Saginaw Valley State University's Department of Nursing and the Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center in Saginaw have been designated as a Veteran's Affairs (VA) Nursing Academy by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Academic Affiliations, joining 14 other partnerships in the country to have this prestigious designation.

The partnership is part of the Michigan Teaming Tactically Educating Nurses (MITTEN) Consortium that also includes the Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Battle Creek VA Medical Centers and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Nursing.  The VA Nursing Academy is a five year pilot program for the competitively selected VA-nursing school partnerships funded through the Veterans Health Administration Office of Academic Affairs which enables the building of stronger and mutually beneficial relationships between nursing schools and VA facilities.

Through this relationship, the partners are working jointly to:

  1. Expand faculty and professional development
  2. Increasing nursing student enrollment, primarily in baccalaureate programs although some increases in graduate programs may occur,
  3. Providing opportunties for educational and practice innovations, and
  4. Increasing recruitment and retention of VA nurses as a result of enhanced roles in nursing education.

Additional information can be found at the VA Nursing Academy website: 


You can also personally contact the Saginaw Program Directors:

Barb Johnson, RN, MSN                               Bonnie McKay Harmer, Ph.D., RN
Aleda E. Lutz VA Medical Center                 Assistant Professor of Nursing
VA Nursing Academy Program Director        Project Director, VA Nursing Academy
1500 Weiss Street                                      221 Health & Human Services Building, SVSU
Saginaw, MI  48602                                    7400 Bay Road, University Center, MI  48710
barbara.johnson19@va.gov                        bmharmer@svsu.edu