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Student nurse Wes Olley among seven recruited nationwide to intern in Veterans Affairs facilities

VALOR, the Veterans Affairs' national internship program for high performing nursing students, chose one of Lipscomb's own.

Cate Zenzen  | 

VALOR Interns at the VA

Wes Olley (center) is pictured with the student nurses in the VALOR internship program who worked for 400 hours throughout the summer to develop advanced knowledge and skills in a variety of patient care areas.

Wesley Olley, a senior from from Galloway, NJ, was one of seven nursing students from accredited baccalaureate nursing programs nationwide to be selected for the Veterans Affairs Learning Opportunities Residency (VALOR) Program with the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System. 

VALOR is a national recruitment initiative intended to attract high performing nursing students to work at Veterans Affairs facilities following graduation. 

Olley worked for 400 hours throughout the summer of 2019 to develop advanced knowledge and skills in a variety of patient care areas. Through didactic classroom experiences, rotations to specialty clinical areas and competency-based patient care orientation, Olley certainly got the real-world practice he was looking for when he applied. 

Wes Olley

Lipscomb student nurse Wes Olley was one of seven nationwide chosen for the VALOR program.

“I really wanted an opportunity to practice my clinical skills and critical thinking. I wanted to be more confident and comfortable when interacting with patients, and I knew that by doing this internship, I would be able to successfully accomplish both things,” said Olley.  
As a Lipscomb student nurse, Olley had already spent time in hospital settings through weekly clinicals and educational experiences. The VALOR program built on those experiences as it provides autonomy and day to day participation with patients. As an intern, Olley learned how to take and give shift reports, organize his own shift and build confidence in the skills he’d learned in his nursing studies. 

“Over the summer I had the same patients for a few days in a row, and it was really cool to develop relationships with them. The patients loved sharing their military stories and would readily do so. It was a really cool experience to hear from them and not an opportunity I got to have in other hospitals,” said Olley.  

With a full summer in a hospital setting, Olley’s understanding of the health care system expanded. The VALOR program allows interns to visit other units in the hospital such as the ER, MICU, SICU and the bone marrow transplant unit. This was a great opportunity to see the nursing care required in areas of the hospital with higher acuity and intensity than what Olley was experiencing and made him excited for his future.  

“I realized just how much I am looking forward to being a nurse after graduation, and my experiences helped solidify my passion for health care,” said Olley.