Idaho State University Creates New “Veteran to Nurse” Program to Help Medical Veterans Obtain Nurse Certificate
In an attempt to bridge the employment gap for military personnel, Idaho State University’s (ISU) College of Technology is helping veterans who have medical training obtain a nursing certificate, one of few programs of its kind offered in the US. The Veteran to Nurse program is part of ISU’s Practical Nursing program, helping veterans accelerate their progress to a nursing credential by allowing field experience to substitute for some coursework.
An estimated 1,000 service personnel will separate from the military and relocate back to South East Idaho, and about 20 percent of them will have some medical training. ISU hopes that their Veteran to Nurse program can help more of these veterans transition into civilian life and find good employment.
There are currently five students enrolled in the course and the program length varies between 6-8 months, consisting of nine classes. Two of the students currently enrolled, Brittney Guinn and Richard Houx, were both medical specialists in the US Navy and are driven by helping people. Houx hopes to go on to become a registered nurse in his community after receiving his certificate from ISU. Guinn hopes that the program will help more veterans like her feel like they have the support to go back to school and find jobs relevant to the knowledge they gained in the military. She says the experience she learned while deployed has translated well into the program.
To be eligible for the program, you must be a US Military Veteran with medic or corpsmen training and experience. The program includes on-line learning and in-person lab and clinical experiences. After completing the program, veterans will receive an Advanced Technical Certificate (ATC) in Practical Nursing and be eligible to sit for the NCLEX-PN exam.