Marquette College of Nursing awarded $5 million for partnership with Veterans Affairs nursing program
Milwaukee VA partnership to fund 10 additional faculty positions, increase Marquette undergraduate nursing class size by 40 students
MILWAUKEE – The Department of Veterans Affairs has chosen Marquette University College of Nursing and the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center as one of six sites in the nation to participate in a five-year VA Nursing Academy Nursing Academic Partnership Program. The $5 million partnership will prepare Marquette nursing students to promote health, healing and social justice for veterans and their families through culturally based and spiritually reflective clinical practice.
The program will fund 10 additional, full-time College of Nursing faculty members during the next five years. These faculty members will enable the College of Nursing to increase its freshman class size by 20 students this year (from 110 last year to 130 admitted for fall 2013) and by 20 students in subsequent years, for a maximum enrollment of 150 students beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.
“This significant partnership will allow us to meet an important health care need in the Milwaukee community, and to be a part of the solution for the national nursing shortage,” said Dr. Margaret Faut Callahan, C.R.N.A., F.N.A.P., F.A.A.N., dean of the College of Nursing and interim provost at Marquette University. “Marquette’s College of Nursing is committed to embedding itself within the Milwaukee community by partnering with health care leaders like the Milwaukee VA. We are thrilled to be able to teach the next generation of nurses a veteran-centric approach to health care with the support and partnership of the Milwaukee VA and the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
Veteran-centric educational opportunities will be woven throughout the college’s pre-licensure curriculum for all undergraduates. Undergraduate students interested in veteran-centric care can also apply to a competitive cohort program, where they will follow the pre-licensure curriculum but will complete their five required clinical placements at the Milwaukee VA. Students in the cohort may also participate in a cultural immersion experience at various VA locations. The program’s goal is to place graduates into nursing positions at the Milwaukee VA or another VA facility.
“We are honored to be partner with such a prestigious university to help educate our nurses of the future,” said Beth Taylor, associate director for patient care services at the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center.
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing has projected that the nursing shortage could grow to 1 million registered nurses by 2025. The number of direct care nurses at the Milwaukee VA who are eligible for retirement is roughly 20 percent. The veteran-centric cohort program will help fill expected future vacancies with nurses who are prepared to care for the specific needs of veterans and their families, and who require less training and orientation time due to their clinical experiences in VA settings.
Marquette University College of Nursing and the Milwaukee VA also plan to work together to advance research related to veteran care.
The five other nursing programs chosen as partner schools in the VA Nursing Academic Partner Program are: Arizona State University, Emory University, New Mexico University, Oregon Health and Science University, and University of Minnesota.
Applications will be made available to students the week of June 17.
Launched in the spring 2012 semester, the program blends academic courses with observation experiences at various health care sites in Ireland. This approach makes it possible for nursing students to study abroad without falling behind in Marquette’s rigorous nursing curriculum.
Marquette Neighborhood Health Center now offers midwifery services
The Marquette Neighborhood Health Center (MNHC), a nurse-managed clinic run by the Marquette University College of Nursing, began accepting pregnant patients into its practice for midwifery services June 1, 2012. In April 2012, the City of Milwaukee Health Department released new infant mortality data that showed the rate at which black babies die during their first year of life is nearly three times the rate of white babies. The MNHC’s new certified nurse-midwife practice is the result of a five-year, $1,477,828 grant it received last fall from the federal Health Resources and Services Administration to address such disparities.
“Seventy-nine percent of MNHC’s current patients live in one of the nine Milwaukee zip codes with the highest levels of poverty,” said College of Nursing Dean Dr. Margaret Faut Callahan, C.R.N.A., F.N.A.P., F.A.A.N. “Providing midwifery services will help the MNHC further its mission of reducing health disparities in Milwaukee by delivering quality health care to underserved populations in neighborhoods near Marquette’s campus.”
MNHC is currently staffed with three certified nurse-midwives, Kathlyn Albert, LuVerda Martin and Nichole Virgo, who practice a holistic approach to care that includes all aspects of a pregnant woman’s life. Their goal is to improve maternal and infant outcomes in the underserved areas surrounding Marquette University’s campus by focusing on care known to have a positive impact on the health of women and their infants – midwifery services through the CenteringPregnancy® model, breastfeeding peer support and prenatal care coordination delivered by a registered nurse.
College of Nursing receives New Careers in Nursing Scholarships
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) awarded the College of Nursing five $10,000 scholarships through the RWJF New Careers in Nursing Scholarship Program (NCIN). The scholarships will provide financial assistance for students in the pre-MSN phase of the Direct Entry Program who are members of underrepresented populations in nursing -- males, African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans. The project will also assist the selected students in their transition to the nursing profession and will provide them with leadership skills and mentoring during the pre-MSN phase.
Nursing and blogging in Peru
Twenty-five nursing students spent four weeks in Piura, Peru, this summer, participating in a community clinical experience at a health clinic run by the Catholic parish, Sacramento Santisimo. The trip was led by Dr. Darlene Weis, associate professor emerita of nursing. In addition to learning about the Peruvian health care system, students were introduced to an alcohol and drug abuse clinic and a women's domestic violence group.
Follow the adventures and learning experiences of the nursing students studying in Peru through their blogs:
College of Nursing graduate program ranks in top 10 percent in U.S. News & World Report
The latest graduate school rankings from U.S. News and World Report show Marquette programs ranking among the best in the country. The midwifery program in the College of Nursing is 19th nationally, and the graduate program itself is listed in the top 10% of graduate nursing programs, ranking 44th out of 442 schools.