1. Claus, Nancy DNP, CRNP, NP-C
  2. Watts, Penni PhD, RN, CHSE-A
  3. Moss, Jacqueline PhD, RN, FAAN


OBJECTIVE: This study evaluated the self-perceived readiness of medical-surgical nurses in a non-Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facility to care for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder (SUD).


BACKGROUND: Nurses caring for veterans with PTSD and SUD at facilities other than the VHA should be equipped with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to provide care for this population.


METHODS: Nurses evaluated their self-perceived knowledge, skills, attitudes, experiences, and perspectives related to caring for veterans.


RESULTS: Nurses overwhelmingly indicated that they had no knowledge of the "Have you served?" campaign, and fewer than half inquired about military status when assessing patients


CONCLUSION: Nurses caring for veterans in non-VHA facilities do not consistently identify veterans or assess for service-related conditions, including PTSD and SUD. Nurses report low skill levels related to identifying, addressing, and referring patients with service-related conditions.