The American Nurses Foundation, the charitable and philanthropic arm of the American Nurses Association, announced the launch of an interactive, web-based post-traumatic stress disorder toolkit to help civilian registered nurses better assess and treat PTSD in the nations veterans and military service members.
The foundations PTSD toolkit was highlighted in a White House fact sheet and issued as an innovative way to address veterans mental health.
We are committed to ensuring nurses have the tools they need to be as effective as possible, said ANF Chairwoman Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, PhD, MBA, RN, FAAN. Nurses can play a far greater role in helping address major, national health issues, such as PTSD, among our nations veterans and service members.
The PTSD Toolkit for Nurses is available at www.nurseptsdtoolkit.org.
In June of 2013, ANF made an $85,000 grant to the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing to develop the toolkit. Penn Nursings Nancy Hanrahan, PhD, RN, FAAN, led the project at the university. The grant was made possible by funding from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, according to the ANFs press release.
Nurses often represent the first point of contact for veterans and military personnel seeking care, Hanrahan said. We want them to have tools to help veterans find the help they need to transition back to civilian life. The PTSD toolkits care interventions maximize the potential for self-care management and help move veterans to providers and programs that can help them. PTSD can be treated and cured. Failed transitions from military life to civilian life are unacceptable outcomes.
The toolkit, an interactive, PTSD-focused website and an e-learning module, is based on advanced gaming techniques that will provide immediate access to materials for RNs to assess, treat and refer military members and veterans for help with their symptoms. These e-learning tools will certify an RN is grounded in assessment, treatment, referral and non-stigmatizing educational approaches to self-care and mutual help, according to the ANF.
Joining Forces is a national initiative to engage all sectors of society to give U.S. service members and their families the opportunities and support they have earned, led by First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden. In 2012, ANA, in conjuction with the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, convened a coordinated effort of more than 160 state and national nursing organizations and more than 500 nursing schools to ensure the nations 3.1 million nurses better can meet the unique health needs of service members, veterans and their families. ANF has prioritized support of the ANA Joining Forces initiative as a key component to its mission of transforming the nations health through the power of nursing.
For more information about ANF, visit www.givetonursing.org