Implementation of a Nursing Veterans' Initiative to Transform Education (INVITE)
Need: To support rural veterans pursuing a career in nursing.
Intervention: The INVITE program improved the curriculum and reworked admission requirements to better support veteran students' experiences in the College of St. Scholastica undergraduate nursing program.
Results: The number of veterans pursuing nursing has more than doubled since program implementation, and all students have reported an increased interest in serving rural communities.
The College of St. Scholastica created a program called
Implementation of a Nursing Veterans' Initiative to
Transform Education (INVITE) to help veterans pursue
nursing careers and provide needed care to veterans and
other rural patients. INVITE reshapes the school's
nursing curriculum by converting rural veterans' military
experiences and skills into course credit when
appropriate, initiating a cohort model (a group of
students who progress through a program together) for
clinical and lab experiences, and making sure all nursing
students and faculty learn about rural and veterans'
Program coordinators partnered with the University of
Minnesota Duluth ROTC program and the 148th Fighter Wing
– Minnesota National Guard to help ROTC nursing
students succeed in both the ROTC and nursing programs.
The INVITE program received a 2016-2018 Health Resources
and Services Administration (HRSA) Health
Workforce grant. After the grant ended, the INVITE
program has been absorbed into general operations and is
now funded by the college.
The INVITE program:
Revised admission requirements for veterans going
into undergraduate nursing
Created a cohort model that incorporates and reflects
students' military experiences
Established a study space/meeting room called the
INVITE room, with technology that facilitates
collaboration and telehealth in addition to the college's
Veteran Resource Center
Revised the nursing curriculum so that all students
learn about veterans' health
Employs faculty with military experience to provide
clinical experiences, advisement, and academic support to
Initiated a college-wide education video series for
all faculty and staff, highlighting veteran community and
rural veteran population health
Implemented an Interprofessional
Care of the Rural Veteran Population course involving
students from both the School of Nursing and the School
of Health Sciences
While completing the Veteran to B.S. in Nursing degree,
students complete fieldwork (both in-person and
telehealth patient care) at St. Luke's and St Louis
County Veteran's Services in Duluth and Community
Memorial Hospital in rural Cloquet.
Under the INVITE program, the number of veteran students
participating in nursing programs has increased over
twofold, and most students have reported an increased
interest in serving rural communities. Additionally, the
program currently has a 96% retention rate of veterans
completing their degree and passing the NCLEX-RN board
exam. To date, 23 veterans have graduated from the
program, and many are working in Minnesota and Wisconsin.
The faculty and staff at the college embraced and
supported this program from the beginning as did many
community veteran organizations. The biggest barrier is
making sure there are enough faculty with veteran
experiences to advise and support the expanding student
Students continue to report that the most helpful aspects
of this initiative are the cohort model, the INVITE room,
and faculty support.
Greg White, Assistant Professor
The College of St. Scholastica School of Nursing
Health workforce education and training
May 15, 2018
Date updated or reviewed
August 1, 2022
Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub,
Implementation of a Nursing Veterans' Initiative to Transform Education (INVITE) [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at:
[Accessed 6 February 2023]
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