Cal State Fullerton’s School of Nursing has joined a national campaign introduced by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to educate nursing students on the specific health needs for returning veterans, service members and their families.
Nearly one in six of the more than 300,00 veterans returning from Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. The goal of the initiative is to educate current and future nurses on how to recognize and care for veterans affected by these problems, as well as depression and other combat-related issues.
“We are committed to preparing students to use best practices in providing care to veterans and their families who may have unique care needs,” said Cindy Smith Greenberg, professor and director of Cal State Fullerton’s School of Nursing. “Veterans bring experience, leadership and critical reasoning skills that are invaluable in providing quality nursing care.”
Undergraduate and graduate students at CSUF can take a number of nursing courses that focus on these issues in order to learn how to help veterans accordingly.
“Whether we’re in a hospital, a doctor’s office or a community health center, nurses are often the first people we see when we walk through the door and because of their expertise, they are trusted to be the front line of America’s health care system,” Michelle Obama said. “That’s why Jill and I knew we could turn to America’s nurses and nursing students to help our veterans and military families get the world-class care that they’ve earned.”
Spearheading the national campaign is a coalition made up of a number of nurse and healthcare workers’ associations, including the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing and the National League for Nursing.
“Nurses are at the center of providing lifesaving care in communities across the country, and their reach is particularly important because our veterans don't always seek care through the VA system,” Dr. Biden said. “This commitment is essential to ensuring our returning service men and women receive the care they deserve.”
Five other Cal State University campuses, including East Bay, Long Beach, San Diego, San Jose and Sonoma, will join the effort along with 20 other nursing schools and organizations throughout California.
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