Implementing a Veteran-Centered Community Health Clinical Experience in a Baccalaureate Nursing Program
Originally Published In
Journal of Nursing Education
In a baccalaureate nursing curriculum, students focused on the unique health care needs of veterans and their families. The learning experiences aimed to equip them with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSAs) to provide holistic relation-centered care to veterans and their families.
The clinical course integrated the findings of several veteran-centered publications and the American Association of Colleges of Nursing veteran-centered resources.
Formative and summative anecdotal information was gathered in the learning experience during weekly postclinical discussions, course assignments, and a seminar after completion of the experience. Three noteworthy themes stand out: Increased Descriptions of Resources and Services Available to Veterans and Their Families, Increased Expressions of the Complex Health Care Needs of Veterans, and Increasing Recognition of the Autonomous Nature of the Community Health Nursing Role.
Early indicators are that this community health field work experience will be sustainable into the future. The academic institution and clinical partner remain committed to working together to provide meaningful learning opportunities to students. Students completed the experience with increased KSAs and a beginning orientation to the Veterans Affairs Health Care System.