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ASU nursing, VA partnership to help recruit nurses into veteran health

August 13, 2013

The College of Nursing & Health Innovation at Arizona State University is one of six nursing schools in the country selected for the VA Nursing Academic Partnership program through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1.2 million registered nurses (RNs) will be needed by 2020 to deal with an expected nursing shortage. As the largest employer of nurses in the U.S., the VA launched academic partnerships like this one to help recruit additional nurses into veteran health.

The five-year program provides $4 million to fund three additional faculty positions at ASU’s College of Nursing & Health Innovation, and seven additional faculty positions at the Phoenix VA Health Care System. It also is expected to increase ASU’s undergraduate nurses by 80 students.

Even more, the grant provides ASU nursing students with unique clinical experience working directly with U.S. veterans in the Phoenix VA Health Care System.

“We are thrilled to expand our partnership with the Phoenix VA Health Care System in a way that benefits both students and our valued veterans,” Brenda Morris, associate dean of ASU’s College of Nursing & Health Innovation said. “The program builds a collaborative model that blends the best of both worlds – providing students with clinical experience and quality care to patients in need.”

The students who participate in the program will gain expertise working in interprofessional teams to provide health care to veterans. Their clinical rotations will provide them with experience meeting the health care needs of veterans with multiple trauma, brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder – a post-combat condition that plagues hundreds of thousands of veterans each year.

“We are pleased to announce the activation of this new program which will expand nursing education opportunities and enrollment of students at Arizona State University and expose future nursing leaders to our Veterans-centric health care system,” said Sharon Helman, medical center director.

ASU’s Pat Tillman Veterans Center will also connect veteran students interested in a nursing degree with the opportunity to apply for the program.

“This is a great new chapter in a long history of partnership between ASU and the VA,” Captain Steven Borden, director of the Pat Tillman Veterans Center said. “Not only does this offer a new opportunity for our veterans seeking a career in nursing, but it will be an encouragement to all our veterans as they see ASU and the VA dedicated to working together to better meet the health needs for our vets.”

Other schools selected for the grant include Emory University, Marquette University, New Mexico University, Oregon Health and Science University, and the University of Minnesota. Nursing students interested in the program can contact Amanda Burnes at (602) 496-0888 or

Media contact:
Melissa Wenzel,
(602) 496-0915 direct line
602) 579-5204 cell