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National nursing conference to address veterans' health needs

Tampa, FL (Nov. 8, 2012) Nursing education and research designed to meet the health needs of veterans, service members and their families will be the focus when he nation's top nurse educators and scientists gather Nov. 13 in Tampa, FL, for a conference hosted by the University of South Florida College of Nursing. The first annual JOINING FORCES TO RESTORE LIVES: Nursing Education and Research in Veterans Health conference will be held at the USF Health Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation (CAMLS) in downtown Tampa.

The conference is part of USF's commitment to support the Joining Forces campaign, a comprehensive national initiative to mobilize all sectors of society to give service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned.

Keynote speaker James L. Harris, DSN, APRN-BC, MBA, CNL, FAAN, deputy chief nursing officer, Office of Nursing Services, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Washington, D.C, will discuss linking nursing education and research to the Joining Forces initiatives. Dr. Harris helps lead the VA's 80,000-plus nursing personnel, but the message he will deliver at the conference is vital to all the nation's registered nurses. While 36 percent of the nation's 23 million veterans receive health care through the VA, the majority seek care outside of the VA health system, usually at local primary care facilities or hospitals in their communities, a 2009 U.S. VA Services report indicates. At 3-million strong, nurses comprise the nation's largest sector of health care professionals.

"The USF College of Nursing is a national leader in educational preparation and nursing research that addresses health care issues unique to service members, veterans and their families," said Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP, FAAN, senior associate vice president of USF Health and dean of the College of Nursing. "We are glad to bring our expertise to the table as we join forces with nursing professionals, educators and nurse scientists across the country in a commitment to this important initiative."

Nursing education and research experts presenting at the conference will come from 13 states: Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Texas and West Virginia.

Attendees at this first-of-its-kind conference will include global nursing executives, scientists, faculty, researchers, educators, advanced practice nurses and registered nurses interested in supporting veterans' health education and research.

Contact: Ashlea Hudak
University of South Florida (USF Health)

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