Illinois to Streamline Certification for Veterans

February 11, 2013 |

If you spent your military career as a medic, there’s little reason why you should work through an entire civilian program to become a nurse — that’s the thought driving a new initiative The Southern Illinoisan reports will be unveiled on Wednesday. Rather than proving their abilities in redundant tests, veterans will be able to use their military occupational specialty as proof of their skills. This initiative will start out by identifying qualified service members to serve in the medical field, according to Governor Quinn.

“There is a lot of momentum on this nationally,” said Erica Borggren, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.

Borggren said the Illinois likely will focus initially on identifying how to match up veterans’ training with jobs in the medical field.

“It’s certainly where we’re looking first,” Borggren said.

With a plan to go operational within the year, the initiative will allow institutes of higher education to create programs catered towards veterans with medical expertise. If other states follow suit, soon veterans all over the U.S. might be able to expedite the transition between military and civilian careers.

For more information about getting degrees and certificates after the military, check out the education section of

About Ho Lin

Ho Lin is an editor at His interests include naval history, the New York football Giants, and loud rock music.


  1. Edwin says:

    This should be the case with all careers. Sometimes, the reasons I find myself applying for jobs is because of the redundancy of what they make you go through. If youre a Medic who’s “seen it all” why wouldnt you hold the same or more knowledge as a Nurse who’s been out of school for a year. This applys to so many other jobs too. Police, engineering, etc.

    • SgtJack says:

      Being a field medic doesn't qualify you as a nurse. A nursing degree stresses the theory behind the nursing skills. This allows a nurse to better serve both his/her patient and the patient's doctor.
      While "seeing it all" in the field goes a long way toward preparing for a nursing career it is no substitute for the book knowledge and understanding that comes with a degree

      • Richard Lewandowski says:

        I was a Navy Corpsman. '66-'70. Went to nursing school after discharge. I agree that the knowledge of the book and the theory behind the skills is important for the training. What I found useless was the 'lab' hours needed to 'learn' how to make a bed, transfer a patient, pass a tube and give an injection etc. Been doing those things for years. Had more 'time on it' than the instructors. Thats an area that should be streamlined. R.N. since '73

  2. Eric says:

    Why just nursing? How about Public Affairs Officers with more than 20 years experience who get to the civilian world and are told they do not have the qualifications. When in reality – most veterans are more qualified to do the job than the civilians themselves. I have had to experience this myself after retiring from the military.

  3. Lee says:

    Granted, because in the services, you are assigned a job with a lot more responsibility faster than you would be in civilian life. You are given primary jobs, and secondary jobs of equal importance. Just take for example the fact that on a carrier, everyone has a job, but at the time of a fire, everyone becomes a fireman as a secondary mos.

  4. Edward Mathews says:

    As a combat medic and someone who completed 91c school (LPN) training why wouldn’t I have been considered a top candidate for the RN program, I met the criteria and prerequisites for the nursing program and the same holds true for anyone going through those programs today, but this type of thinking did not exist when I got out in 94′ therefore I would have had to complete all that training again, it’s not the private sector that dictated this it was the schools, their in the business of making money plain and simple and if it takes the state or federal government to step in to address the issue then so be it…. It’s a waste of educational benefits and other federal and state funding for a veteran to repeat course and train on a skill set they already have..

    • Ron N says:

      It is the Nurse Practice Act that was put in place by the government as to the standards of training and education requirements for Nurses. The schools are just following the law which has stringent requirements for Nurses and their education. As a former military member in the medical field who “saw it all” and now a civilian Trauma Nurse I too was frustrated my skills and knowledge meant nothing but those rules are governed by law which it seems they may be addressing but I live in illinois and the government would screw up a wet dream so don’t hold your breath as to a miracle fix here. Also I saw a bunch of boneheads make it through military training. The standards in the civilian world are much higher. Below 80% and you fail. Time will tell. RN RN

  5. Steve says:

    I got out in 94 also as a field medic and operating room technician. I took all my rereq's and I graduated from EVMS Surgical Assistant Program. I am know working as an independent surgical assistant in illinois. But healthcare is changing and I'm not to confident in the future.

  6. Greg Moore RN says:

    Look at a '70s program titled MEDIHC (military Experience Directed I:nto Health Careers)> Co sponsored by DoD and the then jDHEW. Non profit, office in every state helping 'Nam vets in the transition.