U.S. grant to UTA will benefit vets

Posted Monday, Sep. 23, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The unemployment rate for veterans has dropped over the last year, which means some of the initiatives taken by the White House, Congress and some state legislatures like Texas may be having an impact.

Two years ago, when returning veterans’ unemployment rate averaged 2 to 4 percentage points above the general population, the president challenged businesses and the nation as a whole to hire more people who had served in the military.

Along with steps like offering tax incentives to employers, there was an emphasis on changing accrediting and licensing rules to give veterans credit for their in-service military experience so they wouldn’t have to start from scratch in certain academic and training programs.

Toward that end and with an announcement last week of a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Human Services, the University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing will be an integral part of training ex-service members while establishing a model that can be replicated across the country, nursing school administrators say.

UT Arlington will tailor its online bachelor of science in nursing program to accommodate veterans whose military backgrounds include medical training to begin nursing education.

The UT Arlington Academic Partnership-BSN Program, which permits nursing students to do the majority of their coursework online, is less than four years old, but already has an impressive record. It has graduated almost 400 students, with 93 percent of them passing their state-licensing exam on the first attempt.

More than 2,200 of the 33,000 UT Arlington students are veterans, and that number is likely to grow with the announcement of this new grant, which is expected to total more than $1 million in four years.

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