Veteran Healthcare program

Nursing, MS – Veteran and Military Healthcare

Offered by:
University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

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The online Master of Science in Nursing (MS Nursing) – Veteran and Military Healthcare (VMHC) degree is a healthcare specialty based on the unique attributes of the veteran and military service member population and health care delivery systems.  Through the Veteran & Military Healthcare master's program, you’ll learn how to be a leader and innovator in caring for this population and discover how to coordinate care and treatment options. You will gain an understanding of not only the veterans dealing with physical and psychological issues of war and military service, but also how to best understand and communicate with the loved ones of those veterans.

One in ten patients in the United States is a veteran. One in four dying patients in the United States is a veteran. Due to the circumstances that these individuals have lived through, whether they have deployed or not, they require special care. Service-connected conditions are both visible and invisible. This online program is focused on a holistic approach to treating veterans and military personnel.

While most people assume that veterans are typically treated at VA hospitals, that is not necessarily true. Only about 40% of veterans are treated regularly at VA hospitals, leaving a very large percentage of the veteran population that are being treated at local hospitals and community healthcare practices. Without a true understanding of how to best treat these individuals, local medical personnel can easily misdiagnose or mistreat patients.

Understanding and helping these patients navigate the systems available to them while innovating to assist veterans more efficiently in the future is essential to our healthcare system. The US Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) and Military Health System (MHS) facilities operate on a $200 billion per year budget and serve over 30 million veterans and military personnel.

This online program is one of the first in the nation to focus specifically on veteran health care and understanding all of their needs including injury, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicide prevention, depression, rehabilitation, chronic conditions, end-of-life care and the other physical and psychological needs of veterans.

If you have a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing and are looking for a way to better serve those that have fought for our freedom, the online MS in Nursing – Veteran and Military Healthcare program is for you.


Program Details

The online Master of Science in Nursing — Veteran and Military Healthcare program focuses on the specific needs of our veterans including healthcare delivery systems, maintaining a ready force, care during military operations, invisible and visible consequences of war, veteran and military culture, and family dynamics.

The veteran culture is complex and unique to each veteran. Military culture and the experiences of transitioning back into the civilian world all impact veteran's lives, the lives of those closest to them, and their overall health and well-being. Having in-depth knowledge and understanding of these cultural influences on our soldiers and veterans will enable you to be more successful in providing patient/family-centered care for these individuals.

An important aspect of this curriculum is to expose you to the nuances of the military and veteran culture in order to expand your knowledge and understanding of the special needs of these individuals while providing care and assisting them in managing their own health and wellness. The VMHC programs, including the online master's program and online graduate certificate, feature faculty from the Veterans Administration, Military Health System and Military communities.​

As a fully online degree, the MS in Veteran & Military Healthcare program offers schedule flexibility, but still provides access to the same high-quality professors and content of an in-person program at the University of Colorado Denver. Whether you’re a VA nurse looking to move up or a private practice nurse focused on being able to better serve your veteran patients, this master’s program is the best way to do so.

Upon completion of the VMHC nursing online program, students will be prepared to incorporate pertinent knowledge, values, and abilities for direct and indirect provider roles to:

  • Participate in an interdisciplinary healthcare team as a leader and an active member to promote quality and safe care at the patient, family, population, or system levels.
  • Develop a professional, ethical, caring, and culturally sensitive approach when working with veteran and military patients, families, populations, or systems.
  • Integrate patient care technologies to improve veteran and military patient, family, population, or system outcomes.
  • Use theoretical frameworks to address veteran and military patient, family, population, or system needs.
  • Integrate evidence-based knowledge into managing the care of veteran and military patients, families, populations, or systems to improve and protect health and wellness in Colorado and beyond.
  • Formulate strategies to advocate for veteran and military patients, families, populations, systems, or the nursing profession in Colorado and beyond.

You can get started right away, even before you’ve been accepted into the Master’s program by taking VMHC courses through the CU Continuing Education and Professional Development department. The credits you earn here will transfer directly to your master’s program once accepted.

Tuition and Fees

Investing in your future is a big decision. However, becoming a fully online student at the University of Colorado is a high-quality and affordable option for learners of all types. Tuition and fees are based largely on the degree program you enroll in.

The tuition amount assessed is determined based on which University of Colorado campus, school, or college is offering your degree program, as well as if it is at the undergrad or graduate level, and finally your resident status. Visit our tuition and financial aid page for more information.

Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.

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The online MS in Nursing — Veteran and Military Healthcare program consists of 32 credit hours of graduate coursework including 12 credits in the Master of Science in Nursing core, 18 credits in the Veteran and Military Healthcare specialty, and a two-credit practicum through an internship.

For this program, two courses per semester is considered full-time. The program can typically be completed within six semesters, but you have up to seven years to complete your MS in Nursing — Veteran and Military Healthcare degree. Your program counselor will help you identify the best path to graduation and ideal course load based on your circumstances. With our fully online degree option, you are able to take classes as they fit into your schedule.


Admission requirements and deadlines vary based on program. In addition, you will have different requirements depending on if you are a first time student, a transfer student, or an international student.

Learn more about the admissions process by filling out the form above or contacting our Enrollment Team today.

Career Outlook

The healthcare industry in the United States continues to grow and the emphasis on veterans and military personnel is becoming more and more important every single day. Ten percent of all patients in the US are veterans, so having the skills to accurately and empathetically communicate with and treat these individuals will separate you from other nursing candidates.

Here are some of the career opportunities that you could expect after graduation:

  • Veteran & Military Healthcare Professional: $67,000
  • VA Registered Nurse: $73,935


The Master of Science in Nursing - Veteran and Military Healthcare program consists of 32 credits, split up between the nursing core courses (12 total credits), VMHC specialty courses (18 total credits), and a practicum/internship (2 credits). Two courses per semester is considered full-time.

Example Courses

NURS 6023 — Veteran and Military Healthcare Systems
Sociopolitical, economic, ethical and current national health care issues confronting the veteran and military healthcare delivery systems. Examination of overall structure, functions, and processes, and influence of these contextual elements on policies guiding/regulating the organization/delivery of services.

NURS 6024 — Caring for Veterans: Aging, Chronicity & End of Life Care
Explores aging/chronicity in veteran populations, environmental exposures in military environments, and long term effects of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive materials. Examines specific service-connected conditions for veterans of Vietnam, Gulf War and Iraq/Afghanistan, as well as end-of-life care.

NURS 6018 — Home from the Battlefront
Introduction to veteran/military culture and historical perspectives of war. Exploration of post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, suicidality, and effects of psychological health on family and parenting. Issues related to diversity, reintegration, redeployment, healthcare navigation and ethics.

NURS 6017 — Supporting Veteran and Military Families
Dynamics and attributes of military/veteran families during and after military service. Explores issues of deployment, reintegration, parenting, compassion fatigue, and living with sequelae of combat stress (family violence, suicide, homelessness, PTSD). Evaluates the preparation of civilian providers and family care interventions.