Deborah E. Trautman, PhD, RN, FAAN, Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) spent Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, visiting the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Nursing and Birmingham VA Medical Center to learn more about their VA Nursing Academic Partnership.
The UAB School of Nursing and the Birmingham VA Medical Center have been educational, research and clinical care partners for more than 40 years but began the more formal VA Nursing Academic Partnership a little more than five years ago.
The School and Birmingham VA Medical Center earned the prestigious designation as one of 15 VA Nursing Academy sites in the U.S. in 2009. This unique undergraduate program partnered VA Medical Centers with accredited schools of nursing across the nation with the aim of providing compassionate, highly educated nurses to meet the health care needs of America’s heroes. To learn more click here.
Since then, a five-year grant from the Veterans Health Administration to the Birmingham VA Medical Center in 2014 expanded the partnership into graduate education with the VA Nursing Academic Partnership in Graduate Education (VANAP-GE), the only one of its kind in the country, with the goal of placing 48 new psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners into the VA workforce. To learn more click here.
And, the UAB School of Nursing also is one of only four sites in the country that has a graduate residency program for mental health nurse practitioners. Also in partnership with the Birmingham VA Medical Center, it too is designed to put more nurse practitioners into the VA pipeline to address the mental health needs of a growing Veteran population.
The UAB School of Nursing is the only one in the country with all three initiatives.
Mary B. Dougherty, PhD, MBA, Director of the Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, encouraged Trautman to visit and accompanied her, along with Johnnie Guttery, Clinical Director with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Dougherty suggested Trautman visit to see firsthand the success of the School’s partnership with the Birmingham VA Medical Center.
“The UAB School of Nursing is honored to have been selected to demonstrate the VANAP model for undergraduate and graduate education nationwide,” said UAB School of Nursing Dean and Fay B. Ireland Endowed Chair in Nursing Doreen C. Harper, PhD, RN, FAAN. “Our faculty and students appreciate the specialized care needs to Veterans and their families and have developed innovative strategies to address these that we are delighted to share on such a national stage.”
During the visit Trautman met with a number of officials from the University, School of Nursing and BVAMC, including Dean Harper; William F. Harper, MD, BVAMC Chief of Staff; Cynthia Cleveland, DNP, RN, NE-BC, BVAMC Senior Nurse Executive; Anupam Agarwal, MD, Professor and Director, UAB Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology; Cynthia Selleck, PhD, RN, FAAN, UAB School of Nursing Associate Dean Clinical and Global Partnerships; Kimberly D. Froelich, PhD, FN, NE-BC, VHA-CM, Director, Birmingham VA Nursing Academy at the BVAMC; Teena M. McGuinness, PhD, CRNP, FAAN, Interim Chair and Professor in the UAB School of Nursing Department of Family, Community and Health Systems, and Mental Health Residency Director in the School; Randy L. Moore, DNP, RN, Assistant Professor, UAB School of Nursing VA Nursing Academy Partnership; Ehtsham U. Haq, MD, BVAMC Chief of Mental Health; and Susanne A. Fogger, DNP, CRNP, PMHNP-BC, UAB School of Nursing Associate Professor, MSN Psychiatric Mental Health Specialty Track Coordinator and VANAP-GE coordinator. Trautman also met with a number of the UAB School of Nursing faculty who teach within the VANAP model.
She learned from the officials how VANAP was integrated into Birmingham VA Medical Center, how the partnership is leveraged by both entities, early successes and how they were built upon, and future plans for the partnership.
During the visit Trautman also received, from UAB School of Nursing Faculty, an overview of a number of research and education projects on which the School and Birmingham VA Medical Center have partnered and how many of these projects are being leveraged beyond the Birmingham VA Medical Center to impact Veterans and their families who seek care outside the VA System. Additionally, she spent time with both graduate and undergraduate VANAP students, learning about the program’s educational and research opportunities from their perspectives.
Trautman was complimentary of the clinical, research and education aspects of the partnership, and how they are impacting the profession overall.
“I’m very impressed with the opportunities to build a collaborative partnership and the benefits are very visible for both the care of the individual veteran as well as the education of students,” Trautman said. “I’m excited to see, what’s been a journey, but resulted in really great opportunities for the practice of nursing, for veteran health, and health care for veterans and I am also see that there’s been innovation and a lot of moving ideas forward here at UAB that we’re still wrestling with across the country. Your partnership can serve as a model that is applicable to other schools and can have benefit the larger picture of bringing practices to academics.”
AACN CEO visits UAB School of Nursing, BVAMC
Deborah Trautman meets with UAB and Birmingham VA Medical Center representatives to learn more about VA Nursing Academic Partnership
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