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The Army Nurse Corps turns 117 years old

1901 Poster for Army Nurse Corps (Photo Courtesy DVIDS)

Courtesy Story

U.S. Army Warrior Care and Transition

The Army Nurse Corps 117 years old
By MaryTherese Griffin, Warrior Care and Transition

ARLINGTON, Va. – Many contributions to the American way of life as we know it today were developed in 1901. The first major oil discovery happened in Texas, professional baseball’s American League were created, the vacuum cleaner was invented and the Army Nurse Corps was established. Army nurses have taken care of Soldiers on the battlefield and in the hospital since then and have become a lifeline for those Soldiers in the Warrior Care and Transition program.

Congress mandated the creation of the Army Nurse Corps in 1901 to support the growing military and the new Army Medical Department. This included establishing a reserve force so there would be no shortage of nurses during war time. What started out as an organization with just 202 nurses has evolved with thousands upon thousands of women and men caring for our Soldiers at home and abroad.

Lt. Col. Genera Miller became a nurse in 1987 and now serves as Chief Nurse, Warrior Care and Transition Clinical Liaison Division. “I chose to become a nurse because I felt it to be one of the most respected customer service professions in the world and, by striving to be the best nurse that I could be, I could make a difference in the health of the patients, said Miller. She saw the transition to nursing in the Army as an opportunity to challenge herself as a nurse while taking care of Soldiers and families from all walks of life anywhere, anytime.

The nurses assigned to Warrior Transition Units experience far exceeds the 117 years the Nurse Corps has been around. Nurses in the WTUs serve as Nurse Case Managers and are required to provide holistic nurse care management for wounded, ill and injured Soldiers and their Families. The Army Nurse Corps motto, Embrace the past, engage the present, envision the future, is a not only a staple at WTUs, it is enhanced. Miller broke down what the motto means to her.

“Embrace the Past – this motto personifies how far we have progressed from past practices and lessons learned in the care and management of wounded, ill and injured Soldiers.

“Engage the present – With embedded NCM support, processes are advanced and procedures are operationalized in the Warrior Care Program that affords NCMs to not only track wounded, ill and injured Soldiers, but ensure prioritized care plans are directed at healing and include dedicated efforts to achieve return to duty status or a successful transitions into civilian communities as Veterans.”

The present also includes the family in the WTU. Every Soldier and their family in the program is assigned a dedicated nurse who is guided by the case management process and standards. Individualized and holistic care management provided by nurses as part of the Triad of Care demonstrates positive outcomes and improved health service delivery.

As for the last part, Envision the future, Lt. Col. Miller sees the future as beyond bright. “In the present and into the foreseeable future, NCMs will continue to serve as advocates for the delivery of quality health service. They will consistently make a difference at the center of providing case management for Soldiers in transition and this service will continue to multiply positive outcomes in health service delivery and healing.

“WTU Nurse Case Managers are experienced in providing one to one case management for Soldiers who often times have multiple medical concerns. In the WTU, nurse care management extends beyond the priority to coordinate medical appointments,” said Miller.

Happy Birthday Army Nurse Corps! Thank you for all you do for our Soldiers and their Families.

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