Jonas IV Veterans Healthcare Scholar Alumni

Linda Frothinger, RN

Washington State University

I teach community health nursing at Seattle University, including clinical work within the downtown and First Hill areas of Seattle. Part of my clinical work involves working with veterans who are homeless or low-income. I focus my teaching on addressing the needs of these veterans, including listening to their stories about how they transitioned following deployment and in the years since their deployment. These transitions include health, profession, and life changes (Meleis, 2010). The veterans of the Vietnam War have experienced transitions over the course of their lives following their deployment in the 1960-70s. Their descriptions of how they have come to live with little or no income is indicative of how the lives of veterans following deployment, is a public health issue. My goal in my dissertation is to focus on the transitions these veterans have faced over time so that nursing can understand its contribution to the veteran over the course of a lifetime. In turn, this will support nursing knowledge of how to care for current veterans following deployment, so that they may experience the transitions described by Meleis, while achieving a sense of belonging in their community. My students meet weekly with this population, teaching them about health promotion, linking them to health resources and community resources, and listening to their stories. In turn, this provides nursing the knowledge about how to promote a sense of belonging for the veteran.