Supporting Veterans: Sourcing Military Personnel Financial Aid for Certification
By Vicki Gremelsbacker
As we honor our veterans this fall, we would also like to celebrate that much work has been done to encourage education and credentialing for our valued veterans and Service members.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), through the GI Bill, provides eligible Service members and veterans financial assistance with licensing and certification. Credentialing organizations need to be pre-approved by the National Association of State Approving Agencies (NASAA). Once approved by NASAA, veterans and Service members may receive reimbursement for examination fees through the GI Bill. The GI Bill pays up to $2,000 per test to eligible candidates.
Each branch of the military service also encourages credentialing in relevant occupations. Among the benefits of doing so is retaining personnel and helping service members transition to the civilian workforce. The Department of Defense Credentialing Opportunities On-Line (DOD COOL) website has a plethora of information about how credentialing organizations can support military personnel. There are currently about 2,400 approved credentialing programs.
To be approved by the DOD COOL, a credentialing organization must:
1. Be accredited by a nationally recognized, third-party personnel certification program accreditor [for example, ANSI National Accreditation Board (ANAB), International Accreditation Services (IAS), International Certification Accreditation Council (ICAC), National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), or Accreditation Board for Specialty Nursing Certification (ABSNC)];
2. Be sought or accepted by employers within the industry or sector involved as a recognized, preferred, or required credential for recruitment, screening, hiring, retention, or advancement purposes;
3. Be endorsed by a nationally recognized trade association or organization representing a significant part of the industry or sector, where appropriate;
4. Grant licenses that are recognized by the Federal government or a State government or meet credentialing standards of a Federal agency.
Nurses Organization of Veterans Affairs (NOVA) is a nationwide, nonprofit professional organization whose members are nurses working for the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and Clinics. NOVA’s mission is to educate, communicate, and advocate for the Department of Veterans Affairs nurse professionally, personally, and legislatively. NOVA has established a number of partnerships with various nursing organizations to provide NOVA members with discounts on certifications and recertifications.
PTC would like to take a moment to thank all of the military personnel and their families who make sacrifices every day to protect our country.