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Military nursing highlighted during National Nurses' Week

Image of Military health personnel checking patients vitals. Air Force Capt. Jennifer Armon, a nurse assigned to the 60th Air Mobility Command, Travis Air Force Base, California, begins her shift by assessing a patient's vitals at Dameron Hospital, Stockton, California, on Jan. 8, 2021 (Photo by: Army Spc. Caleb Minor/5th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment).

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Nursing in the Military Health System

National Nurses Week is held each year from May 6 to May 12 to honor all nurses for their dedication and commitment to the profession.

Born on May 12, Florence Nightingale, otherwise known as "The Lady with The Lamp," is considered the founder of modern nursing for her revolutionary treatment of wounded soldiers during the Crimean War (1853-1856). Her pioneering work to improve the sanitation and hygiene for wounded soldiers paved the way for later developments in battlefield medicine.

Nurses within the Defense Health Agency continue to carry Nightingale's legacy of care and compassion forth on a daily basis.

The DHA's nursing workforce includes military, civilian and U.S. Public Health Service nurses, who work in multiple specialties around the globe to deliver inpatient and ambulatory, patient-centered care to more than 9.6 million beneficiaries.

How many nurses work in the military?

There are 29,645 nurses in the military, according to the Military Health System. Here is the breakdown by service:

  • Army: 9,598
  • Reserves/National Guard: 9,008
  • Navy: 4,540
  • Air Force: 4,036
  • United States Public Health Service: 1,352
  • Defense Health Agency: 1,111

USUHS

Since its founding in 1993, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences' Daniel K. Inouye School of Graduate Nursing in Bethesda, Maryland has graduated 1,074 advanced practice nurses.

  • Registered nurse anesthetists: 463
  • Family nurse practitioners: 403
  • Adult psychiatric mental health specialists: 79
  • Critical nurse specialists: 69
  • Ph.D. in nursing science: 48
  • Women's health nurse practitioners: 12

Graduate school rankings:

  • The Inouye nursing school is ranked in the top 5% overall for graduate nursing by U.S. News & World Report
  • The Doctor of Nursing Practice program is ranked No. 15 in the nation by the magazine
  • The Master of Science in Nursing program is ranked No. 27 of 598 U.S. programs
  • The Nurse Anesthesia program remains No. 4 in the country (it was ranked there in previous years)

Six essential features of professional nursing:

(From the American Nursing Association)

  • Provision of a caring relationship that facilitates health and healing
  • Attention to the range of human experiences and responses to health and illness within the physical and social environments
  • Integration of objective data with knowledge gained from an appreciation of the patient or group's subjective experience
  • Application of scientific knowledge to the processes of diagnosis and treatment using judgment and critical thinking
  • Advancement of professional nursing knowledge through scholarly inquiry
  • Influence on social and public policy to promote social justice

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Last Updated: April 25, 2022

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