University of South Florida

College Factual names USF number one in top 10 ranking of veteran-friendly nursing schools

New USF College of Nursing ranking reported in Military Times

Tampa, FL (May 15, 2015) – The University of South Florida College of Nursing has been named the number 1 veteran-friendly nursing school in the nation, Military Times reports in a supplement to its Best for Vets series of survey-based rankings. USF gets top billing by College Factual in a separate computer-based ranking of the top 10 veteran-friendly colleges for a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

Published earlier this week in Military Times, the ranking is based on such factors as affordability, size of the college’s veteran population and commitment to veteran-related programs. The description notes that USF “offers a special nursing degree for veterans who have trained as medics” —  the federally-funded College of Nursing program known as V-CARE, led by Rita D’Aoust, PhD, associate dean of academic affairs and interprofessional initiatives.

Center for Advanced Medical Learning and  Simulation (CAMLS): The newly opened hightech center provides realistic training in simulated  combat environments for certified registered nurse  anesthetists (CRNA’s), nurse practitioners, and other  interprofessional healthcare providers. With the recent  move to CAMLS, USF Nurse Anesthesia faculty and  students have access to world-class civilian and military  patient simulation technology and opportunities for  interprofessional experiences that will give them a  decided advantage when they enter their profession.

L to R: Charlotte Symonds and Chad Koerlin, students in the USF Health Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist Program with LaSonya D. Malbrough, DNP, CRNA, USF assistant professor of nursing. — Photo by Ashlea Bailey, USF College of Nursing, 2012.

To increase collaboration across several military-focused projects, the college implemented the Research and Education to Rehabilitate and Restore the Lives of Veterans (RESTORE LIVES) initiative. To encourage a military-friendly culture, the college designed Challenge coins to recognize college and community members for their military service. A military liaison was also appointed to enhance partnerships with organizations serving veterans and those on active duty.

“We’re extremely proud of the endless opportunities we’ve created for veterans, service members and their families in all areas including research, education and clinical practice,” said Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, senior associate vice president of USF Health and dean of the College of Nursing. “This recognition proves that we’re heading in the right direction.”

Through RESTORE LIVES, the College of Nursing created several programs to benefit the military population. These include V-CARE, a bachelor’s degree building upon military health care training and experience, and Accelerated Resolution Therapy (ART), a research initiative investigating a promising technique to treat military service members and veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), including sub-studies related to women in combat. The college also holds an annual Joining Forces to Restore Lives national conference, which will be held this fall in Cumbria, United Kingdom.

To learn more about USF Nursing’s veterans initiatives watch video here. 

-USF Health-
USF Health’s mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; and the USF Physician’s Group. The University of South Florida is a global research university ranked 50th in the nation by the National Science Foundation for both federal and total research expenditures among all U.S. universities. For more information, visit





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