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Enhancing Veterans' Care Faculty Tool Kit

In summer 2012, AACN joined with the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA) in an effort to enhance the resources of nurses working with veterans as part of the Joining Forces initiative, with a particular focus on nursing education. To that end, this Enhancing Veterans’ Care (EVC) Tool Kit was developed.

It describes resources and exemplars that can assist faculty with the implementation of curriculum elements that will appropriately address the unique needs of the veterans and their families. The task force included a wide range of representatives of the Veterans Administration, the US Military, and professional nursing education in developing the Tool Kit

The goals of this Enhancing Veterans’ Care Tool Kit are to: 

  • Provide key educational resources that will assist schools as they engage in curricular development to incorporate quality care of veterans and their families. 
  • Suggest focused, innovative learning strategies for teaching students how to care for veterans and their families. 
  • Detail a repository of resources and relevant for all nurses who care for veterans and their families. 

This EVC Tool Kit will be updated on a regular basis to keep it current. AACN welcomes the addition of new materials related to the above goals.

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General Resources

Military Health History Pocket Card for Clinicians
The Military Health History Pocket card assists clinicians in obtaining information helpful to understand the unique medical problems and concerns of veterans and other military service members. 

For further reading on this resource: Brown, J.L. (2012) The unasked question. The Journal of the American Medical Association. November 14, 308(18). 

HRSA - Helping Veterans Transition to Civilian Health Care Careers

TriService Nursing Research Program (TSNRP) 

ODEP/NOND Alliance
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities (NOND) recognize the value of establishing a collaborative relationship to promote the employment of people with disabilities in the healthcare industry. ODEP and NOND hereby form an Alliance to conduct outreach, education and technical assistance activities that promote the recruitment, hiring, retention and advancement of individuals with disabilities, including veterans with disabilities, in the healthcare sector. 

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs - PTSD Monthly Updates

Educational Resources: Articles, Case Studies, Curricular Examples, Presentations
Resources for Veteran/Active Military Nursing Students

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Other Organization Resources

American Academy of Nurse Practitioners (AANP)
To support the Joining Forces mission, AANP is advancing a comprehensive array of veteran-specific programs and activities for Nurse Practitioners including workshops at their national conference, supporting research through the AANP Foundation, publishing a special edition on veterans’ health in the AANP peer-reviewed journal and forming committees to focus on promoting the Joining Forces initiative.

American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
AACN highlights its web series including faculty webinars, Joining Forces commitment fact sheet, upcoming events, End-of-life Nursing Consortium (ELNEC) for Veterans, and links to other websites with Veteran resources.

American Nurses Association (ANA)
The ANA disseminates a monthly email to share resources, activities and collaborative ventures available and being developed. This site also provides a variety of resources, including Joining Forces information and links to help Veterans access the care they need by assisting nurses to become aware of government-sponsored health services that are available and then passing that information to veterans and their families. Links to VA services at and active duty and retired military personnel

American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE)
AONE offers links to national centers for veterans' care as well as other valuable provider information and toolkits.

National League for Nursing (NLN)
Curriculum resources provided on these pages are offered by the NLN to faculty as teaching tools to provide evidence-based references ready to use in your classrooms and clinical settings. They are to be used throughout the program of learning to teach students to provide quality care to military men and woman and their families.

Office of Nursing Services (VA) (ONS) 
This site provides information about Joining Forces as well as comprehensive resources for the nursing community and professional colleagues in related fields. Its purpose is to promote awareness of current nursing practices, products, and services within the VA nursing community. It includes links to Joining Forces, nursing research and advanced practice nursing plus links to the VA’s Center for PTSD.

VA Nursing Academy (VANA) 
The VA's world-class health care system partners with the country's finest nursing schools to provide compassionate, highly educated nurses to look after the health care needs of the nation's veterans

 Resources by Topics
Brain Injury/TBI
Clinician Education
Mental Health & Veterans
Military Culture
Brain Injury/TBI

Defence and Veterans Brain Injury Center
Description: This Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center website contains a variety of resources for veterans with brain injuries and family members.


Description: This website created by private organization Brainline Military Partners provides information regarding Traumatic Brain Injury including diagnosis, symptoms, treatment, as well as resources and personal stories of recovery.

Traumatic Brain Injury: The Journey Home

Description: This is an example of Department of Defense funded/developed educational resources for family members of patients with TBI.

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs - Traumatic Brain Injury VHI

Description:  This is a study guide that provides an overview of the varied symptoms, treatment interventions, and long-term care needs of Veteran patients with TBI.

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury - Concussion: Pocket Guide for Clinicians
Description: This is a quick guide to symptoms, diagnosis, and possible long-term effects of mild traumatic brain injury.

Clinician Education

CSSP Bridging Military and Community Service Systems Course Catalog
Description: Site provides free online courses for medical professionals. Many courses are related to military and family issues are available and were developed by VA staff.

USF Health Dean's Spotlight: USF Nursing's New Introduction to Military and Veteran Health' Course Subject of Recent Tampa Article
Description: Introduction to Military and Veteran Health is an eight module online course that highlights many of the unique healthcare needs of our military and veteran population. It starts with an overview of our veteran population, the culture of the military, the evolution of veteran healthcare, the military family, and then discusses health related topics such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), polytrauma, women veteran health issues, and military sexual trauma (MST).

Mental Health & Veterans

Behavioral Health Issues Among Afghanistan and Iraq U.S. War Veterans
Description: This booklet provides information on the behavioral health issues among Afghanistan and Iraq U.S. war veterans.

Preventing Psychological Disorders in Service Members and Their Families: An Assessment of Programs
Description: This Institute of Medicine (IOM) report assesses the evidence base for the Department of Defense’s existing prevention programs and makes recommendations about program development and implementation.

United States Department of Veterans Affairs - Mental Health
Description: This website includes a variety of resources including diagnosis specific information, resources regarding substance abuse, suicide prevention, military sexual trauma, recovery, and military students.

United States Department of Veterans Affairs - Community Provider Toolkit - Working Together to Serve Veterans
Description: This website contains a community provider toolkit for those caring for Veterans, online tools, downloadable handouts, and  online in-services regarding military culture and a variety of mental health topics.

Military Culture

Military Culture Awareness Training
Description: This booklet on understanding of the military culture is also available as an online e-learning course.

VA Learning University - Career Planning Resources
Description: VA Learning University Veterans Advocacy Awareness tab contains e-learning modules on military Cultural Awareness and Connecting with Veterans.


United States Department of Veterans Affairs - Polytrauma/TBI System of Care
Description: DVA website on polytrauma and TBI. This website includes a variety of resources including definitions, news, resources, educational offerings, as well as caregiver support and educational curriculum.

United States Department of Veterans Affairs - Family Care Map
Description: DVA website providing information regarding the Polytrauma Rehabilitation Centers and the Family Care Map. The resources tab provides an extensive list of sources including financial, children, education, and community resources, as well as polytrauma books and websites for military support.

Brain Injury/TBI

American Journal of Nursing - PTSD Among Our Returning Veterans

Psychological and Pharmacological Treatments for Adults with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
A new, free continuing-education monograph from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)’s Effective Health Care (EHC) Program finds that several psychological and pharmacological treatment options are effective at reducing the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder.

PTSD Consultation Program for Providers who Treat Veterans
This is a new, FREE resource from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and it is available to providers treating Veterans with PTSD. Experienced senior psychologists, psychiatrists, marriage and family therapists, social workers, pharmacists, and other health professionals who treat Veterans with PTSD are available to consult on everything from your toughest cases to general PTSD questions.