Headline for Featured Item #1 College of Nursing & Health Sciences Joins Forces with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden - Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
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College of Nursing & Health Sciences Joins Forces with First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden

April 11, 2012

Dr. Mary Jane Hamilton

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Dr. Mary Jane Hamilton, dean of the College Nursing and Health Sciences, is one of 20 university deans and the only dean from Texas to be recognized by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden.  Today’s (Wednesday, April 11) announcement at the University of Pennsylvania is a commitment from nurses across the country eager to serve our veterans and military families as well as they have served us.

“I am honored to be invited to be a part of the ‘Joining Forces’ announcement.  Educating our military, both active duty and veterans, to become registered nurses while utilizing their previous military medical education and experience, provides valuable persons to the health care workforce and allows us to give back to those who have given so much for us,” said Dr. Hamilton.

More than 200 nursing and health care groups are committing themselves to train nurses and other health care professionals in fulfilling the needs patients who have served and their families.

“Whether we’re in a hospital, a doctor’s office, or a community health center, nurses are often the first people we see when we walk through the door. Because of their expertise, they are trusted to be the frontline of America’s health care system,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “That’s why Jill and I knew we could turn to America’s nurses and nursing students to help our veterans and military families get the world-class care that they’ve earned. It’s clear from today’s announcement that the nursing community is well on its way to serving our men and women in uniform and their families.”

Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi is taking that commitment one step further with the one-of-a-kind eLine Military Program. The program gives those with military medical training academic credit for their experience helping them get to graduation and into the medical field sooner. 

“It’s a privilege to provide such a unique program for those who have served our country,” said President Flavius Killebrew. “This recognition is a testament to the quality faculty under the leadership of Dean Hamilton.” 

Last September, the College of Nursing and Health Sciences was awarded a grant from the White House to work with key military leadership and training staff at the Medical Education and Training Command in San Antonio, Texas, to identify strategies to align enlisted health care training and nursing academic credit. In early August, President Barack Obama talked about the challenge that some veterans  face when trying to use the skills they learned on the battlefield here at home; particularly  veterans who have been saving lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, but don’t have the credentials they  need to become nurses or EMTs. The awarding of the $178,358 grant was announced on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2011 when the administration unveiled its plan to help veterans translate the health care and medical first responder skills and experiences gained during their enlistment into nursing jobs when they return home.

“The College of Nursing and Health Sciences was selected as the nursing program to implement the White House’s Initiative because of its previous work with the military and identifications of barriers to awarding credit,” said Dr. Mary Jane Hamilton, dean of the College and principal investigator of the grant.

The $178,358 grant is an addition to the $635,187 award the College received earlier last year for its eLine Military program to help residents of Texas veterans and members of the military with previous medical experience to become registered nurses through distance learning technologies. In addition, the College is working with more than 100 veterans and active duty soldiers from across the United States as well as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Germany to achieve their goals to become registered nurses.

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