Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Stoerm Anderson


Building Resiliency and Coping Effectiveness (BRACE): A Program for Military Families


Linda Zarrett

MSN, University of Cincinnati, 2012

BSN, Minnesota State University, Moorhead, 1985

Project Submitted in Partial Fulfillment

of the Requirements for the Degree of

Doctor of Nursing Practice

Walden University

August 2015

Veterans returning from combat report significant family strain and Post Traumatic Stress Symptoms (PTSS) yet have limited access to care resources. Family members, including children, report very similar symptoms to those of veterans and have yet fewer health care resources. The purpose of this project was to apply principles from existing research on post-traumatic stress and secondary trauma to providers as the basis for a curriculum for families of combat veterans with PTSS. The health beliefs model and Orem's self-care deficit theory were used to guide development of this curriculum. Long-term goals of this initiative are increased resiliency in families of combat veterans with PTSS, decreased family conflict, diminished incidence of secondary trauma in children, and reduced productivity losses and education losses in this population. The project was designed as the first stage of a long-term quality improvement initiative. Products of the project include a curriculum and plans for implementing and evaluating the curriculum. Products were developed in collaborative meetings with stakeholders, including the grant administrator, a social services representative, a military member, and a military family member. The curriculum was reviewed for content validity by sending sections to nurse scholars with relevant context expertise, after which revisions were made in accordance with feedback. Implementation and evaluation plans suggest use of a web-based program hosted by the Minnesota Association of Children's Mental Health. Increasing resources for combat veterans and their families has important implications for positive social change. This project may also address the reluctance of this population to engage in treatment by applying principles of military culture and concern for confidentiality, and may aid cost reduction through prevention of complications of secondary trauma.