military nursing, combat, health care, war


Military nursing service during wartime represents significant contributions to a unique type of health care. The purposes of this study were to: (1) generate themes that elucidate combat nursing experiences, (2) honor nurses who served by sharing their stories, and (3) permanently archive accounts of nursing personnel who served during the Persian Gulf Wars during the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Eleven military nurses who provided health care to American troops in the Persian Gulf participated in a historical study as part of the ongoing Nurses at War oral history project documenting the experiences of nurses during times of armed conflict. The overriding theme, "It's what we're here for," demonstrates the commitment of nurses: a commitment to care and to sacrifice. Other themes drawn from the study included lessons learned from their wartime nursing experiences, sacrifices made, and chronicles of caring. During armed conflict in the Persian Gulf Wars, military nurses' personal stories demonstrated the importance of being engaged in making meaningful professional and historical contributions. These nurses displayed professional commitment and hardiness in the face of difficult life circumstances, saying, "We did what we had to do."

Original Publication Citation

Rushton, Patricia, Jared E. Scott, and Lynn Clark Callister. "It's what we're here for: Nurses Caring for Military Personnel during the Persian Gulf Wars." Nursing Outlook 56.4 (28): 179,186.e1.

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Peer-Reviewed Article

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