Shipboard Nursing on Aircraft Carriers: The Lived Experience of Twelve Navy Nurses
Review TypeNone: Degree-based Submission
Review StatusNot Applicable (See Review Type)
Repository Posting Date2019-09-10T13:34:01Z
Author(s)Cox, Catherine W.
Author DetailsCatherine W. Cox, RN, PhD, CEN, CNE
Lead Author Sigma AffliationPhi Epsilon
Level of EvidencePhenomenology
Research ApproachQualitative Research
The purpose of this study, was to describe the lived experience of shipboard nursing on aircraft carriers. As of Spring 2001, the Navy had twelve aircraft carriers in operation. Each carrier's medical department includes just one Navy nurse assigned to directly care for over 5,500 personnel. Currently, there is no research that describes what it is like to be the only nurse available to a patient population in the thousands. Using the principles of phenomenology, twelve Navy nurses previously stationed aboard aircraft carriers were interviewed to explore their experience as ships' nurses. Six of the participants were female and six were male. The participants were asked: “What was your experience as a nurse on an aircraft carrier?” Husserlian phenomenology provided the theoretical framework for this study and Streubert's methodological approach was chosen to analyze the phenomena. The primary data collection strategy was the use of tape-recorded, in-person interviews. Prior to the start of the formal interview, informed consent was documented and demographic data were obtained in order to fully place the data into context. The interviews were conducted until data saturation occurred and were transcribed prior to data analysis. Organization of the data was supported by the use of a computer program entitled NVivo. All twelve of the participants verified the formalized, exhaustive description of the phenomenon and after some minor changes, they agreed that it accurately reflected their experience as the ship's nurse on each aircraft carrier. Shipboard nursing on aircraft carriers was best described by the following essences: experiencing the best but toughest job the Navy has to offer its nurses; ensuring operational readiness; being one-of-one; operating constantly in an environment of uncertainty; having two families; and making the job better for the next generation. The findings of this study have implications for operational readiness and will assist Navy Nurse Corps administrators with making appropriate assignments for nurses seeking these carrier assignments. Finally, since there is a paucity of literature on this topic, the results have given a public voice to this extraordinary experience of military nursing.
DescriptionThis dissertation has also been disseminated through the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. Dissertation/thesis number: 3026451; ProQuest document ID: 305488204. The author still retains copyright.
Advisor(s)Sorrell, Jeanne M.
Degree GrantorGeorge Mason University
NotesThis item has not gone through this repository's peer-review process, but has been accepted by the indicated university or college in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the specified degree.
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