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Veteran and Military Health Care

Close up of an American flag overlapped by jungle camouflage cloth, and a stethoscope on top of both.

Veteran and Military Health Care (VMHC) is an emerging health care specialty based on the unique attributes of the veteran and military service member population. Specific needs of this population include an understanding of veteran and military culture, family dynamics, the invisible and visible consequences of war, service-connected conditions, environmental exposures, diversity, resiliency, reintegration, and making change in federal health care delivery systems. This program is a first of its kind in the nation and has been featured in US News and World Report as part of a constellation of initiatives to serve our veteran population. Veterans Care a Collaborative Focus at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus

At the University of Colorado College of Nursing, we believe in helping those who care for our military and veterans. To that end, we now offer a graduate certificate​, master's specialty and post-graduate certificate (second MS in Nursing) with a veteran and military health care specialization. Students can also pursue a combination master's and PhD with VMHC option, or a PhD with a VMHC options. Students who earn their master's degree with VMHC emphasis can also continue on and earn their doctorate of nursing practice through the BS-DNP program.

Courses are online and are available as stand-alone courses to nondegree students in all professions, as well as current CU degree seeking students. Each course is worth 3 graduate-level credits.

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Tuition Rate

The 2019-2020 Tuition Rate for Extended Studies is $690 per credit hour plus fees.


Student Ambassadors



  NURS 6023: Veteran and Military Health Care Systems

  NURS 6018: Home from the Battlefront: Psychological Health Care for Veterans and Service Members

  NURS 6017: On the Home Front: Supporting Veteran and Military Families

  NURS 6019: Wounds of War: Military and Veteran Disability Evaluation

  NURS 6015: Women & War

  NURS 6024: Caring for Veterans: Aging, Chronicity, & End of Life Care

  NURS 6025: Veteran and Military Health Care Internship


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the VMHC Specialty?

Veteran and Military Health Care (VMHC) is a health care specialty based on the unique attributes of the veteran and military service member population and health care delivery systems. Service connected conditions are both visible and invisible. Through the Veteran & Military Health Care curriculum, you’ll learn how to be a leader and innovator in caring for this population, coordination of care and treatment options, and 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. An important aspect of this curriculum is to expose the learner to the nuances of military and veteran culture to expand the knowledge and understanding of the special needs of the service member or veteran in providing care and assisting them in managing their own health and wellness.

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. 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 actually treated regularly at VA hospitals which leaves a very large percentage of the veteran population that are being treated at local hospitals and community health care practices. 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 health care system. 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. The VMHC curriculum features faculty from the Veterans Administration, Military Health System, and community at large. Video about VMHC as a clinical specialty

What are the expected specialty outcomes?
  • Promote health of local to global communities through promotion of safe and effective environments and health care by addressing the interaction among veterans, service members, communities, and their environmental contexts.
  • Manage care to achieve quality, cost-effective, and ethical outcomes in the delivery of health care for veteran and military individuals, families, and populations.
  • Utilize evidence-based and theory-guided best practices in veteran and military health care, emphasizing integration of diverse health care systems for delivering seamless care.
  • Actively engage in self-directed learning to maintain state-of-the-art practice and to facilitate the health of veteran and military individuals, families, and communities.
Are the VMHC courses available online?

Yes! All courses that make up the Veteran and Military Health Care core are delivered completely online.

Who is eligible to apply for the Veteran and Military Health Care (VMHC) Master of Science, Post-Master Graduate Certificate, and Graduate Certificate?

The VMHC Master of Science is open to RNs with an undergraduate degree, the Post-Master Graduate Certificate is open to RNs with a Master of Science in Nursing, and the Graduate Certificate is open to all professionals with an undergraduate degree. ​

Who is eligible to apply for the Veteran and Military Health Care PhD Emphasis?​

Those who are admited into the Health Care Systems, Biobehavioral, or Caring Science PhD pathways​ are eligibile for a VMHC emphasis.​

If I have already completed the VMHC Graduate Certificate, can I transfer my credits?

Yes. 12 credits from the VMHC Graduate Certificate may be transferred toward a Master’s of Science with VMHC specialty.​​

Can I transfer VMHC credits from my Master’s degree to count for a PhD concentration?

Yes. 9 credit hours may be transferred into the PhD program.

How do I enroll?

The VHMC Masters Specialty options are open to those who have completed their BS in Nursing. The courses are offered through the Graduate School at the College of Nursing. Formal admission to the College of Nursing is required. To learn how to apply to the College of Nursing Graduate Program, click on the ‘Admissions’ link in the left sidebar at Once accepted into the program, you will be able to declare a VMHC specialty.

View the application deadlines.

Can I start taking VMHC courses before I am accepted into the Master's or PhD programs?

Yes! VMHC courses can be taken through our Extended Studies department and a maximum of 12 credits can be transferred into your degree program.

When do you accept applications?

Certificate students are accepted every semester. MS and Post-MS Certificate students are accepted for matriculation into the Fall and Spring semesters.