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Veterans, non-traditional students welcomed at UTA

Thursday, January 31, 2019 • Media Contact: UT Arlington Media Relations

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The University is one of the top colleges in the country for nursing and returning veterans

Veterans, non-traditional students and adults returning to school are finding The University of Texas at Arlington’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation to be a great choice.

College Factual ranked the UTA College of Nursing and Health Innovation No. 1 in Texas.

College Factual ranks the UTA College of Nursing and Health Innovation No. 1 in Texas for veteran friendliness. 

“I transferred to UTA because of the flexibility of its accelerated online nursing program and its reputation for working with student veterans,” said Haylee Carlson, U.S. Air Force veteran and out-of-state transfer nursing student. She still serves in the Air National Guard and will receive her nursing degree in May.

College Factual ranks the UTA College of Nursing and Health Innovation No. 1 in Texas and No. 10 nationally for non-traditional students, and No. 3 in the nation for veteran friendliness. 

“Because I still serve, when military commitments come up, the nursing faculty and my unit work together to allow me to do both,” Carlson said. “At my previous academic institutions, this would have been a huge headache with no resolution. This was not the case at UTA.”

Carlson said the resources provided at UTA made her transition to full-time student and part-time military much easier.

“I was able to give back to fellow veterans during clinicals at the Veterans Administration, partner with veterans in my clinical group and even have veterans as some of my clinical instructors.”

And having peers and instructors who understand the military lifestyle has also been incredibly helpful.

“Veterans are not only welcomed at UTA, but they're also encouraged to succeed and given the tools to help them succeed. That is something I will always be thankful for.”

Erik Wilson, veteran and Minnesota native, completed a degree in biology before joining the Army in 2013 with the goal of becoming a physician assistant. Stateside as part of a rear detachment while his unit was deployed to Afghanistan, his focus quickly changed after a suicide bomber attack wounded 16 soldiers from his unit.

“Being a part of medical evacuations really showed me the role that nurses play and how I could make a difference,” he said. Fully committed to pursuing a nursing degree, he soon discovered UTA’s Accelerated Online program and is now on track to graduate in December.

“UTA had all I wanted and needed, and they have people who really understand the ever-changing military lifestyle. My clinical instructor is retired Army Reserve and was in the same type of unit I was in, and four other members of my clinical group are also veterans,” Wilson said. “Today I am amazed at where I am, how I got here and how close I am to my goal of becoming a nurse. UTA gave me everything I hoped for and more

Beth Mancini, senior associate dean of the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, said UTA’s nursing programs are a fit for both veterans and non-traditional students.

“We have a reputation as an institution that works tirelessly to ensure that all students succeed,” said Mancini, who also is a professor of nursing. “That, coupled with our array of veteran faculty members and our track record of academic excellence, makes us an attractive choice for servicemen and women pursuing careers in nursing.”


 -- Written by Richard Hill