The Northeast Region VA Nursing Alliance (NERVANA) is an academic-practice partnership that UMass Boston Nursing has sustained with the VA Boston/Bedford Health Care Systems since 2007. In addition to CNHS, and these two VA systems, this unique partnership also involves five additional nursing schools: UMass Lowell, Simmons, Regis, Northeastern, and Boston College. Partners are united in the mission to ‘employ an innovative educational model to expand and enrich nursing students and faculty presence in the VAs, to directly educate undergraduate and graduate nursing students in the care of veterans, and to engage students in informatics, patient safety, quality improvement, interprofessional teamwork, and evidence-based practices within integrated systems of care.’
The American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) recognized NERVANA for its outstanding achievements with an Exemplary-Academic-Practice-Partnership-Award in 2014. This NERVANA partnership is championed by Cecilia McVey, MHA, RN, FAAN, Associate Director for Nursing/Patient Care Services and Judy Wendt, MSN, RN, Associate Chief of Nursing Service, Academic Affiliations, VA Boston Healthcare System.
Ongoing NERVANA programs include an annual colloquium on issues in caring for the veteran population, biannual workshops promoting MA Nurse of the Future competencies, post-baccalaureate, and nurse practitioner nurse residency programs, and active collaboration with designated Nurse Scientists. Dr. JoAnn Mulready-Shick, CNHS Clinical Professor, was appointed Nurse Scientist with the VA Boston Healthcare System in 2019 and actively works in the post-baccalaureate nurse residency program and serves as a mentor on numerous DNP student projects.