University of San Francisco Graduates First Cohort of Nurses Focused on Veterans

VA partnership helps meet growing need for veteran-centric nurses

SAN FRANCISCO (Aug. 11, 2016) — The University of San Francisco (USF) School of Nursing and Health Professions is proud to announce the inaugural class of graduates who participated in the Veteran Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership (VANAP), a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs funded program with the Veteran Affairs Northern California Health Care System (VANCHCS) and USF’s School of Nursing and Health Professions to educate well-qualified nurses with specialized training in the health issues facing veterans. This first class of 18, graduating with a bachelor of science in nursing, will be recognized during a formal pinning ceremony this Friday, Aug. 12 at 9 a.m. in Sacramento.

This program, designed as a year-round, two-year curriculum for transfer students who have completed their science prerequisites, is distinctive in that nursing students conduct all of their adult clinical rotations in VA facilities, gaining in-depth knowledge of veteran care issues. By working closely with veterans from the very beginning of the program, students are better equipped to care for this growing population. With thousands of veterans returning home from Afghanistan and Iraq, the demand for highly trained nurses equipped with the skills and sensitivity required to serve the unique needs of veterans has never been greater.

“The more I talked to and worked with the veterans during my education, the more I realized why this program is special,” said Amy Phan, one of the 18 USF nursing students graduating next week. “Many of the veterans have such positive spirits, even when they’re in the hospital. It’s really rewarding to be able to care for, listen to, and talk with the veterans who have served our country. They have been through a lot more than most and have such a different perspective on the world. I’m inspired by this population and eager to use my nursing skills to promote their well-being.”

Another goal of the program is to help transform and improve the ways the VA delivers care now and in the future by introducing more academic rigor and evidence-based practice measures for clinical staff.

“We are thrilled to welcome the graduates from USF’s first class of the VA Nursing Academic Partnership to the nursing profession,” said USF School of Nursing and Health Professions Dean Judith Karshmer. “Current statistics indicate that as many as 70% of eligible veterans receive their care in local community hospitals and clinics. Therefore, preparing these students in veteran care, in addition to teaching them how to treat the general population, will bring much-needed expertise and insight that veterans so desperately deserve.”

To request media interviews about the Veteran Affairs Nursing Academic Partnership or to cover the Aug. 12 pinning ceremony, please contact Anne-Marie Devine Tasto, senior director of media relations for USF at (415) 422-2697 or

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 dynamic 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 center 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