America's Nurses Take the Lead in Caring for Military Families

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden participate in a Joining Forces nurses event

First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden participate in a Joining Forces nurses event in the Irvine Auditorium at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pa., April 11, 2012. Joing them on stage is Navy Lieutenant Commander Pamela Wall. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Yesterday, I had the wonderful privilege of joining First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden at the University of Pennsylvania for arguably the most far-reaching announcement we have had to date in Joining Forces -- a commitment from our nation's nursing leaders to train more than 3 million nurses to have a better understanding of health issues impacting our troops, veterans and their families – with a specific focus on Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD) and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). 

The announcement was made at the University of Pennsylvania -- one of America's leading nursing schools -- and the audience included our troops, nursing students and leaders from nursing organizations and schools throughout America. 

The atmosphere was energetic -- and it was apparent from the minute Mrs. Obama and Dr. Biden walked onto the stage that these nurses and nursing students were eager and excited to get to work and support military families. 

Nurses are some of America's most trusted professionals. They are the first to care for us when we go to a hospital or clinic and they are known for their compassion for their patients. 

So it was no surprise to see nurses step up in this fast and efficient way to learn about PTSD and TBI ... and find innovative ways to make a difference. 

The commitment is significant and impactful -- led by the American Nurses Association, American Academy of Nurse Practitioners, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, and the National League for Nursing, in coordination with the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, more than 150 nursing organizations and 500 nursing schools throughout America will arm our nation's nurses with a better understanding of PTSD and TBI in the coming years. 

Veterans live in literally every community in America. With nurses serving on the front line of America's health care system -- and also serving in every community in America -- this new commitment will ensure nurses have the knowledge they need to serve our veterans and their families as well as they have served us.


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