By Logistic Specialist Seaman Squadrito S. Giovanni, Naval Medical Center San Diego, Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO - Naval Medical Center San Diego's, (NMCSD) Navy college office in collaboration with National University (NU) launched a first of its kind educational curriculum on base for Sailors interested in obtaining nursing degrees May 3.
The courses are designed so that within months a Sailor seeking to fulfill their pre-nursing required science courses will be completed and eligible to receive an Associate's degree in pre-nursing and move on to complete a Bachelors of Science Nursing degree.
Upper graduate degrees are also available such as a Doctorate Degree in Business Administration of Quality System Management and Specialization in Healthcare Systems.
Sharon Dial, Director of Education at NMCSD, had a vision five years ago about how education could positively impact current readiness.
"You want to be able to assist the troops into getting what they need to make them a better person" said Dial. "To enable them to go higher in their position or to make them a better Sailor."
Prior to the creation and implementation of this program, Sailors seeking to enrich their skills and follow an academic career path in nursing at NMCSD had to utilize academic institutions in the community. Before Sailors would register on a waiting list that \could take up two years in order to begin classes for Associates Pre-Nursing. The typical duration of Sailor's orders to a command is between two to three years. This created a problem that is now being resolved according to Sharon Dial.
"Our mission is to develop the Navy's workforce by providing education and Training opportunities that build personal, professional and leadership Competencies in support of mission readiness." said Dial.
Off base the fees can add up to be more than $1,500 per pre-requisites class, likely after Tuition Assistance and other forms of financial aid the remainder would be paid for out of pocket by the Sailor which does not include the cost for books.
NMCSD's campus will be able to cut the cost of the class to a reduced fee of $750 which can be covered by Tuition Assistance, but students will still have to provide for their own books. There will no longer be a two year waiting list for Sailors, with new classes beginning every month there are 12 opportunities per year to earn credits toward an Associates or a higher degree.
NMCSD offers a variety of healthcare programs. For example, Navy Medicine launched the Reintegrate, Educate and Advance Combatants in Healthcare (REACH) program for wounded, ill or injured service member's transition from their military and interested in a civilian career in the health field.
Kristian Salonen, A Marine Reservist, is taking a recommended course prior to pr-nursing classes on NMCSD's campus to help him reach his goal of becoming an active duty Registered Nurse.
"This chemistry class is a recommended class for pre-requisite Anatomy and Physiology" said Salonen. "For me personally, being around other military learners is a real plus because of the level of motivation and maturity even among younger students is much higher. It really brings up the level of the entire class. My academic advisors are helpful, every time I have a question the response is the next day."
These programs are not just open for Sailors but to all service members, veterans, beneficiaries, DoD contractors, and spouses that are interested in taking advantage of this resource.
NU already holds accreditation for Medical Enlisted Commissioning Program and therefore is up to speed and prepared to meet Sailor's specific goals. New classes are held every academic quarter. Currently there are 35 students enrolled and the next class starting July 5 is already full, seats are limited to 35.
For more information on NMCSD visit: http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd/Pages/default.aspx