Search for school

What Nurses need to know about Disaster Preparedness

Nursing professionals have a responsibility to stay aware of current protocols and response practices as part of nurse disaster preparedness. This is the first line of defense in controlling what is often a chaotic situation. Today’s unstable environmental and political climates put us at an even greater risk for man-made events such as terrorist attacks or natural disasters like a hurricane. Even infectious diseases can reach epidemic proportions at an alarming rate. Disaster planning means nurses are able to assist the general public by responding to sudden health threats.

Things Nurses need to know about Disaster Preparedness

Disasters by Definition

One point of confusion is the difference between emergencies and disasters, according to the American Journal of Nursing. An emergency is an event handled by local resources such as a fire department. A disaster is a catastrophic occurrence that disrupts essential services like housing and communication, and requires outside aid. Disasters become a public health concern extremely quickly.

Disaster Classifications

Disasters fall into different categories. Understanding the classification of each defines the level of response necessary.

•Natural
•Chemical
•Biological
•Nuclear
•Explosive

Different categories require different disaster response and protocols. The first step in disaster preparedness is to become familiar with the variety of incidents and their standard contingencies.

Calls to Action

A common place of concern for nursing staff is the legal requirement to act in an emergency. When disaster strikes, nurses may want to stay with their families or be hesitant to leave their current environment if they feel at risk. Disaster protocols differ from state to state. In some areas, the failure to act by nurses during a call to action is punishable. Others rely on their natural inclination to serve in a voluntary fashion. A nurse must fully understand the legal elements of responding during a disaster.

Voluntary Service

Volunteering ahead of time is a practical way to eliminate confusion. After the disaster hits, panic and chaos will rule. This is a poor time to contemplate volunteer options. Instead, nurses should pick an agency and pre-register for service. The organization will help identify the steps to take if a call to action comes during an event. Discuss volunteering with your employer prior to committing to service. Some have rules regarding disaster response that may interfere with volunteering. Violation may mean re-employment after containment is not possible. An employer must agree to work release prior to the disaster for the nurse to have any job security.

Expectations for In-House Response

Nurses need to understand how regular facility operations change during a disaster. Most hospitals continue functioning as usual, but there may be interdepartmental modifications as part of the disaster management. For example, surgeries may be cancelled automatically to open suites up for emergency service. The unit will have designated shelter locations and a triage center. Part of disaster preparedness is acquainting yourself with the guidelines for disaster response in a work facility. Nurses must know where to find the core competencies explaining the function and service line options.

Chain of command is a critical piece of information for everyone involved in emergency response. Typically, the Incident Command System defined titles and roles for each agency. This includes designating incident commanders, safety officers and interagency liaisons.

Ethical Issues

Ethics can be sketchy in disaster situations. Nurses should be aware of the Nursing Scope and Standards, as well as regulatory issues. Nurses working as volunteers should understand their distinctive role as responders.

Continuing Education

Disaster planning is a skill set that requires development like any other. Formal classes and certification courses are available in disaster training. Most institutions provide nurses disaster preparedness as part of the curriculum. Healthcare professionals should plan to expand their knowledge after graduation through continuing education, states the American Nurses Association. By revisiting the study every few years, a nurse stays current on local protocols and skills.

Nursing Scholarships

American Assembly for Men in Nursing (AAMN) American Cancer Society Doctoral Degree Scholarships in Cancer Nursing Gallagher Student Health Careers Scholarship
The Gates Millenium Scholars (GMS) National Black Nurses Association (NBNA) National Student Nurses’ Association (NSNA)
New Careers in Nursing (NCIN) Nurse Corps Scholarship (NCS) Nurses of Tomorrow
Nursing Economics Foundation Tylenol Future Care Scholarship American Holistic Nurses Association

Fortis Institute

Fortis Nursing Program

Programs:

  • Associate Degree in Nursing
  • Practical Nursing
  • PN RN Associate Degree Bridge Program
  • And more...

Grand Canyon University

Why earn your degree at Grand Canyon University? GCU is a regionally accredited university offering graduate and undergraduate degrees in Business, Nursing, Psychology, Education & more. Apply today!

Programs:

  • Doctor of Nursing Practice with an Emphasis in Educational Leadership
  • B.S. in Nursing (Registered Nurse - R.N. to B.S.N)
  • M.S. in Nursing: Health Care Informatics (Bridge)
  • And more...

Kaplan University

Kaplan University is focused on recognizing the achievements of military and veteran students and offers the flexibility of an online education.

Programs:

  • MS in Nursing
  • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate
  • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
  • And more...

Regent University

Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose.

Programs:

  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN)

Medical Careers Institute

Start a great career in healthcare with Medical Careers Institute.

 

What Are You Waiting For?

Programs:

  • Nursing (RN-BSN) - Bachelor's
  • Practical Nursing - Diploma
  • Nursing (RN) - Associate's
  • And more...

Kaplan University

WELCOME TO KAPLAN UNIVERSITY

Online Education That Fits Your Life

For 80 years, we’ve been preparing students for career success. We’ve led the wayso that our students can too.

Programs:

  • MS in Nursing
  • Executive Leader Graduate Certificate
  • Master of Science - DNP Path (Doctor of Nursing Practice)
  • And more...

Fortis Institute

At Fortis Institute, you may get the skills and training you need to prepare for a career.

* Programs vary by location

* Please contact each individual campus for accreditation information


Programs:

  • Associate Degree in Nursing
  • Practical Nursing
  • Medical Assistant

South University

As a student at South University, you will have the opportunity to learn from accomplished faculty members who have real-world experience in the subjects that they teach. Our small class sizes allow you to receive personalized attention from instructors, and the encouragement to recognize your goals for the future and the means to achieve them.

Programs:

  • Nursing (BS)

Northcentral University

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

Programs:

  • Doctor of Education - Nursing Education

Colorado Technical University Online

A degree from CTU can connect you to what matters most: powerful professional network, faculty who are real-world professionals and innovative technology. So once you earn your degree you hit the ground sprinting. Are you in?

Programs:

  • Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Administration
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (RN to BSN completion)
  • Master of Science in Nursing - Nursing Education

Centura College

Centura College, with campus locations in Virginia, South Carolina and Florida.

Programs:

  • Practical Nursing Diploma
  • Associate of Occupational Science Degree in Medical Assisting-Clinical Concentration

Bradley University

Established in 1897, Bradley University is a private, independent institution of higher learning in Peoria, Illinois. Inspired by our founder, notable philanthropist Lydia Moss Bradley, we pursue excellence in teaching, research, scholarship and service; and we celebrate leadership, integrity, diversity and collaborative learning.

Programs:

  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Leadership Track (MSN to DNP)
  • Online Master of Science in Nursing (BSN to MSN-FNP)
  • Online Doctor of Nursing Practice - Family Nurse Practitioner Track (BSN to DNP)
  • And more...

Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences

Nursing@Simmons, the innovative, online nursing degree program from Simmons School of Nursing and Health Sciences prepares Registered Nurses for the next stage of their careers.

You need to have a Bachelor’s degree and RN license to be qualified for this school.

Programs:

  • MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner
  • RN to MSN - Family Nurse Practitioner

South University, Online Programs

Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the similar curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

Programs:

  • Nursing (RN to BSN)
  • RN to Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Family Nurse Practitioner (RN-MSN)
  • RN to Master of Science in Nursing with a specialization in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner (RN-MSN)
  • And more...

Related Post

How to Obtain a Career in Correctional Nursing

Choosing to become a corrections nurse is a decision that should not be taken lightly. A corrections nurse is responsible for attending to inmates at correctional facilities across the country.

Why Taking a NCLEX Refresher Course is Important

Every licensed nurse in the United States has gone through the grueling experience of taking the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX, and most likely every nurse can verify that an NCLEX