July 2, 2008

Oklahoma City Selected for VA Nursing Academy

The Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs Medical Center has been selected as a site for the VA Nursing Academy.

Under this new program, the Oklahoma City VA center will partner with the University of Oklahoma College of Nursing to provide clinical and didactic training to an additional 20 baccalaureate nursing students each year.

A five-year, $40 million pilot program will establish partnerships with 12 nursing schools across the country, which began during the 2007-2008 academic year.

The Oklahoma City partnership with the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center was selected to begin in the 2008-2009 academic year.

Despite a nationwide shortage of nurses, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing has reported that more than 42,000 qualified applicants were turned away from nursing schools in 2006 because of insufficient numbers of faculty, clinical sites, classroom space and clinical mentors.

The Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs Medical Center provides clinical education for 1,100 health professional trainees annually, including nursing student affiliations.

"The VA Nursing Academy in Oklahoma City is a great benefit for our future health care professionals and, most importantly, our patients," said Margie Carlton, Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs Medical Center OKC associate director for patient care and nursing services.

"This program with the OU College of Nursing will improve recruitment and retention, and create new educational and research opportunities."

Originally published by Journal Record Staff.

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