U.S. Army Nurses’ Reintegration and Homecoming after Iraq & Afghanistan


Name: Felecia Rivers

Rank: MAJ

Organization: The Geneva Foundation

Performance Site: C.R. Darnall Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, TX; San Antonio Military Medical Center (North and South), San Antonio, TX

Year Published: 2010

Abstract Status: Final


Purpose:  To understand the perception of military nurses' lived experience [coming home following] deployment to Iraq or Afghanistan.  Specific aims are to: 1) explore lived experiences of military nurses [coming home from a combat deployment to Iraq and Afghanistan and 2) examine the potential impact [this experience may have had on their lives].  Research questions: 1) What are the lived experiences of U. S. military nurses [returning home following a combat deployment to Afghanistan and/or Iraq? 2) What issues or difficulties did the nurses encounter upon returning home from the deployment(s)? 3) What approaches were effective in managing the process of coming home?

Method:  This study employs a qualitative, phenomenological research design grounded in the existential phenomenological works of Merleau-Ponty. A minimum of 15 face-to-face interviews will be conducted, beginning with the open-ended question of "What stands out for you when you think about your experience of coming home following deployment?" Interviews will be digitally recorded and transcribed. Investigators will use purposeful sampling to elicit military nurse participants who meet the study criteria. Information sheets will be e-mailed to Army and Air Force nurses who are Active Duty. Nurse Scientists at each military facility will send out emails and post flyers to assist with recruitment. To ensure adequate sampling from each group, interviews will be conducted with nurses from an Air Force Base and two Army Post. 

Analysis:  Line by line analysis will be performed using hermeneutics to identify key words and phrases that lead to themes relating to coming home experiences.  Nvivo8 will assist with coding and themes.  The thematic structure as well as a summary of the study will be shared with the participants for feedback and validation of whether their experience was accurately captured and understood by the researchers. 

This study will assist in filling the knowledge gap that exists relating to military nurses' experience of coming home after a deployment to Iraq and/or Afghanistan. Outcomes: Could potentially provide a foundation for development of an intervention to be used pre-deployment, in theater, and post-deployment to facilitate a smoother transitions of coming home.


Final report is available on NTRL: https://ntrl.ntis.gov/NTRL/dashboard/searchResults/titleDetail/ADA608979.xhtml