Beginning September 2020, the School and VA Greater Los Angeles Health Care System (VAGLAHS) launched a post-baccalaureate nurse residency program to prepare nurses to address the health care needs of our nation’s veterans and their families

“This program will provide support for our new graduates as they transition from an educational environment to a demanding clinical environment,” said Dean Linda Sarna. “With strong mentorship and guidance, these new nurses will gain extensive experience in providing quality care to our veterans.”

The 12-month program will improve the quality of care for veterans by providing additional training and support to newly graduated nurses. It will incorporate clinical and experiential learning using an evidence based practice curriculum, aligned with military and veteran- centric care competencies and Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education accreditation standards, involving nurses from VAGLAHS and our school.

“The veteran population has specialized needs often linked to their service to our nation,” said Marcia Lysaght, VAGLAHS associate director for patient care services and chief nurse executive. “It is therefore a moral imperative to ensure that new nurses are well prepared to take care of our nation’s heroes.”

According to Lysaght, the program will ensure that new graduate registered nurses meet or exceed the high standards of care that
are owed to veterans. A total of six positions will be open to pre- licensure graduates from our School’s bachelor’s and MECN programs. Applicants must be within one year of the date they graduated in order to be eligible for the program.

“The program is designed to increase the knowledge of new graduate registered nurses across the continuum of care,” Lysaght said. “A veteran-centric residency program that is evidence based and well- structured can be a solution to mitigating the high rate of turnover for newly licensed registered nurses during their first year as they transition into professional Veterans Affairs nurses.”

VAGLAHS and the School have a long and rich tradition of successful collaboration and clinical education. The two entities have been involved as team members in various VA programs including the VA Centers of Excellence in Interprofessional Academic Homeless Primary Care clinic, (H-PACT), and as advisory board members for the Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center.

“This new partnership will strengthen our mutual commitment to provide innovative, quality-driven and transformational nursing care for veterans,” Sarna said.