ANNA has signed up as a partner in “Joining Forces,” a national initiative led by First Lady Michelle Obama to mobilize all sectors of the community to give our service members, veterans, and their families the support they deserve, especially in regards to employment, education’ and wellness.
The profession of nursing has a long and established history of meeting and supporting the physical and mental health needs of our nation’s military service members, veterans, and their families. The American Nurses Association, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the National League for Nursing took the lead in seeking nationwide support for this initiative from nursing organizations and schools of nursing. ANNA is one of 150 nursing organizations and 500 nursing schools who pledged their support to help educate nurses on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the coming years.
This pledge of support expresses a commitment to:
- Educating America’s future nurses to care for our nation’s veterans, service members, and their families who are facing PTSD, TBI, depression, and other clinical issues;
- Enriching nursing education to ensure that current and future nurses are educated and trained in the unique clinical challenges and best practices associated with caring for military service members, veterans, and their families;
- Disseminating the most up-to-date information related to TBI and psychological health conditions, such as PTSD.
- Growing the body of knowledge leading to improvements in health care and wellness for our military service members, veterans, and their families; and
- Leading and advancing the supportive community of nurses, institutions, and health care providers dedicated to improving the health of military service members, veterans, and their families.
After the press conference and Nursing Summit at the University of Pennsylvania in April 2012, numerous other professional organizations and nursing schools have joined in support of the “Joining Forces” initiative. ANNA remains actively involved and stays informed of the various projects that each organization/school is conducting by list serv and email. Some of the activities thus far have included seminars, dedicated sessions at conventions, special web pages on organization/nursing school websites, and development of written materials (brochures, pamphlets, booklets, etc.).
The first conference call was held in May 2012 to allow partners to share progress on their activities for this initiative. Physician and nurse organizations participated in this call, and there were so many stories, not everyone had time to share! With this level of participation, the initiative should have tremendous impact on improving the lives of service members, veterans, and their families.
Glenda Payne, MS, RN, CNN
ANNA President, 2012-2013
Rowena W. Elliott, PhD, RN, CNN, BC, CNE
ANNA Immediate Past President, 2012-2013