Implementing a Veteran-to-BSN Pathway: Supporting and Advocating for Veterans Seeking a BSN

Monday, 30 October 2017

Jene' M. Hurlbut, PhD, RN, CNE
College of Nursing, Roseman University of Health Sciences, Henderson, NV, USA
Imelda R. Revuelto, MSEd
Veteran to BSN, College of Nursing, Roseman University of Health Sciences, Henderson, NV, USA

A Veteran to BSN Pathway was created and implemented to support veterans who are seeking a Bachelor of Science in nursing degree. This endeavor was supported by a HRSA grant that was awarded to Roseman University College of Nursing. It is estimated that over the next five years approximately 1.5 million military service members will separate from the military and will seek jobs within the private sector (Snyder, Wick, Skillman, & Frogner, 2016, p.1). The VBSN Pathway offers a viable option for veterans to utilize their military skills and education to obtain a degree while addressing the current national nursing shortage.

The pathway was designed to offer veterans an opportunity to obtain a BSN either in the traditional or accelerated BSN program. The pathway provides student support services and the ability to earn academic credit based on military experience. During the implementation of the pathway, the VBSN team obtained approvals from regulatory bodies; reviewed the curriculum for inclusion of military healthcare topics; established processes and policies related to admissions and enrollment; developed mechanisms to determine eligibility to test out of nursing courses and/or award academic credit; and provided University wide workshops to enhance the understanding of military culture. Furthermore, workshops were provided to the veteran students regarding job opportunities in rural health care settings and information related to loan payback options. Qualitative and quantitative data will be shared related to measured outcomes associated with: satisfaction with the VBSN pathway inclusive of students and faculty; faculty knowledge regarding military culture; and satisfaction with the provision of faculty and staff support as it relates to providing services to veteran students.

During the development and implementation of this pathway partnerships and collaborations were developed with external constituents, thus ensuring sustainability and the provision of resources necessary for veteran students’ success. An overall benefit of the implementation of the VBSN pathway was the increased diversification of the student population enrolled in the nursing program.