Elizabeth Scannell-Desch, PhD, RN, OCNS, and her twin sister Mary Ellen Doherty, PhD, RN, CNM, have co-authored a book exploring the challenges military nurses face when returning home. Titled Nurses After War: The Reintegration Experience of Nurses Returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the book is the second collaboration by Scannell-Desch and Doherty.
"We wanted people to have perspective on their wartime experience," said Scannell-Desch, who is associate dean of baccalaureate programs at Rutgers University-Camden. "Everyone who goes to war comes back changed."
Serving active duty as a flight nurse from 1972 to 1997, Scannell Desch knows what life can be like for returning nurses. Many had to adjust to a "new normal," Scannell-Desch said of the 35 nurses interviewed for the book. "Some people decide to get out of the military or pursue a different area of nursing that they never contemplated before."
The first book authored by these sisters focused on the life of nurses in war zones. With this second edition, they hope to show military nurses and their families that resources are available for coping and social support.