School of Nursing Receives Grant for VA Nursing Academy Partnership

Duke University School of Nursing (DUSON) in partnership with the Durham VA Medical Center (VAMC) receives grant for the Veterans Affairs Nursing Partnership Graduate Education (VANP-GE) Program. DUSON is one of six nursing schools nationwide selected for the program through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The partnership provides federal funding for a five-year period that will support new faculty positions and increase enrollment each year in the School’s adult-gerontology nurse practitioner (NP) program in the Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) Program.

“This program will allow us to continue our commitment in providing interprofessional education to our nursing students, which will allow them to care for the unique needs of veterans and their families,” says Marion E. Broome, PhD, RN, FAAN, School of Nursing dean and Ruby Wilson Professor of Nursing, vice chancellor for Nursing Affairs for Duke University and associate vice president for Academic Affairs for Nursing for Duke University Health System. “It will also allow us to continue our collaborative work with our VAMC counterparts to improve the quality of health care for this older population.”

The VANP-GE program will fund two to three faculty positions at DUSON as well as provide stipends for trainees, fund one to two new faculty positions at VAMC and beginning in the second year of the program support the development of six post-master’s certified adult-gerontology NP residents.  

“The support of this VA funded program will allow our faculty members to develop and incorporate veteran-centric curriculum within the existing DUSON adult-gerontology NP major in the MSN program,” says Elizabeth “Beth” Merwin, PhD, RN, FAAN, executive vice dean and Ann Henshaw Gardiner Professor of Nursing of the Duke University School of Nursing.

The partnership will also increase the number of students enrolled in the adult-gerontology program by 30 or more over a five-year period and the students will complete most of their clinical rotations at the Durham VAMC. “Our program will be contributing to a workforce expansion of nurse practitioners who have unique skills and abilities to care for our veteran population,” says Michael E. Zychowicz, DNP, ANP, ONP, FAAN, FAANP, director of the MSN program and associate professor for Duke University School of Nursing. “Ultimately, through the increased enrollment in the MSN program and the development of a post graduate primary care NP residency, we will be contributing to increased access to health care for veterans.”

The VA Health System is facing a severe primary care shortage, which will likely increase because of a need to deliver primary care to veterans as they become older. This partnership between academic and practice is an extremely positive impact for veterans in our community. “Through the enhancement of didactic and clinical experiences for NP students and graduates, we have the opportunity of preparing future health care providers for our veterans for decades to come,” says Greg Eagerton, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, chief nursing officer at the Durham VAMC.

This is the second VA-funded partnership between DUSON and the VAMC. The first is a post-graduate psychiatric-mental health NP residency.

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