The White House, via first lady Michelle Obama, today unveiled a program to aid combat medics and other military personnel earn nursing licenses after they leave the armed services.
The four-year training is for veterans interested in entry-level, registered nurses jobs. HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration will administer the program in conjunction with the Defense and Veteran's Affairs departments. Under the program, HHS would award grants to up to nine nursing schools, allotting them a maximum of $350,000 each per year.
The deadline for veterans to apply for a grant is June 7, and HHS hopes to award the money by Sept. 30.
“The Veterans' Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program recognizes the skills, experience and sacrifices of our veterans, while helping to grow our nursing workforce,” HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a release. “It helps veterans formalize their skills to get jobs, while strengthening Americans' access to care.”
As part of the program, the government will pay nursing schools to increase veteran enrollment and to find more ways to give veterans academic credit. The program also aims to establish mentors and a nursing career ladder program targeting veterans. It's too early to say if the program has a chance to be expanded, an HRSA spokesman said.
“The VBSN project will provide program participants with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to succeed in passing the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses and will provide a means of giving academic credit for prior military medical training and experience,” the program's synopsis reads. Overall last year in the U.S., 194,898 took the National Council's RN test and 79.51%, or 154,963, passed (PDF).