USF and VA Northern California Health Care System Receive $4.6 million to Train VA Nurses and Create Residency Program

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs program helps meet growing need to educate Veteran-centric nurses

SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 20, 2015)

Veteran Affairs Northern California Health Care System (VANCHCS) and the University of San Francisco’s School of Nursing and Health Professions (SONHP) have been awarded funding for a five-year program to establish a Veteran Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership (VANAP). This partnership will help unify and promote clinical and academic resources, increase baccalaureate student enrollment, and broaden clinical training capacity in the VA system.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the VA Nursing Academic Partnership will be offered at USF’s Sacramento Campus and will subsidize six VA faculty, four USF faculty, and two part-time program directors providing joint oversight of VANAP. Each cohort will be comprised of 20 students who will do the clinical portion of the program at VA sites. The goal of the VANAP is to create a model of sustainability for educating well-qualified nurses with specialized training in the health issues facing Veterans.

“We are honored to be in an academic partnership with the University of San Francisco,” said Kathryn Bucher, RN, MSN, NE-BC, associate director for Patient Care Services/Nurse Executive at VA Northern California Health Care System. “This program will provide both entities with a platform to champion patient-centered care and to prepare nurses to deliver quality health care for our Veterans.”

“The continuity of care in the VA is extremely important,” said Bucher. “In simple terms, the partnership with the University of San Francisco will help us retain our workforce by offering our nurses the opportunity for a higher education—expanding their skills and creating new career paths within the VA. Both parties are invested in the success of Veteran Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership and look forward to seeing the results of a new generation of prepared nurses ready to deliver high-quality health to today’s Veterans.”

“It is an honor and privilege to formalize an academic-practice partnership with the VA of Northern California,” said USF School of Nursing and Health Professions Dean Judith Karshmer. “The VANAP funding allows us to not only create outstanding clinical learning opportunities for students, but provides the infrastructure to develop academic expertise among VA and USF based faculty and positively impact the culture of VA-centric health care.”

Both USF and VA faculty will be integral to the development and implementation of new programs in staff development, nursing education, continuing education, performance improvement, leadership, management, and research. Graduates of the VANAP program will earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of San Francisco. For more information, please visit

To request media interviews about the Veteran Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership, please contact Anne-Marie Devine Tasto, senior director of media relations for USF at (415) 422-2697 or, or Tara Ricks, public affairs officer for the VA Northern California Health Care System, at (916) 843-9247 or

About the VA Northern California

The Department of Veterans Affairs Northern California Health Care System (VANCHCS) is an integrated health care delivery system, offering a comprehensive array of medical, surgical, rehabilitative, primary, mental health and extended care to Veterans in Northern California.

VANCHCS serves an area consisting of more than 377,700 Veterans dispersed over a wide geographic area spanning approximately 40,000 square miles. The health system is comprised of a medical center in Sacramento; a rehabilitation and extended care facility in Martinez; seven outpatient clinics, a Substance Abuse Treatment Center in Oakland; and dental clinics in Vallejo, Sacramento, and Redding. For more information, please visit

About the University of San Francisco

The University of San Francisco is located in the heart of one of the world’s most innovative and diverse cities and is home to a vibrant academic community of students and faculty who achieve excellence in their fields. Its diverse student body enjoys direct access to faculty, small classes, and outstanding opportunities in the city itself. USF is San Francisco's first university, and its Jesuit Catholic mission helps ignite a student’s passion for social justice and a desire to “Change the World from Here.”  For more information, please visit

USF’s Sacramento Campus is located near the heart of the city’s historic business district and blocks from the state Capitol building. USF has served the Sacramento area for more than 40 years, offering classes in business, health, and education at both the graduate and undergraduate level. The Sacramento Campus is one of four USF branch campuses—including San Jose, Pleasanton and Santa Rosa. For more information, please visit