Publication Date

Spring 2015

Degree Type

Doctoral Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Sylvia Miller

Second Advisor

Ndidi Griffin

Third Advisor

Vickie Krenz


Access barriers, Native American veterans, Culture congruent care


There are very few studies that examine Native American Veterans and access to care issues. Therefore, the researchers implemented an exploratory, descriptive, qualitative project to explore and identify the potential barriers that Native American Veterans have experienced with access to healthcare and participation in veteran benefit programs. A purposeful sample consisted of 14 Native veterans from the American Indian Veteran Association who were eligible for veteran services, and were willing to participate in the project. Fieldwork was performed in the natural environment of the Sierra Nevada foothills on the ancestral homeland of a California Tribe. The facilitator utilized a demographic survey and observation to assess the dynamics of the group, to view the interactions between the participants and the environment, and to recognize nonverbal clues through body language and behavior. Through semi-structured focus group sessions or "talking circles", the American Indian Veteran participants provided data that produced 14 themes of rich and meaningful descriptions, and identified 28 access to care barriers. The participants offered up creative and viable solutions to reduce these barriers that may be of significant value to the Native American communities across the United States by satisfying a crucial need in bridging the access to care gap.

Included in

Other Nursing Commons


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