Thank you to Barbara S. Johnson, Lina D. Boudiab, Margaret Freundl, Maureen Anthony, Gregory B. Gmerek, and Jemica Carter for their exceptionally well-written article, “Enhancing Veteran-Centered Care: A Guide for Nurses in Non-VA Settings” (July). Additionally, thank you, AJN, for making access to this important information available without cost to all nurses providing care to America's veterans.
Oftentimes, upon retirement, veterans get lost in the system while transitioning from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), resulting in a lack of continuity of care and delays in obtaining critically needed health services. This is a problem that has received considerable attention from the DOD, VA, and members of Congress.
Many initiatives have been established to encourage veterans to obtain the care they need; however, many veterans lack access to VA facilities because they reside in parts of the country where VA services are not readily available. As a result, many veterans seek health care from nonmilitary and non-VA providers, as the article states.
It's critical that civilian health care providers understand the unique challenges faced by veterans. This article will go a long way toward helping providers in civilian facilities understand how to approach veterans’ health care.
Colonel (Retired) John S. Murray, PhD, RN, CPNP, CS, FAAN