chapter  13
9 Pages

Working with Military Nurses and Their Family Systems

WithPauline A. Swiger, Eric S. Graybill, Diane L. Vaccarell

This chapter explains the experiences of nurses in the military and informs behavioral health practitioners on issues as they relate to the military experience of nurses. It explains how to best care for these carers as they reenter society after military service. The history of nursing and the US military begins in 1775 during the War of Independence when Congress authorized funds for one nurse for every ten patients generated by the war. In the 1980s and 1990s, nurses served in Dessert Shield, Dessert Storm, Operation Restore Hope, as well as multiple humanitarian missions. Nurses may experience post-traumatic stress symptoms upon returning from home and many find coming home more difficult than anticipated. Many nurses with prior military experience are now working in local hospitals. Military Ethos can make high levels of teamwork and mission focus possible, and can serve as an organized way of life and source of lifelong pride.