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Postdeployment: A military nurse's journey

Elliott, Brenda PhD, RN

doi: 10.1097/01.Nurse.0000438723.58463.3B

Background: Although being deployed gives military nurses opportunities for personal and professional growth, their psychological equilibrium is often strained more than they thought imaginable. Limited research has focused on how soldiers and families cope with the disappointment of the postdeployment phase, which can result from unrealistic expectations. Research questions: Military nurses were asked these questions about the postdeployment phase. 1. How do you describe your experience? 2. What's the meaning of the experience? 3. What strategies influenced your return to personal and professional roles? Method: The researcher conducted a qualitative study by interviewing 10 military nurses, then re-presented a narrative of what many nurses experience after returning home from deployment. Results: Seven themes emerged describing these nurses' experience and its meaning. Application to nursing practice: Several strategies were developed for future nurses to manage postdeployment periods. Conclusions: Conducting narrative inquiry contributes to the use of the qualitative method in nursing research. Healthcare professionals' increased knowledge and sensitivity can help them recognize the issues and challenges military nurses may face after returning home.

Brenda Elliott, who currently lives in Wahiawa, Hawaii, is online adjunct faculty for Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, Pa., and Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pa.

Research Corner is coordinated by Cheryl Dumont, PhD, RN, CRNI, director of nursing research and the vascular access team at Winchester Medical Center in Winchester, Va. Dr. Dumont is also a member of the Nursing2014 editorial board.

The content in this article has received appropriate institutional review board and/or administrative approval for publication.

The author has disclosed that she has no financial relationships related to this article.

© 2014 by Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.