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Army nursing practice challenges in humanitarian and wartime missions


Janice Agazio, School of Nursing, The Catholic University of America, Gowan Hall, Room 409, 620 Michigan Avenue, NE, Washington, DC 20064, USA. Email:


Agazio J. International Journal of Nursing Practice 2010; 16: 166–175
Army nursing practice challenges in humanitarian and wartime missions

The research question guiding this study was: What are the nursing practice challenges for Army nurses in military operations other than war (MOOTW), or humanitarian missions and wartime? Using a descriptive qualitative design, 75 Army Nurse Corps officers with deployment experience participated in a focused interview either in person or by telephone. Deployment locations included Bosnia, Honduras, Iraq, Afghanistan and other worldwide locations. Nurses recounted challenges and adjustments made to deliver high quality patient care to soldiers and civilian casualties especially for multi-level traumatic injuries. Specialized skill sets and personal adaptation were necessary for practice under austere conditions in these environments. By understanding the practice of nursing in MOOTW and wartime, nurses can best prepare and train to effectively function and care for patients in these challenging settings.