Call to Action: The Case for Advancing Disaster Nursing Education in the United States

Tener Goodwin Veenema, Roberta Proffitt Lavin, Anne Griffin, Alicia R. Gable, Mary Pat Couig, Aram Dobalian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: Climate change, human conflict, and emerging infectious diseases are inexorable actors in our rapidly evolving healthcare landscape that are triggering an ever-increasing number of disaster events. A global nursing workforce is needed that possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities to respond to any disaster or large-scale public health emergency in a timely and appropriate manner. The purpose of this article is to articulate a compelling mandate for the advancement of disaster nursing education within the United States with clear action steps in order to contribute to the achievement of this vision. Design and Methods: A national panel of invited disaster nursing experts was convened through a series of monthly semistructured conference calls to work collectively towards the achievement of a national agenda for the future of disaster nursing education. Findings: National nursing education experts have developed consensus recommendations for the advancement of disaster nursing education in the United States. This article proposes next steps and action items to achieve the desired vision of national nurse readiness. Conclusions: Novel action steps for expanding disaster educational opportunities across the continuum of nursing are proposed in response to the current compelling need to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the impact of disasters on human health. U.S. educational institutions and health and human service organizations that employ nurses must commit to increasing access to a variety of quality disaster-related educational programs for nurses and nurse leaders. Clinical Relevance: Opportunities exist to strengthen disaster readiness and enhance national health security by expanding educational programming and training for nurses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-696
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Nursing Scholarship
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • Disaster
  • education
  • health security
  • leadership
  • nursing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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