Preparing British Military nurses to deliver nursing care on deployment. An Afghanistan study

Alan Finnegan, Sara Finnegan, David Bates, Debra Ritsperis, Kath McCourt, Mike Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Educational preparation consists of completing deployable operational nursing competencies, specialist training and individual tailored courses. This strategy was viewed as proving the appropriate academic requirement. However, training would be enhanced by introducing a formalised military preceptorship programme focussing on fundamental nursing skills. Caring for children was a particular concern, and it was emphasised that educational courses must be combined with a standardised clinical placement policy. Adequate clinical exposure can be challenging as nurses are not routinely exposed to War Zone levels of trauma in the UK. Clinical placements need to be standardised and harmonised, and located in areas where nurses cared for patients with similar injury patterns to those witnessed on deployment. Current NHS Trust placements can reduce the opportunities for employment in suitable clinical environments and diminishing the openings for collective military training. Better use should be made of clinical rotation programmes, including high dependency units, elective surgery, medical assessment units, paediatrics, and outreach teams such as burns and plastic surgery and pain management. Practice Educators should be utilised to provide education, mentorship, supervision and continuing personal development in the operational arena. The paper considers post-Afghanistan future options.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)104-112
JournalNurse Education Today
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015


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