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Civilian Nurses' Experiences Caring for Military Veterans

Qualitative Data From a Mixed-Methods Study

Elliott, Brenda, PhD, RN, CNE

doi: 10.1097/NHH.0000000000000709

Over nine million people living in the United States are military Veterans over the age of 65. Many utilize civilian care providers, creating a need for civilian providers to have an understanding of the unique healthcare issues of this population. This article describes the qualitative results of a mixed-methods study of nine home care nurses' experiences caring for Veterans. Three themes emerged from the data: Challenges Coordinating Care, Building a Rapport Takes More Time, and Recognizing Impact of Military Service on Patient's Worldview. As demonstrated in this study, home care nurses care for Veterans every day. Although similarities exist, nurses readily described differences in caring for Veterans compared with non-Veterans that can impact patient outcomes. It is imperative for the nursing workforce to not only assess for military/Veteran status but to also have some knowledge of military culture and Veteran-specific healthcare issues.

Brenda Elliott, PhD, RN, CNE, is an Assistant Professor, Wilson College, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Funding was received through the Mazur Professorship Scholarship at Wilson College.

The author declares no conflicts of interest.

Address for correspondence: Brenda Elliott, PhD, RN, CNE, CMR 427, BOX 2207, APO AE 09630 (

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