Date of Award


Document Type



College of Nursing

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)

Project Mentor

Jennifer Fricas


Maj Bradley Smith


Veterans, as a population, tend to have higher levels of disability than the civilian population. The Veterans Affairs (VA), as an organization, is infamous for the bureaucratic challenges it presents to those seeking services. The complicated, confusing, and lengthy process of accessing care through the VA often presents a barrier in and of itself. Due to these and many other factors, veterans suffer from higher rates of disability, chronic illness, and mental illness compared to the general population. Rural veterans face additional barriers to healthcare based on their locale, including increased physical distance to care, and a shortage of general and specialty providers. The purpose of this project is to provide an educational intervention to veterans recently separated from the military and living in a rural setting regarding eligibility for healthcare benefits through the VA and the application process for said benefits. A pre and posttest was administered to evaluate improvements in veterans’ understanding of these concepts, as well as a qualitative survey to determine the most useful piece of information presented. Results showed modest improvement in veterans’ understanding of benefits and the application process, with evidence of successful process improvement though the project.