Note's from the Dean's Desk

Taking the Next Step in Service with a Nursing Education Built for Veterans

Dean Marino and her son, CPT. Thomas V. Marino, U.S. Army, at Jefferson College of Nursing’s Veteran’s Day panel discussion.

The education of veterans seeking new careers after service is a major focus here at Jefferson College of Nursing. The College has more than 130 years of experience educating nurses, including alumni who are veterans or service members. I am proud to share that we were just ranked #11 in the 2024 Best Online Programs for Veterans by U.S. News & World ReportThis demonstrates our commitment to assisting service members and veterans in meeting their post-military career goals.

Now more than ever, nursing needs leaders. Veterans are resilient, team-oriented, leader-ready and adaptable in stressful situations. That’s why service members and veterans make incredible nurses. As a former service member and a military mother, I fully appreciate how the skills and experience gained in military service transfer to the nursing field. 

The College works hard to recruit more men and women after they leave the armed services and take up nursing careers. Each year, the College gives preference in awarding its Robert/June Eyerly Scholarship to a student who has served in the military or is the descendant of a veteran.

This year, thanks to a grant from the Independence Blue Cross (IBX) Foundation’s Service Scholars Program, we will provide financial support to Jefferson College of Nursing student veterans or service members to be known as IBX Foundation Service Scholars.

“We’re proud to expand our historic relationship with Jefferson College of Nursing; they are a pivotal partner in this new initiative. We also applaud Dean Marino and Jefferson College of Nursing for the steadfast commitment and recent recognition in delivering a top-ranked master’s in nursing program for veterans,” says Rev.Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake, President, Independence Blue Cross Foundation.

This initiative is top-of-mind for Dr. Susan Aldridge, Thomas Jefferson University Interim President, who says, “We are proud to support veterans who will bring their expertise to the university and the nursing profession. Patients will be the fortunate recipients of their experience and their care. We are grateful to the IBX Foundation for their generous support.”

Jefferson College of Nursing offers several special programs that transform military skills into nursing acumen while addressing service members' and veterans' physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Associate Professor Kathleen Gray, DNP, FNP-C, ensures that concepts regarding veterans' health are included in the curriculum to better prepare nurses working in civilian care facilities.

“It is vital that civilian providers take the time to screen for military service and be aware of the nuances of military culture, and incorporate this into the care plan by actively identifying and addressing relevant behavior health concerns,” says Dr. Gray .

Dr. Gray’s focus on assuring veterans of more effective care also includes an examination of the special challenges facing women, who comprise 10 percent of the veteran population today. She noted that while there is a plethora of research documenting the psychological challenges of male veterans, there is a significant gap in the literature related to female veterans. Dr. Gray is also working on a study detailing the experiences of women transitioning from military to civilian life from a socioeconomic perspective and mental health concerns. 

Service members and veterans make incredible nurses and leaders. The truth is that nursing needs them. Jefferson College of Nursing is honored to support service members’ and veterans’ continued journey in service with a nursing education that’s built for them.