OU School of Nursing Joins National Effort to Meet Veterans' Needs

OU School of Nursing Joins National Effort to Meet Veterans' Needs
April 18, 2012/Oakland University News

The Oakland University School of Nursing is supporting a national initiative to enhance nursing instruction in ways that will better serve U.S. military veterans and military families dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression and other combat-related issues.

Kerri Schuiling, dean of the School of Nursing, said OU will join First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden and hundreds of nursing organizations and institutions in fully preparing nurses to meet the unique health needs of veterans facing these challenges.

"Nurse educators consistently review their curricula to assure the content taught to nursing students meets the needs of the people who are the recipients of that care. Clearly a significant number of our population will need quality nursing care focused on meeting the healthcare needs of our military veterans and their families," Schuiling said.

 "The Oakland University School of Nursing is proud to join forces in educating our students about the specific health challenges of our military veterans and their families."

This effort expands OU's already deep and unwavering commitment to serve veterans on a broader level. Late last year, the university's Veteran Transfer Student Services program received a Michigan Association of Collegiate Registrar and Admissions Officers (MACRAO) Outstanding Transfer Program Award, and for three consecutive years Oakland has been named a "Military Friendly School" by "G.I. Jobs" magazine.

"Our military servicemen and women deserve the very best of all we can provide to honor the sacrifices they've made, and we here at Oakland are dedicated to delivering nothing less," said President Gary Russi. "In terms of addressing injuries that veterans have suffered while fighting to protect our freedom, doing everything in our power to help is nothing less than an obligation."

Led by the American Nurses Association, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the National League for Nursing, in coordination with the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, the OU and other participating institutions have committed to educating current and future nurses on how to recognize and care for veterans in ways that are appropriate to each nurse's practice setting.

Because the majority of U.S. veterans seek care outside of the Veterans Affairs health system, in which veterans are often treated by health care professionals with extensive training in mental health issues, this initiative seeks to make a dramatic and positive impact on the long-term health of hundreds of thousands of veterans seeking care from non-VA providers.

Nursing leaders have also committed to disseminating effective models for care and to sharing the most up-to-date information on these conditions across academic and practice settings. By working to expand the body of clinical knowledge in this arena and by partnering with other health care providers and institutions, nursing leaders across the country will continue to advance high quality treatment for these conditions in every community.

Post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury have impacted approximately one of six U.S. troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq – more than 300,000 veterans. Since 2000, more than 44,000 troops have suffered at least a moderate-grade traumatic brain injury.