nursing and the Milwaukee VA also plan to work together to advance research related to veteran care.
The five other nursing programs chosen as partner schools in the VA Nursing Academic Partner Program are: Arizona State University, Emory University, New Mexico University, Oregon Health and Science University, and University of Minnesota.
About Marquette University College of Nursing
Through a transformational Catholic, Jesuit education, Marquette University College of Nursing prepares nursing leaders to promote health, healing and social justice for all people through clinical practice and development of nursing knowledge. In 2012, the College of Nursing partnered with Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare to create the $4 million Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare Center for Clinical Simulation, which was named one of the top 10 medical breakthroughs of the year by Milwaukee Magazine. The College of Nursing has become the most competitive undergraduate college for admission on Marquette’s campus.
About Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center
The Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center is located on 125 acres on the western edge of Milwaukee. The Medical Center delivers primary, secondary, and tertiary medical care in 168 care acute operating beds and provides more than 500,000 visits annually through an extensive outpatient program. The nursing home care unit of 113 beds offers geriatric programming and the 206 domiciliary beds are the focus of programs in substance abuse rehabilitation, psychiatric rehabilitation and post traumatic stress disorder care.