Southeastern has been awarded a Veteran Nurses in Primary Care Health Resources and Services Administration grant. The three-year, $1.2 million grant was awarded for the College of Nursing and Health Sciences program LION VIP CARE—Louisiana Increasing Opportunities for Nurse Veterans in Primary Care.

Southeastern is partnering with Federally Qualified Health Centers and State Public Health Units in the Florida Parishes region to provide primary care clinical experiences for undergraduate veteran and active military nursing students.

“LION VIP CARE will provide opportunities for veteran/military undergraduate nursing students to develop primary care competencies and complete community-based clinical training experiences in FQHCs and PHUs located in rural and medically underserved communities,” said School of Nursing Department Head Ken Tillman. “This will be achieved through recruitment, retention, and support of veteran/military undergraduate nursing students and by providing curriculum enhancements and academic clinical partnerships in community-based primary care.”

Tillman said the project will provide ongoing support to veteran/ military undergraduate nursing students by incorporating a student success coach and dedicated nursing academic advisor. A stipend will be provided to student participants while enrolled in nursing courses.

“The LION VIP CARE project will provide a professional development training workshop for nurses on primary care nursing competencies, roles and scope of practice, and offer an interdisciplinary professional training workshop on the health needs of veterans, including chronic disease prevention and control, mental health and substance use disorders, as well as military cultural competence,” he explained.

An additional goal of the project, Tillman said, is to increase employment of veteran/military undergraduate nursing students in community-based primary care settings in rural and medically underserved areas following graduation.

In an effort to assist veteran students, Southeastern houses an Office of Veteran Services that serves as an intermediary between veterans, or their family members, who are seeking or receiving educational benefits and Veterans Benefits Administration. The office strives to provide veteran students with the tools and education benefits needed to succeed in college.

Southeastern was also named a 2019 Military Friendly School for the seventh consecutive year. Viqtory Media, publisher of “G.I Jobs,” states the listing honors the top colleges, universities and trade schools that are doing the most to embrace the nation’s military service members, veterans, and spouses as students and to ensure their success on campus.

For more information on LION VIP CARE, visit the program’s webpage or email

The LION VIP CARE project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $1.2 million dollars. The contents of this press release are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

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