Veterans Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership Scholars

Emory is one of 18 nursing schools nationwide selected for the elite Veterans Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership (VANAP) program through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The VANAP program is designed to enhance the traditional BSN curriculum offering a small cohort of students, VANAP Scholars, training specifically focused on Veteran-centered care. VANAP Scholars participate in adult clinical rotations at the Atlanta VA Healthcare System (AVAHCS), a magnet designated hospital, to gain further clinical competencies in caring for our Veteran heroes. Additionally, VANAP Scholars are offered the following opportunities:

  • Eligibility for the Health Profession Scholarship Program (HPSP), a fully funded tuition program. Through this highly competitive program, scholarship recipients obtain tuition reimbursement as well as a stipend, with the understanding they will seek employment at a VA facility as a form of loan repayment. Further information below.
  • Participation in a Boot Camp, an orientation program to jump-start the VANAP experience prior to the Fall term
  • Enrollment in the On the Frontlines: Caring for our Veterans required course (elective credit provided)
  • Activities that develop scholarship and authorship
  • On-site clinical simulation experience with state-of-the art simulators
  • Academic excellence program built into clinical rotations where students learn from VA experts during rounds and inter-professional education
  •  Service learning activities focused on health maintenance, homeless Veterans care, and women's health
  • Benefit from the camaraderie and support from the small group cohort focus and personal VANAP Faculty Advisors
Admission Requirements
  • You must be admitted to the Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing enrolling as a BSN student
  • You must be a naturalized or natural born citizen of the United States
  • Having military experience is not a pre-requisite for admission to the VANAP program, but preference is given to students who are Veterans  
  • Complete online application form.
    CONTACT PERSON:
    BARBARA KAPLAN, RN, MSN
    DIRECTOR VANAP UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM
    Email: BKAPLA3@EMORY.EDU
    Cellphone: 404-626-2476
FAQ

What is the Health Profession Scholarship Program and how can I apply?

The Health Profession Scholarship Program (HPSP) awards scholarships to students receiving education/training in a health care services discipline. Awards will be offered on a competitive basis and are exempt from federal taxation. In exchange for the award, scholarship program participants agree to a service obligation in a VA health care facility.

Information on the application process can be found by visiting the HPSP Scholarship Portal: https://va-ams-info.intelliworxit.com/hpsp/

For further information or questions, contact: HPSPTeam@va.gov

Will participation in VANAP require coursework in addition to my BSN studies?

The curriculum is the same for all BSN students. The only VANAP requirement is for one of the elective courses to be designated as the On the Frontlines: Caring for our Veterans. A myriad of Veteran-centered topics will be covered in this course through lecture, seminar, discussion and best of all, directly from the Veteran patient experiences. Typically, VANAP Scholars will have the opportunity to disseminate a best practice product that is derived from their work in the "On the Frontline" course through poster presentations at local nursing and student nursing conferences.

What does the VANAP Scholar Program clinical rotation look like?

Notable differences to the VANAP clinical experience, is the maintenance of smaller student/faculty ratios in clinical as compared to the traditional BSN clinical experience.  Additionally, VANAP Scholars benefit from on-site clinical simulation experiences that reinforce clinical content from didactic courses and built-in academic excellence program for students to learn from VA experts in the field.  

Will all of my clinical rotations occur at the Atlanta VAHCS?

No, although the Atlanta VAHCS offers premier programs and is a competitive site for nursing student clinical placement, your clinical rotations in maternity and pediatrics will be offered at other Emory-affiliated institutions.

Does the VA offer summer employment opportunities for nursing students?

Yes. After completing one year of nursing school, VANAP Scholars are eligible for the VALOR Program. VALOR is a highly competitive program that offers a full-time paid summer internship that prepares well-qualified students for a career as a Registered Nurse within the Veterans Health Administration.

  • Rising Senior (completed/in the process of completing their junior year) in accredited BSN program with graduation date December of current year or May of the following year  
  • US Citizen
  • Available for 400 hours full time, 40 hours/week during summer months June to August
  • GPA 3.0 or higher on nursing coursework

Atlanta VA Healthcare System VALOR Program students will be appointed at a per annum training rate equal to 80% of the actual salary rate for entry level nurse.  

Does being a VANAP Scholar guarantee employment as a nurse with the VA when I complete my BSN?

As a VANAP Scholar you are given preference to compete for positions at any of the VA Healthcare System facilities nationwide. VANAP Scholar graduates are highly valued and well positioned for employment, however, similar to many programs, employment is not guaranteed.  

Does the VA offer any paid nurse residency programs after I graduate?

Yes, 2 in fact! After passing NCLEX, all students will be eligible for the Transition to Practice (TTP) and Post Baccalaureate Nurse Residency (PBNR) program, where VANAP Scholars are given preference for these salaried programs. TTP and PBNR informational brochures are available upon request.  

I am thinking about my future, what are the long-term benefits of working at the VA (there are many!)?

Please visit: https://www.vacareers.va.gov/Benefits/EmploymentBenefits/

Does this mean that I have to work at the VA when I complete the BSN program?

While one of the goals of VANAP is to enhance recruitment and retention of VA Nurses, you are not obligated to work at the VA post-graduation unless you are the recipient of the VA Health Professional Scholarship Program award.  

What happens if I decide that I am no longer interested in the program after it begins?

While we strongly encourage each VANAP Scholar to complete the program, students may petition to withdraw if necessary.

Contact

For questions or additional information about the VA Nursing Academic Partnership Scholars program, please contact:

Barbara Kaplan, RN, MSN
Emory University Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing
Director Undergraduate Veteran Affairs Nursing Academic Program (VANAP)
Email: bkapla3@emory.edu
Cell: (404) 626-2476

Andrea Alexis, DNP, APRN, MHA
AVAHCS VANAP Director
Nursing Education 1M-116A
(404) 321-6111 Ext. 124797
Email:Andrea.Alexis@va.gov

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