Date of Award


Document Type


Copyright Status, No Creative Commons License

All Rights Reserved

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Nursing




Problem Statement: Female veterans are growing in record numbers and are the fastest growing segment of the veteran population in the United States(U.S.). After discharge from the military, female veterans face a difficult challenge in finding quality, efficient, and gender-specific health care following active duty. The growing number of female veterans in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care facilities has highlighted gaps in access to care and quality of care for female veterans. Methodology: Interpretive phenomenology was used to better understand the meaning of 11 U.S. female veterans’ experiences. Semi-structured telephone interviews and the analytic approach of Martin Heidegger (1962) permitted the exploration of contextual aspects of participants’ lives and the in-depth meaning of their experiences. Results: The results of this study reflect the needed areas for further health education and the advice from the participants for all female veterans to be advocates for themselves when attaining health care following active duty. The findings in this study have important implications for women’s health care providers and policy makers within both the VA and civilian health care systems related to screening, barriers to care and knowledge deficits of female veterans on how to attain post— active— duty health care. Conclusions: The females in this study had varied reintegration experiences to both the VA and the American medical system. Although the VA offers a variety of services for transitioning veterans, this study promotes additional specific health programs before and after transitioning out of the military.

Related Pillar(s)


Included in

Nursing Commons