It's an Honor to Serve Those Who Have Served Honorably

Tuesday, 19 November 2013: 10:40 AM

Libba McMillan, RN PhD
School of Nursing, Auburn University School of Nursing, Auburn University, Alabama, AL

Learning Objective 1: Discuss three benefits of collaboration between a campus Veteranís and Transfer Students Resource Center and a baccalaureate school of nursing in promoting education and awareness.

Learning Objective 2: Describe opportunities for expansion of prevention strategies within a college-town community with a multidisciplinary approach.

The Auburn University Nursing School Junior-level students in Fall semester 2012, discussed issues affecting military veteran’s health through work on a professional paper and a poster.  The goal of these papers and posters was to provide health awareness and create dialogue of the challenges veteran students face when transitioning from combat to the classroom.  It has been well documented that hundreds of thousands of veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq have been affected by post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), struggled with substance abuse and chronic pain related to combat injuries, and traumatic brain injury(TBI). Since 2000, it is estimated more than 44,000 troops have suffered at least a moderate-grade traumatic brain injury.

To explore the concept of health promotion, a junior-level course called Professional Concepts in Nursing, encouraged students to use their creativity and writing communication skills to learn and communicate about various health issues. Students were selected based on their exemplary work to work collaboratively with the faculty course leader to publish in a community paper, as well as have their posters compete to be mounted and displayed in the Veteran's and Transfer Student's Resource Center.  Auburn University has 284 veterans and 416 veteran dependents enrolled this fall semester. 

The interdisciplinary collaboration with the Resource Center was beneficial in providing an actual product to be displayed at campus events throughout the campus, and in other veteran venues.  Nursing students experienced being strategic partners assisting the student population from mere treatment program recipients, to being a health and wellness promoters assisting with prevention initiatives to bring awareness to veteran's health issues.  The posters and papers are instrumental to nursing students increasing their awareness to issues affecting our nation's heros. 

This presentation will discuss the collaboration, the poster and paper assignments, rubric construction, and student/community qualitative feedback and future plans of collaboration.