Simmons Nursing on its Partnership with the VA Boston Healthcare System

November 11, 2015

Simmons DEU Spring 2014

Simmons Nursing recognizes the importance of serving the healthcare needs of veterans.

Simmons is a proud member of the Northeast Region VA Nursing Alliance (NERVANA), an academic‐practice partnership with VA Boston Healthcare System. Through unique clinical experiences and workshops like the “Care of the American Veteran” our students and faculty learn about the specific health needs of the veteran population.

From exposure to toxins to traumatic amputation and traumatic brain injury, veterans face health issues that are not typically seen in the general population. This academic‐practice partnership gives students training on how to screen for and treat these conditions, wherever they practice upon graduation.

One of the unique clinical experiences this partnership offers is the dedicated education unit where Sarah Lanahan serves as clinical faculty. She sees firsthand its impact on Simmons students and veterans, “Students and veterans equally gain from each other.”

Judith Wendt, Nursing Affiliation Coordinator at the Boston VA Healthcare System, has made serving and honoring veterans a lifelong professional passion. “Developing best practice clinical education models with Simmons College in order to provide best clinical practice to our veterans is fun and instills a sense of pride for good work at the VA Boston Healthcare System and the future of the next generation of nursing professionals.”

Many Simmons BSN alumnae have been accepted to the Boston VA Healthcare System’s Post‐Baccalaureate Nurse Residency. This program provides additional training for new BSN graduates as they deliver quality care as RNs in a VA health care setting.

Donna Glynn, Assistant Professor of Nursing at Simmons, is a Nurse Scientist at the Boston VA Healthcare System. Her role is to enhance nursing research efforts and is currently evaluating new models of nursing education to improve care to America’s veterans. Dr. Glynn often partners with Simmons students and alumnae on research projects.

Cecilia McVey is the Associate Director of Nursing and Patient Care Services VA Boston Healthcare System. She said of academic‐practice partnerships:

"Every rotation, seminar and information that we provide helps our new graduates prepare to care for our veterans be they in the VA Health Care System or in the community. We are fortunate that many of these experiences at Boston VA have led numerous new graduates to seek a career in VA and thus ensure high quality professionals to provide care in the future. It is a win/win for the veteran, the Boston VA and our new nurses!"


Photo: Simmons BSN Clinical Group at the Brockton VA Campus, Courtesy of Judith Wendt