Diversifying the Healthcare Workforce: Transition of the Combat Medic to Baccalaureate-Prepared Nurse
Date of Publication
Jason Garbarino, DNP, RN-BC, CNL and Llynne Kiernan, DNP, MSN, RN-BC
The creation of a combat medic to accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program may offer a way to positively contribute to the nursing workforce. Therefore, the purpose of this feasibility project was to combine the four sub-roles of expert practitioner, educator, researcher, and consultant1, to design a new pathway for military combat medic entry into nursing.
A comparative analysis elucidated gaps in 219 different nursing skills, didactic and general education requirements, clinical hours, and transfer credits between combat medic training and the BSN curriculum at a Vermont university. Identified gaps were compared to nursing licensure requirements. A sample of combat medics was surveyed for interest level in pursuing a BSN, desired employment setting, and intent to work at the bedside for two years or longer. Feedback was collected from faculty and administrators and at schools with similar existing programs.
Two program plans of study for 24- and 32-month completion were developed, (dependent on transfer credits and demonstrated skill competencies). Participating combat medics (84%) reported being “very interested” and 16% reported being “interested” in pursuing an accelerated program in nursing. Combat medic participants (100%) indicated that they would remain at the bedside for two years or longer.
The proposed program pathway was well-received and may offer a way to alleviate medic unemployment rates and contribute to the nursing workforce. Plans for further research include a cost-benefit analysis, more precise sampling to gauge interest levels, and determinants of requisite supplies, physical space, clinical placements, and faculty.
Keywords: Nurse, Military, Medic, BSN, RN
- Manley, K. (1997). A conceptual framework for advanced practice: An action research project operationalizing an advanced practitioner/consultant nurse role. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 6, 179–190.
Gates, Lyndsey E., "Diversifying the Healthcare Workforce: Transition of the Combat Medic to Baccalaureate-Prepared Nurse" (2020). College of Nursing and Health Sciences Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Project Publications. 42.