Nurse Retention: More Nurses Needed to Care for Veterans

Written by LeAnn Thieman, CSP, August 5th, 2014

To address an urgent need, more nurses are needed to care for veterans. For better health care for veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, a foundation has awarded grants to nursing schools for scholarships designed to improve their care.

Fifty-seven schools were given grants by the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare. Scholarships will be provided to doctoral nursing students to study deployed veterans’ health problems. The goal is for them to graduate then treat veterans and their families, and teach nursing students in academic and clinical settings about veterans’ specific health issues.

veteransMany returning veterans are coping with amputations and head injuries. 320,000 returning veterans have multiple injuries. One out of every five returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has some sort of mental health diagnosis, whether it’s PTSD, traumatic brain injury, or depression.

These are lifelong injuries and nurses are going to be caring for them throughout their lifetimes, so this is a new type of care.

Many veterans get their medical care outside of the VA so all medical providers need to be educated about their medical needs to avoid missed diagnosis and overlooked problems, plus insuring that appropriate referrals are made. Education tailored to understanding veterans’ experiences is essential to treating those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

We will need more nurses to address this need. To learn more strategies on nurse recruitment and nurse retention visit SelfCare for HealthCare™. Contact me today to discuss a customized program for your staff.

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