Publication Date

Spring 2023

Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Susan McNiesh

Second Advisor

Denise Dawkins

Third Advisor

Toby Underwood


Transitions, Veterans, Medics, Intermediate Care Technicians


Approximately 2,000 medics transition from military service to civilian jobs annually, and the civilian workforce currently does not have a mechanism to utilize the skills of these transitioning veterans. Medics and Hospital Corpsmen are not licensed or certified, making transferring into employment in the community difficult. The Veterans Affairs (VA) has an intermediate care technician (ICT) program that provides employment for previous active-duty medics and hospital corpsmen. Understanding the transition of medics and hospital corpsmen better positions the Department of Defense and the VA leadership to support the transitioning veteran.
This DNP project used a quality improvement framework, and a qualitative descriptive project utilizing thematic analysis. The demographic questions documented participant diversity. In the initial assessment phase, the project team administered a voluntary, anonymous survey to help determine the barriers and facilitators medics and hospital corpsman experience during their transitions to the ICT role. The qualitative surveys examined participants’ experiences using their thoughts and personal descriptions. Themes from the participant responses are as follows: managing emotions, not feeling valued, need for mentorship, readiness, inadequate skill transfer, camaraderie/duty to serve, family and friends, and self-validation/reflection. The transition from active-duty service to the civilian workforce begins well before the last day of active duty. This transition is complex, challenging, and can be difficult to navigate for our medic population. There is an opportunity for the DOD and the VA to collaborate to improve the transition experience.


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