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Hopkins Nursing PhD Student Receives Army Promotion

Posted: 11/15/2010

In a Veterans Day ceremony befitting for a day when the United States remembers all who have served in the Armed Forces, Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing (JHUSON) doctoral student Major Kristal Melvin, NP, U.S. Army Nurse Corps, was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel (LTC).

Melvin joined the Army shortly after earning her master's degree from Salisbury University in 1999 because it afforded her a chance to serve her country while receiving excellent mentoring opportunities. After she earns her PhD, Melvin will be assigned to one of five nursing research cells in the Army Medical Department where she will work alongside other PhD and DNP nurses, and Clinical Nurse Specialists. Together, they will develop research questions based on practice, conduct research, and turn the findings into evidence based practice.

Melvin's doctoral dissertation explores posttraumatic symptoms (with or without PTSD diagnosis) and the impact on the relationship in Army combat veteran couples.

"I chose this topic because of some frustrations I experienced in my practice as a family nurse practitioner when I was stationed in Germany during the first round of deployments to Iraq in 2003-2004," Melvin said. "I saw...families struggling through a tough and dangerous deployment only to find that symptoms in the soldiers continued to put stress on the family once they returned home."

Melvin searched for answers to help families affected by the posttraumatic symptoms but could only find treatment options for the soldiers themselves, not the families. "I thought that someone had to do this research, and why not someone who cared deeply about it."