Educating nurses to care for military veterans in civilian hospitals: An integrated literature review


This article reviews the literature surrounding educating nurses to care for military veterans and seeks to understand how the care of veterans is being incorporated into civilian nurse education and training in educational institutions.


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. This study's 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. The search for this study generated sixteen papers that were 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 in 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.

Full Reference

Educating nurses to care for military veterans in civilian hospitals: An integrated literature review. Nurse Educ Today. 2016; 47:68-73 (ISSN: 1532-2793) Cooper L; Andrew S; Fossey M.