Baylor University's Louise Herrington School of Nursing Joins American Association of Colleges of Nursing to Support Veterans and Military Families

April 13, 2012

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Waco, Texas (April 13, 2012) - Baylor University's Louise Herrington School of Nursing is among more than 525 schools of nursing in the United States that have pledged to enhance the quality of health care available to veterans and their families by signing on to support the Joining Forces campaign.

Joining Forces is a national initiative to support and honor America's service members and their families. The initiative aims to educate, challenge, and spark action from all sectors of our society - citizens, communities, businesses, schools, non-profits, faith-based institutions, philanthropic organizations, and government - to ensure military families have the support they have earned.

Spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, Joining Forces focuses on three key priority areas - employment, education, and wellness, while engaging in a comprehensive effort to raise awareness about the service, sacrifice, and needs of military families.

"There are several generations of new nurses who entered practice after our Vietnam War era, who have not experienced caring for the war-related needs of our combat veterans and their families," said Shelley F. Conroy, Ph.D., dean and professor, Louise Herrington School of Nursing at Baylor.

"In addition, frequent and long deployments of our soldiers have had an impact on the psychological health and social relationships of our veterans and their families. We join forces with our national professional organizations in the effort to educate our nurses how to recognize and treat these unique needs and problems encountered by our veterans in service to our country."

Led by the American Nurses Association, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the National League for Nursing, in coordination with the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, nursing organizations and schools have committed to educating current and future nurses on how to recognize and care for veterans impacted by post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression, and other combat-related issues, in ways appropriate to each nurse's practice setting.

Nursing schools have committed by 2014 to:

• Educating America's future nurses to care for our nation's veterans, service members, and their families facing post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression, and other clinical issues;

• Enriching nursing education to ensure that current and future nurses are trained in the unique clinical challenges and best practices associated with caring for military service members, veterans, and their families;

• Integrating content that addresses the unique health and wellness challenges of our nation's service members, veterans, and their families into nursing curricula;

• Sharing teaching resources and applying best practices in the care of service members, veterans, and their families;

• Growing the body of knowledge leading to improvements in health care and wellness for our service members, veterans, and their families; and

• Joining with others to further strengthen the supportive community of nurses, institutions, and health care providers dedicated to improving the health of service members, veterans, and their families.

About Baylor University

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, classified as such with "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions.

About Louise Herrington School of Nursing

The Baylor Louise Herrington School of Nursing was established in 1909 as a diploma program within Baylor Hospital in Dallas, which is now Baylor University Medical Center, and in 1950 became one of the six degree-granting schools of Baylor University. The first bachelor of science in nursing degrees were awarded in 1954, establishing the school as one of the oldest baccalaureate nursing programs in the United States.

In 1999, the School was renamed the Louise Herrington School of Nursing after Louise Herrington Ornelas, a 1992 Baylor Alumna Honoris Causa, made a $13 million endowment gift to the school. The School of Nursing offers a bachelor of science in nursing degree and a master of science in nursing degrees in advanced neonatal nursing, nursing administration and management, and family nurse practitioner programs, which are accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. The School also offers a nurse midwifery doctorate in nursing practice.

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