JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas –
The 59th Medical Wing is partnering with the Baptist School of Health Professions in San Antonio to provide an opportunity for Aerospace Medical Service Technicians to participate in a program that leads to certification as a Licensed Vocational Nurse.
Over the last year, nine Airmen graduated, passing National Council of State Boards of Nursing examinations, and were the first LVNs in the 59th MDW’s inaugural transition course.
After acceptance into the program, Airmen complete three months of in-residence training through the partnership with the civilian health professionals’ organization.
“The partnership is based upon a common commitment to excellence, a shared core value of safety and a desire for quality outcomes,” said Donna Wallis, director of Vocational Nursing Education. “The primary challenge prior to implementation of the program was to ensure the curriculum design will enhance the existing knowledge base, meet state criteria, and incorporate credit for prior college work. The solution was to complete an assessment and statistical evaluation of gaps in knowledge, address the educational findings and design an evidence-based curriculum.”
Ordinarily, completing the program would take a year. With the cooperation of the Baptist Health System, the didactic and clinical portions of the curriculum recognizes the Airmen’s previous training and education, reducing completion time by 75 percent.
After successfully completing the training and the licensure exam, the LVNs engage in nine months of hands-on training at a local BHS facility, which is critical to certifying the skillsets needed as an Air Force LVN.
“The LVNs are able to work within, and expand, their scope of practice in their training, and will be able to continue delivering high quality care to our CONUS and deployed population once they complete it,” Chief Master Sgt. Alando Respress, aerospace medical technician functional manager said. “The certification allows our LVN medical technicians the opportunity to easily roll into any civilian platform for additional training or sustainment of skills.”
Currently, four additional Airmen have begun phase two and are now conducting the hands-on portion, with the next available course scheduled to begin in spring 2019.
Course qualifications include passing of exams, a solid record of performance, skill level commensurate with rank and recommendations by flight and squadron commanders. Those interested in signing up for the program should speak with their functional manager.