Active-duty military medics and corpsmen participating in a pilot program in Virginia will be able to earn licenses or credentials recognized by civilian health care organizations, under legislation signed into law this week by Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D).
The bill establishes a pilot program modeled after the Veterans Health Administration Intermediate Care Technician Pilot Program, which operates in 15 VA medical centers. The Virginia measure marks the first effort by a state to offer an expedited path to employment for veteran medics and corpsmen, according to a press release from the office of the governor.
“Today we celebrate a milestone piece of legislation that not only serves our veterans and transitioning service members, but it also takes care of a private business — our health care industry,” said McAuliffe. “We can now transition folks into the health care field, which is a field that desperately needs people to come work in. It is a win-win for everybody.”
The legislation is aimed at easing service members’ transition to civilian careers. Military medics and corpsmen receive extensive health care training while on active duty, but their experiences typically do not translate easily into comparable certifications or licenses required for health care jobs. In many cases, veteran medics and corpsmen may still need to spend several years in a college program before they can obtain a credential, reported Naval Medical Center Portsmouth Public Affairs.
As a result, many service members trained in health care are unemployed after separating because they cannot apply their skills immediately in civilian health care jobs.
“Per capita, we have more veterans than any other state in America,” said McAuliffe. “One in 10 Virginians is a veteran, and we are doing all that we can to integrate them into our workforce. The medics and corpsmen have real-time field experience, and they are a natural fit into our health care workforce.”