The Lived Experience of Nurses Stationed Aboard Aircraft Carriers


Name: Catherine Cox


Organization: George Mason University

Performance Site: George Mason Univeristy, Fairfax, VA

Year Published: 2000

Abstract Status: Final


Currently, there are 12 aircraft carriers deployed worldwide in support of the United States' interests and commitments. In each carrier's Medical Department, there is one Navy nurse assigned to directly care for over 5,500 personnel. The purpose of this phenomenological research study is to describe the lived experiences of Navy nurses practicing aboard aircraft carriers. Using phenomenology, nurses previously stationed aboard aircraft carriers will be interviewed to explore their experiences as a ship's nurse. The question guiding this inquiry will be: "What is your experience as a nurse on an aircraft carrier?" Interviews will be conducted until data saturation is reached. The interviews will be tape recorded, transcribed, and analyzed in four steps: 1. Carefully reviewing the interviews to obtain a general sense of the experience 2. Reviewing the transcripts to uncover essences 3. Apprehending essential relationships 4. Developing a formalized, exhaustive description of the phenomenon Once data analysis is completed, credibility will be achieved by sharing the exhaustive description with each participant and validating whether or not it represents his or her experience. If the participant does not agree with the description as written, additional data will be collected, analyzed, and incorporated into the exhaustive description. Consistent with qualitative research, an extensive literature review will follow data analysis, placing the findings in the context of what is already known. Then, the results will be disseminated to the military and nursing communities. The significance of this study is that the findings will provide valuable insight into clinical care in service unique environments and potentially describe issues related to deployment and readiness. Finally, since there is currently a paucity of literature on this topic, the results will give a public voice to this extraordinary experience of operational nursing.


Final report is available on NTRL: