College of Nursing will Join the Ranks of Hundreds of Others in Educating Nursing Students on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) & Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the coming years
In March, M. Louise Fitzpatrick, EdD, RN, FAAN, Connelly Endowed Dean and Professor, on behalf of the College of Nursing, pledged its support to the national Joining Forces Campaign via the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). AACN partnered with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the American Nurses Association, the National League for Nursing, and all sectors of the nursing profession to support the campaign.
Joining Forces is a national campaign calling on all health professionals to be aware of the specific health issues facing service members, veterans, and their families. With the end of the war in Iraq and the drawdown in Afghanistan, over one million service members are projected to leave the military in the next five years. Some will return amputees, and some will quietly suffer with the “invisible wounds of war,” including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), depression, and other challenges. Our nation’s nurses must be prepared to care for this distinct patient population.
The College of Nursing has a long history of alumni who serve the military and its veterans in numerous capacities, from alumni who have been the directors of both the Navy and Army Nurse Corps, to those who have led military hospitals, served in combat zones on ships and on land, delivered safe anesthesia or mental health care, trained corpsmen, transported the critically injured by air, conducted research, and provided primary care to military families. Villanova Nurses have served in the Air Force, Army and Navy Nurse Corps, provided care, advocacy and leadership through the VA system and taught the next generation to replace them. Where there have been conflicts since World War II, Villanova Nurses have been there supporting the injured and their families to restore health and promote wellness. Civilian nurses have also greatly contributed to the care of our military and their dependents.
The College of Nursing views nursing as a healing ministry and includes holistic, family-centered care in its curriculum as well as care of people with disabilities. It will continue to educate future nurses about the care of veterans and their families. With this pledge, the College of Nursing joins over 500 nursing schools in all 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico that have committed by 2014 to:
· Educating America’s future nurses to care for our nation's veterans, service members, and their families facing post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression, and other clinical issues;
· Enriching nursing education to ensure that current and future nurses are trained in the unique clinical challenges and best practices associated with caring for military service members, veterans, and their families;
· Integrating content that addresses the unique health and wellness challenges of our nation’s service members, veterans, and their families into nursing curricula;
· Sharing teaching resources and applying best practices in the care of service members, veterans, and their families;
· Growing the body of knowledge leading to improvements in health care and wellness for our service members, veterans, and their families; and
· Joining with others to further strengthen the supportive community of nurses, institutions, and healthcare providers dedicated to improving the health of service members, veterans, and their families.
For more information about Villanova University College of Nursing, visit www.villanova.edu/nursing. To read more about Joining Forces, see http://www.whitehouse.gov/joiningforces/get-involved