Former Navy corpsman Marzell Scott was the first intermediate care technician (ICT) at the W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center (VAMC) in Salisbury, North Carolina. Now he’s the first ICT to participate in the VA National Education for Employees Program (VANEEP) Scholarship Pilot pathway created specifically for ICTs. With support from the scholarship program, Scott is making his next career transition – to the nursing profession.

VA created the unique ICT program to hire former military medics and corpsmen into positions as key members of VAMC medical teams. The program, which began at the end of 2012 with 45 ICTs, now has more than 300 Veterans working throughout VA – and needs to hire 100 more. Since hiring Scott in January 2020, the Salisbury VAMC has added seven more ICTs to its staff, whom he helps mentor.

The idea to include ICTs in the VANEEP arose about a year ago, according to Kristina Snell, VA national ICT program manager. Through the pilot, ICTs may apply for education scholarships in areas that address VA occupational shortages, such as nursing. VA will award VANEEP scholarships to five ICTs each fiscal year for five years, although the number of ICT scholarships could increase depending on available funding, Snell said. ICTs may apply for the program through their VAMC scholarship office.

“The scholarship pilot supports Veterans caring for Veterans and elevating and supporting the career growth of ICTs,” said Snell. “We want them to go on to become doctors and nurses.”

Committed to Veterans

Scott, who already holds a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, will be able to complete his bachelor’s in nursing at the University of North Carolina Greensboro within two years. His longer-term goal is to become a nurse practitioner.

In return for having his tuition covered and receiving a salary while he’s a full-time student, Scott must commit to work at VA for three years. “They can send me to any hospital in the VISN (Veterans Integrated Service Network), which is fine with me,” said Scott. “VA’s got me.”

Besides paving the way for other ICTs at the Salisbury VAMC, Scott helped create a “fast track” system that notably decreased patient wait times in the emergency room (ER) and increased overall satisfaction in care and transfer or discharge from the ER. “We added five more beds to the emergency room and we let nurses be on the COVID units while ICTs ran the fast track in the ER,” said Scott.

One of the most rewarding aspects of working at VA is helping other Veterans, according to Scott. “They’re more willing to open up to us because we’re also Vets. A Vietnam Veteran treats me as though we’ve been long-time friends, even though there’s a 50-year age difference between us.”

Scott’s advice to other ICTs is “to be flexible and prepared to work, because we work hard. Also, to keep pushing and trying to be the best ICT they possibly can be.”

“I tell the ICTs that we’re going to take over VA,” laughed Scott. “That’s my plan.”

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Published on Jun. 29, 2021

Estimated reading time is 2.8 min.

Views to date: 555


  1. Sharon j Bell July 12, 2021 at 5:54 pm

    I applied to VANEEP for Fall 2022 and was told budget was go on orders from President Biden and there would not be funding for 2022. Since these applications are due a year in advance how did this personqualify for scholarship? I am a 90% service connected MSW student who also works full time at the V.A. I would love to know how he got VANEEP.

    • John July 27, 2021 at 2:37 pm

      “ICT” Pilot Program is the way he got the scholarship. So since you are not an ICT you would not fall under this specific Pilot program.

      -Have a great day

  2. Larry H Gregory July 10, 2021 at 8:13 pm

    The other day, I received an email about a contest-it was from the VA-a contest about innovative ideas that might benefit the VA-if you know of the contest about innovation ideas, could you send me the information-I have an idea that could help all VA members. Veteran US Air Force Larry Gregory

  3. Dean Smith July 10, 2021 at 5:30 am

    Bravo Zulu to Marzell!! When I got out of the USN in 1984, In one day, I went from being a senior Medical Rep E7 ( everything an PA/Nurse Practitioner did) to a per Diem LVN. Thanks to the IDC program at GWU, I was able to sit for the CA NUCLEX exam 9 months later. I am glad to see the ICT program finally come into being. Still there is work to be done… VA, time to go further with the progression. For the independent duty corpsman, a program to transition these valuable DOD resources into valuable midlevel providers for the VA is the next step. Cheer, Dean

  4. Jenny Roby July 10, 2021 at 12:19 am

    Do Veterans spouse qualify?For job training

  5. David, R. July 9, 2021 at 10:49 pm

    I just wanted to add a note for my fellow corpsman, and encourage each and every participant to keep on the path. My training allow me to retire from one of largest health care provider on the west coast as an RN. I am seeking to getting back into helping my fellow veterans. It’s where all started.

  6. Duster Heath July 9, 2021 at 1:32 pm

    Congratulations ‘Brother.’ – Combat related Medics have one of the most difficult jobs in what is surely one of the toughest jobs on planed Earth.- combat! I was an Infantryman in Vietnam 1967, 1968 and I very much admire and appreciate the Medics. I’m impressed that VA introduced this program. I am sure you will do well, Your Bro,’ Duster

  7. Darryl Sletten July 8, 2021 at 8:47 am

    As a former U.S. Navy hospital corpsman myself, of many years ago– I applaud the VA for this new program of ICT’s. I personally worked in Naval hospitals, and a close friend entered the Marine Corps as a field corpsman and was given additional training in that field also. It would have been great to have the opportunity of this new program years ago! May God bless!

  8. Michael Shisler July 8, 2021 at 6:44 am

    Great program. Keep up the good work, and best wishes for continued success to Mr. Scott.

  9. Lonnie Carroll Rogers July 7, 2021 at 10:45 pm

    Congratulations to Marzell Scott’s efforts and success to continue his service to OUR COUNTRY and to the VA and our tax paying citizens for backing VA efforts. Having flown helicopters in the 60s with the Corps, I assure you that Corpsmen earned the respect of all that were rewarded with the opportunity to know and be with them. We hope that you and your family enjoy the opportunities available in the United States of America. Thanks for your previous, present and future service. May God Bless!

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