One year ago, national nursing leaders joined with First Lady Michelle Obama and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden to form Joining Forces, a program that prepares nurses to care for U.S. veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), depression and other mental health issues. Last month, a group including nursing students and educators met at the University of Pennsylvania to mark the anniversary of the program.
“Nurses are three million strong,” said Afaf Meleis, dean of nursing at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, to Obama and Biden. “We thank you for both turning to nursing to improve the care of our military veterans. You have the right partners for your initiative.” (americannursetoday.com)
Both Biden and Obama also spoke to the crowd, which included members of the national guard, soldiers and around 1,100 nurses.
“Penn Nursing scientists are leading investigators of PTSD and trauma, producing evidence-based research that is translated into innovative and effective clinical care,” says Meleis. (nursing.upenn.edu)
It is estimated that one in six troops, which equates to more than 300,000 Americans, are affected by PTSD and TBI. According to Penn Nursing, half of all Iraq and Afghanistan veterans today seek treatment from health care providers outside the VA system.
More than 500 nursing schools and 160 nursing organizations have pledge support to the Joining Forces initiative.
Learn more about Penn nursing scientists and their work in treating soldiers with PTSD here.