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  1. Valente, Sharon M. PhD, RN, CS, FAAN


This 4- to 6-month mental health internship program for new graduates vocational nurses (GVNs) involves a 4-month mental health course, a new graduate course, management of assaultive behavior course, and a 1:1 preceptorship in mental health. This successful program has recruited and trained 18 VNs to improve licensed staff/patient ratios in mental health. These new graduates are licensed at the end of 4 months and are working successfully as licensed staff on the psychiatric units. All of these licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) are now completing prerequisites or entering registered nurse (RN) programs to earn an advanced degree. They bring their medical skills, positive attitudes, and therapeutic strategies to contribute to the milieu on the nursing units. They have reduced the facility's licensed staff shortage in mental health.