Care for Families

The Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses (AMSN) has taken the American Nurses Association pledge to support the White House’s Joining Forces initiative.

Medical-surgical nurses will need to be aware of not just the military service member as a patient but the family surrounding the patient as well. These resources assist you in understanding how medical-surgical nurses can care for families of wounded veterans.

AMSN Recommended Resources

Scholarly Papers

Cobb, A. M., & Pridgen, N. (2008). Clinical care: Polytrauma care: A delicate balance for the military nurse case manager. Journal of Trauma Nursing, 15(4), 192-196.

The role of the military case manager in coordinating the pathways of care from acute hospitalization to reintegration into the community.

Chandra, A., Lara-Cinisomo, S., Jaycox, L. H., Tanielian, T., Burns, R.M., Ruder, T., & Han, B. (2010b). Children on the homefront: The experience of children from military families. Pediatrics, 125, 16-25.

This article describes how children of deployed veterans process the absence of their parent within the context of war.

Hill, R. (1949). Families under stress: Adjustment to the crises of war separation and reunion. NY: Harper & Brothers.

Historical text (1949) about how families cope with the adjustment of a returning veteran using WWII as the theater of experience.

Lester, P., Peterson, K., Reeves, J. Knauss, L. Glover, D., Mogil, C., & Beardslee, W. (2010). The long war and parental combat deployment: Effects on military children and at home spouses. Journal of American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 49, 310-320.

Psychosocial and adjustment effects of lengthy deployment on the family at home.

Swenson, R. & Wolff, J. (2011). Deployment for military families carries emotional and behavioral consequences. The Brown University Child and Adolescent Behavior Letter, 27(10), 5-7.

Emotional and behavioral affects on military families during deployment.

Government Guidelines:

National Center for PTSD. (2010). Returning from the War Zone: A Guide for Families of Military Members. Retrieved from

Guide to help families of returning military members with reintegration issues.



  • American Voices: Lt. Commander Pam Wall, PBS - four-minute video from US Navy Nurse on how to care for the returning veteran.
  • VA Family Caregivers, Veterans Health Administration - six-minute video of real veterans, showing post-service injuries and how veterans families do the hard work of keeping their loved ones at home.