Florida International University will now partner with Veterans Affairs medical centers in Miami to provide training to budding nurses.
The Veterans Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership provided the university with an $8 million grant to bring in more students and faculty over the next five years. Twenty additional students will start this fall, totaling 160 students over the next five years.
The school will bolster its program, which equips nurses with the skills to care for post-combat veterans. The partnership offers hands-on experiences for training nurses to engage with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, suicide prevention and limb loss.
The partnership also sets up a residency-like internship for some of the students after graduation. This program, in particular, is exciting for Sharon Simon. She is the director of undergraduate nursing at the Florida International University Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing & Health Sciences.
“A lot of nurses are highly educated when they graduate from our program,” she says, “but there is a learning curve once they start practicing nursing. This internship will… help them become totally sufficient, confident and excellent at what they do.”
Her hope is that at least some of the students will also go to work full-time for the VA after the internship.
Though it’s coming to Miami now, amidst criticism of how the VA has run it’s hospitals; the partnership program has been around since 2007.
The University of Florida and the University of South Florida have both partnered with the VA through this program in the past.