School of Nursing Chosen for Prestigious Scholars Program
There continues to be a great need for nurses experienced in caring for Veterans in the United States.
To address this nationwide demand, Fairfield University’s School of Nursing has been chosen to participate in the 2014-2016 Jonas Scholars Program, a prestigious endeavor dedicated to improving the healthcare of Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. It is a vital cause, especially as the number of young Veterans has grown, with many suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) or other life-changing injuries.
The New York City-based Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare will provide $10,000 of tuition support for a Doctor of Nursing (DNP) student at Fairfield. To be known as the DNP Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholar, the student’s classroom and clinical education will have a focus on advancing the care of Veterans, which has long been part of the mission of the School of Nursing.
“The awardee will be a student who is committed to the care of Veterans and their families,” said Lynn Babington, Ph.D., RN, professor and dean of the School of Nursing. “We are especially honored because Fairfield was the only nursing school in Connecticut selected to take part in the program this year.”
The Jonas Center’s vision and intent is to help improve the healthcare of U.S. Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan by supporting doctoral level (Ph.D. and DNP) education of nurses who will be involved in all levels of Veterans’ healthcare, from administration and policy to direct patient care.
The funds from the Jonas Center provide ongoing support for the partnership between the VA Connecticut Healthcare System and Fairfield University’s School of Nursing. That partnership has involved a key pilot program called the ‘Veterans Affairs Nursing Academy.’ In 2007, Fairfield was one of just four nursing schools in the country selected to be a part of the federal program aimed to educate nurses on the specific healthcare needs of Veterans.
The School of Nursing is also involved in a national initiative led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden called ‘Joining Forces.’ Nursing schools play a crucial role in this initiative by preparing the nation’s nurses to care for Veterans, service members, and their families.
School of Nursing faculty member Suzanne Chaplik, RN, is a Jonas Scholar through the University of Utah where she is completing her Ph.D.