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School of Nursing receives grant for Veterans

Rachel Stalker, ‘Doah Staff Writer
October 2, 2013

On Sept. 17, the Eleanor Wade Custer School of Nursing announced that they had been awarded a $1.2 million federal grant that will provide medically trained military veterans the opportunity to get back into the workforce by earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Faculty member and former Air Force Nurse Corps Maj..Sherry Rawls-Bryce stated that S.U. Director of Grant Support & Foundation Relations Jenny Bousquet approached Dr. Pam Cangelosi, associate dean for academics, about this grant and “felt that it would be a good match for S.U.’s School of Nursing.”

Rawls-Bryce also stated that, “Dr. Cangelosi and I agreed that S.U. could easily meet the needs of veterans seeking a nursing degree.”

According to Rawls-Bryce, the Custer School of Nursing will collaborate with the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), community partners and the university “to create innovative processes for evaluating the veterans past experiences and training and providing academic and nursing credit.”

As a retired Air Force nurse, Rawls-Bryce will serve as the academic advisor for the program applicants. She will also teach a veteran transition course, which will “address challenges and facilitate their transition to civilian education as well as civilian healthcare.”

Due to Rawls-Bryce’s experience, she knows that “military medics are highly trained and skilled in providing patient care. In addition, they are groomed for leadership positions and generally are self-reliant and confident.

They are often expected to think critically and perform independently. These skills and traits are a perfect match for a professional nursing degree.”

When asked about this new program, sophomore nursing student Jessica Flagg said, “By providing an opportunity for veterans to earn a nursing degree, we are not only helping people who have served our country but are also gaining experienced peers that will help to advance our program.

“Their real life experiences could be an inspiration and learning experience for everyone in the program and at the university.”

Flagg also stated that she is “excited to hear about this amazing program being developed” and, “it is one more reason to love Shenandoah and all it has to offer.”

This program is the beginning of a new, groundbreaking and exciting era for the Custer School of Nursing and for Shenandoah University.

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