Nursing’s Harper named to Department of Veterans Affairs’ Special Medical Advisory Group

By on April 29, 2014

Doreen C. Harper, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing, has been selected for a two-year appointment on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Special Medical Advisory Group.

Harper will be part of the Federal Advisory Committee, which provides advice to the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the Under Secretary for Health on matters relating to the care and treatment of veterans and other matters pertinent to the operations of the Veterans Health Administration.

“This appointment is an exciting opportunity for our school to continue making a difference in the lives of our nation’s heroes,” Harper said. “The UAB School of Nursing has a long history of serving the health care needs of veterans and their families, through one of the original VA Nursing Academies and many other initiatives, including the VA National Quality Scholars Program and the Veterans Career Advancement in Nursing Program (Veterans CAN!). This is yet another level of commitment for our school in serving the needs of America’s veterans.”

Some of the duties of the group are to advise on the education and training of health care professionals, conduct research, and the VA’s role in support of both the Department of Defense and Homeland Security missions. UAB has played a prominent role in aiding veterans through care and opportunity during Harper’s tenure.

The School of Nursing is home to just one of 18 VA Nursing Academies in the United States. The designation enables the school and the Birmingham VA Medical Center to work collaboratively to educate compassionate, highly skilled nurses to look after the health care needs of our nation’s veterans. It also expands learning opportunities for nursing students at VA facilities and funds faculty development opportunities.

Veterans CAN! is offered to veterans who served as an LPN or medic/corpsman in the military to transition into a professional nursing career and earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. It is available through the Health Resources and Services Administration.

The School of Nursing also recently received a four-year, $1.2 million grant from the HRSA to develop a program to help veterans with military medical experience more easily transition to the nursing profession as part of the VA National Quality Scholars Program.

“Nurses are at the front lines of America’s health care system in every community and setting where our veterans and their families work and live — from doctor’s offices to hospitals to home care at home and abroad,” Harper said. “Through collaboration and knowledge-exchange, we can help improve care outcomes through innovative practice and care models that we develop and learn together.”

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