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Grant helps launch nursing program for veterans

Jul. 28, 2014 - 02:02PM   |  
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FLINT, MICH. — A $1 million federal grant to the University of Michigan-Flint will assist military veterans in earning an accelerated degree in nursing.

The three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will help the school develop the program, which is scheduled for a January launch. The program ensures that students complete requirements for the degree and are prepared for the registered nurse licensing exam.

The program, which builds on previous training, is designed to reduce barriers and bring more veterans into the nursing profession. Beverly Jones, project director and assistant nursing professor, said she’s pleased about the university getting the grant and for the good it can do.

“Being a veteran myself and knowing some of their difficulty ... it’s outstanding to get this type of support,” she told The Flint Journal for a story published July 18.

Jones said the nursing department will spend the fall recruiting and reviewing academic records in preparation for the 2015 start.

Student Veterans Resource Center coordinator Sarah Mellon said the fact that the program recognizes veterans’ experience is appealing, and active-duty service members preparing for civilian life have expressed interest.

The university said in a project description posted online that the effort “substantially benefits underserved populations,” because its campus is in an area with health professional shortages. It also said Genesee County has 30,000 veteran residents, placing it fifth among Michigan’s 83 counties.

Michigan has about 660,000 veterans, ranking it 11th nationally, but the state ranks last in federal money spent per person on services provided by the U.S. Veterans Affairs Department, the university said.

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