Disaster Nursing: From Theory to Practice

By: Cole Edmonson DNP, RN, FACHE, NEA-BC, FAAN

It’s been just over two and a half years that the SADN Practice workgroup has been meeting monthly under the guidance of the SADN organizational structure.  The Practice workgroup has included a consistent and engaged team of a dozen nurse colleagues, who have dedicated not only their time but their talents as well. Many of the members have experience responding to major disasters, teaching disaster education and are compelled to communicate their experience in ways that strengthen and support our national nursing workforce in preparedness, response, and prevention to various disasters.

As described by a collective group of disaster nursing experts (Veenema et.al 2016), the focus of the Practice workgroup is to achieve actionable steps towards the following recommendations:

Practice 1.1 Health care and related organizations support clinical nursing practice during disasters to reflect crisis standards of care and address common barriers to the willingness of nurses to respond to a disaster.

Practice 1.2 Establish a collective effort among nurse leaders to advance the practice of disaster nursing and public health emergency preparedness and response.

Practice members have delivered 7 presentations during the past two years for the national, county and local audiences on a range of topics that include; a disaster nursing call-to-action, personal preparedness, psychological resilience and the role of information technology in disaster preparedness. Six of our members were invited by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) to provide the evaluation for a mass casualty disaster drill during the 2017 ENA annual convention in St Louis, MO. We are currently working with the Girl Scouts to develop a disaster preparedness badge that could be integrated into the activities of the Girl Scout STEM camps and disseminated nationally. The promotion of personal preparedness serves as the cornerstone of most of our activities and we have identified the following website to use as a resource: https://dallascityhall.com/departments/officeemergencymanagement/Pages/Make-a-Plan.aspx

This past year we welcomed five new members: Including the transition of the chair position.

Cole Edmonson, D.N.P., R.N., FACHE, NEA-BC ( Chair ), June 2018

Chief Clinical Officer, AMN Healthcare

Kimberly K. Hatchel, DNP, MHA, RN, CENP, August 2018

Market CNO/Senior VP, Lexington One Health

Melinda Hirshouer, DNP, RN, MBA, MHSM, June 2018

Director of Inpatient Rehabilitation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas

Laurie G. Combe, MN, RN, NCSN

President-Elect, National Association of School Nurses

Nicole “Nikki” M. Ward, Maj, USAF, NC

HAF Junior Nurse Executive Fellow

Office of the Surgeon General

Medical Force Development (SG1/8AN)

We are honored to be part of the larger SADN group.  The work and success of each workgroup excite and motivates us to accomplish more.  We are all driven by a common purpose to assure nurses are prepared to competently and safely respond and lead in disaster scenarios.


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