Fewer than one percent of the 25,000 nurses training with VA will go on to fill the highly coveted Nurse Practitioner Residency program slots across the nation. An uncommon training cycle, VA offers one of only a handful of residency training programs for newly graduating nurse practitioners in the country.

VA’s Office of Academic Affiliations (OAA) recognizes the many contributions nurse practitioners give to our Veterans and the nation, and that’s why it’s important to highlight those learning opportunities available to aspiring nurses and nurse practitioners.

Claire Regan, nurse practitioner resident with the Baltimore VA, recognized the value of the year-long specialized training. “Having the opportunity to grow and develop as a clinician with the support of other providers who are experienced and accomplished has been immensely helpful,” Regan said. “Not only for knowledge and skills, but for building confidence as a provider.”

Beyond the traditional education environment

Unlike medical doctorate training that requires residency programs, residency programs for nurse practitioners are not required and are not very common, Regan explained. However, as she pursues her passion for caring for the elderly, she’s grateful for the opportunity to work alongside and learn from experiences of others.

“The residency program has an interdisciplinary component,” Regan added. “Residents work with other members of the team to figure out how together we can achieve the goals of the patient. This ultimately improves the quality of care we provide to our Veterans.”

VA offers a unique training opportunity for nurses and nurse practitioners. To learn more visit OAA’s Nursing Education Programs website.

28 residency programs added in academic year

As our nation has learned throughout the pandemic, medical professionals are in short supply, especially in nursing. In academic year 2021-2022, VA’s Office of Academic Affiliations added 28 new nurse residency programs. The addition was in response to one of the nation’s most critical health care occupation shortages.

They include 14 new post-baccalaureate registered nurse residency programs, 10 primary care nurse practitioner residency programs and four mental health nurse practitioner residency programs.

Since 2018, VA has expanded nurse residency programs from 17 to 108 programs across the U.S.

Currently the Office of Academic Affiliations funds 59 nurse practitioner programs in primary care and mental health specialties.

Passion to learn. Power to heal.

VA conducts its training programs for more than 120,000 health professions trainees annually. It is affiliated with over 1,800 educational institutions across the country, including 97% of the United States’ medical colleges. These academic affiliations are coordinated by VA’s Office of Academic Affiliations.

By Michael Cole is a Navy Veteran and a public affairs specialist with VA’s Office of Academic Affiliations

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Published on Nov. 8, 2021

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