The University of San Francisco (USF) School of Nursing and Health Professions is celebrating the graduation of the inaugural class of students who participated in the Veteran Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership.
The partnership is a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs funded program with the Veteran Affairs Northern California Health Care System and USF’s School of Nursing and Health Professions to educate well-qualified nurses with specialized training in the health issues facing veterans.
This first class of 18, graduating with a bachelor of science in nursing, was recognized during a formal pinning ceremony Aug. 12 in Sacramento.
This program, designed as a year-round, two-year curriculum for transfer students who have completed their science prerequisites, is distinctive in that nursing students conduct all of their adult clinical rotations in VA facilities, gaining in-depth knowledge of veteran care issues.
By working closely with veterans from the very beginning of the program, students are better equipped to care for this growing population. With thousands of veterans returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq, the demand for highly trained nurses equipped with the skills and sensitivity required to serve the unique needs of veterans has never been greater.
“The more I talked to and worked with the veterans during my education, the more I realized why this program is special,” said Amy Phan, one of the 18 USF nursing students graduating this week. “Many of the veterans have such positive spirits, even when they’re in the hospital. It’s really rewarding to be able to care for, listen to, and talk with the veterans who have served our country. They have been through a lot more than most and have such a different perspective on the world. I’m inspired by this population and eager to use my nursing skills to promote their well-being.”