Objective: To determine the shared perceptions, feelings, and expriences of U.S. military nurse veterans.
Design: Phenomenological based on Heideggerian philosophy.
Population, Sample, Setting: The population was of military nurse veterans in the U.S.A. from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, and Operation Desert Storm. The convenience sample was 22 nurses recruited from local and national veterans' groups who volunteered to be interviewed.
Methods: Transcribed interviews with team members producing written interpretations; the team produced consensus about themes. Each interview was summarized and validation from the research team and respondents was sought.
Conclusions: Five common themes or shared meanings emerged: reacting personally to the war experience, living in the military, the meaning of nursing in the military, the social context of war, and images and sensations of war.
Clinical Implications: A coherent review of wartime nursing.