Experience of Chief Nurses in Non-War Military Operations


Name: Martha Turner

Rank: Lt Col, USAF

Organization: University of Minnesota

Performance Site: University of Minnesota School of Nursing, Minneapolis, MN

Year Published: 1997

Abstract Status: Final


Note: Dissertation available through University of Minnesota Twin Cities Library's MNCAT. Location and Call #: TC Bio-Medical Library WY130 T945eThe purpose of this research was to describe the experience of chief nurses in military operations other than war. The study is significant to the profession because nurses will continue to provide care in humanitarian operations, peacekeeping missions and disaster relief efforts. Inquiry into the experience will lead to an understanding of the foundations of the global caregiving community.Hermeneutic phenomenology provided a description and thematic interpretation of the meaning of the experience. Purposeful sampling yielded thirteen participants, eleven women and two men. Duration of the deployments ranged from 3-7 months. Sites included Saudi Arabia, Oman, Panama, Cuba, Somalia, Guam, Croatia, England and Turkey. Purposes of the missions varied from peace keeping to humanitarian relief. Interviews were conducted using core questions developed as a guide. Audiotapes were transcribed and analyzed using procedures adapted from Colaizzi (1978), Van Manen (1990) and illuminated by Ray (1990). Significant statements were identified in the text, meanings were formulated then gathered into 60 interpretive clusters. Reflecting and rereading led to the emergence of the themes which constituted the fundamental structure and the essential themes. Three metathemes and the unity of meaning in the experience were identified.The fundamental structure of the experience was the deployment trajectory with five themes: preparing, arriving, living, working, and leaving. Further analysis revealed five essential themes: paradox, leadership, caring, knowing and the true military. Lifeworld existentials of space, time, body and relationship were used as guides for reflection and development of a comprehensive description of the experience. The metathemes were authenticity, imaginative awareness and pride. The unity of meaning is expressed in the metaphor, The True Military: Performing Live Theatre.This phenomenological study captured the experience of the chief nurses. It revealed the challenges of leadership and tremendous pride in getting the job done. These nurses were proud of their participation in an authentic experience where imaginative awareness enabled them to identify and respond to the challenges they encountered as nurse leaders.Further areas for research suggested by this study include topics in nursing practice and nursing administration. Several examples are presented which reflect individual, operational, multinational and multicultural issues.


Final report is available on NTRL: https://ntrl.ntis.gov/NTRL/dashboard/searchResults/titleDetail/ADA354222...