In March 2012, OADN signed on, and invited OADN Agency Members to sign on, in support of Joining Forces. Joining Forces is a comprehensive national campaign launched by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden to mobilize all sectors of society to give our service members and their families the opportunities and support they deserve. Joining Forces is calling on all health professionals to be aware of the specific health issues facing service members, veterans, and their families. With the end of the war in Iraq and the drawdown in Afghanistan, over one million service members are projected to leave the military in the next five years. Some will return amputees, and some will quietly suffer with the “invisible wounds of war,” including post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD), traumatic brain injury (TBI), depression, and other challenges. Our nation’s nurses must be prepared to care for this distinct patient population.
Joining Forces is a national initiative to support and honor America’s service members and their families. The initiative aims to educate, challenge, and spark action from all sectors of our society – citizens, communities, businesses, schools, non-profits, faith-based institutions, philanthropic organizations, and government – to ensure military families have the support they have earned. Spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, Joining Forces focuses on three key priority areas – employment, education, and wellness, while engaging in a comprehensive effort to raise awareness about the service, sacrifice, and needs of military families.
The Organization for Associate Degree Nursing (OADN) is pleased to be working with the Department of Veterans Affairs, the American Nurses Association, National League for Nursing, the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and other stakeholders to engage nursing schools nationwide in the Joining Forces initiative. To date, 660 schools of nursing in all 50 states have pledged their support to enhance the preparation of the nation’s nurses to care for veterans, service members, and their families.
Want to sign your Communigy College up in support?
OADN is committed to galvanizing nursing schools throughout the nation to action and support the Joining Forces campaign. Schools are encouraged to pledge their support by visiting the following link: https://joiningforces.wufoo.com/forms/support-joining-forces. There is no cost involved.
Together with the larger healthcare community, nurse educators are encouraged to commit to raising the quality of care available to our nation’s military and veterans in our work to prepare future generations of nurses. For more information on Joining Forces, see www.joiningforces.gov or www.ANAJoiningForces.org.
(Washington, DC - April 11, 2012) - Today First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden announced a commitment from nurses across the country eager to serve our veterans and military families as well as they have served us. In a broad, coordinated effort, more than 150 state and national nursing organizations including the National Organization for Associate Degree Nursing and over 500 nursing schools have committed to further educate our nation’s 3 million nurses so they are prepared to meet the unique health needs of service members, veterans, and their families. Nursing organizations and schools have committed to educating current and future nurses on how to recognize and care for veterans impacted by post-traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injury, depression, and other combat-related issues, in ways appropriate to each nurse’s practice setting.
“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. Because of their expertise, they are trusted to be the frontline of America’s health care system,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “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. It’s clear from today’s announcement that the nursing community is well on its way to serving our men and women in uniform and their families.”
“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,” said Dr. Jill Biden. “This commitment is essential to ensuring our returning service men and women receive the care they deserve.”
The invisible wounds of war, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), have impacted approximately 1 in 6 of our troops returning from Afghanistan and Iraq – more than 300,000 veterans. And since 2000, more than 44,000 of those troops have suffered at least a moderate-grade traumatic brain injury.Veterans seeking care within the Veterans Affairs (VA) health system are often treated by health care professionals who have received extensive training in mental health issues. But the majority of veterans in the country seek care outside of the VA system -- they usually visit their local hospital staffed by nurses and doctors in their communities. That’s why today’s announcement will be so significant for our troops and their families. America’s nurses are trusted partners in providing lifesaving and life-sustaining care in nearly every community and every setting where health care is delivered. They can make a dramatic and positive impact on the long-term health of hundreds of thousands of veterans. And they are eager to understand the needs of those who have served, to recognize the warning signs of posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, or suicide, and to know where to send them for help.
Key commitments include:
- educate america's future nurses to care for our nation's veterans, service members, and their families facing post-tramatic stress disorder, tramatic brain injury, depression, and other clinical issues;
- enrich 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;
- disseminate the most up-to-date information as it relates to traumatic brain injury (tbi) and psychological health conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (ptsd);
- grow the body of knowledge leading to improvements in health care and wellness for our military service members, veterans, and their families; and
- lead and advance the supportive community of nurses, institutions, and health care providers dedicated to improving the health of military service members, veterans, and their families.