The American Nurses Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American Nurses Association, in June announced a $75,000 grant to the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing in Philadelphia to develop a post-traumatic stress disorder tool kit to help RNs better assess and treat PTSD in the nation’s veterans and military service members. Penn Nursing’s Nancy Hanrahan, RN, PhD, CS, FAAN, will lead the project at the university.
"Given that June is PTSD Awareness Month, this was the perfect time to highlight the serious consequences of PTSD, if left untreated, and what nurses can do to ensure that veterans receive the highest level of care," ANF Chairwoman Joyce J. Fitzpatrick, RN, PhD, MBA, FAAN, said in a news release. "At ANF, we are striving to transform the nation’s health through the power of nursing. We are excited about this new project because these tools will help nurses learn detection and treatment options that can help our nation’s veterans and service members transition successfully back into civilian life."
ANF will work with Penn Nursing to develop an interactive, PTSD-focused website, an e-learning module based on advanced gaming techniques and a downloadable smartphone app that will provide immediate access to materials for RNs to assess, treat, and refer military members and veterans for help with their symptoms. These e-learning tools will certify that an RN is grounded in assessment, treatment, referral and non-stigmatizing educational approaches to self-care and mutual help, according to the release.
"In the United States, there are more than 3 million registered nurses that work in the community and in hospitals," Hanrahan said in the release. "By virtue of the large numbers of RNs and their presence in common community settings, military members and their families can receive timely access to self-care and help from RNs."
The grant to Penn Nursing was made possible by funding from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund. The tool kit will be piloted in Pennsylvania during the fall with a national launch planned for 2014. Additionally, Penn Nursing’s forthcoming health technology lab program will support RN inventors who desire to use technology and game theory to address healthcare challenges.