In the UK, military veterans largely receive care from civilian nurses in civilian NHS hospitals. This study proposes that the nurses providing this care require an understanding of the unique experiences and specific health needs of veterans in order to deliver the appropriate care.
In the UK, military veterans will receive care by civilian nurses in civilian hospitals. We propose that the nurses providing this care require an understanding of the unique experiences and specific health needs of veterans to deliver evidence-based care. Our aim was to conduct an integrative review of published literature to explore how nursing programmes prepare nurses to care for the military veteran population in civilian hospitals. Our search generated sixteen papers focused on nurse education in higher education institutions. Several papers focused on simulation as a teaching method for veteran-specific health issues or curriculum developments with educational innovations such as online courses. Six papers focusing on the continuing professional education of nurses in the clinical setting were included as supplementary information. All papers reviewed were US focused and dated between January 2011 and September 2015. Our search concluded that there is a gap in knowledge in this subject area within a UK context, therefore our review includes UK background information to support the US findings. Civilian nurses need educational preparation to understand the specific needs of veterans. Educational institutions in the US have responded to nationwide initiatives to undertake that preparation. More empirical studies need to be undertaken to develop, test and evaluate educational innovations for preparing students and nurses delivering care to military veterans in civilian healthcare settings.
Cooper, L., Andrew, S. and Fossey, M. Educating Nurses to Care for Military Veterans in civilian hospitals: an integrative literature review. Nurse Education Today 2016 Vol 47, 68-73.