Online Program

Perceived level of disaster preparedness of rural nurses in a midwest community

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 : 8:50 a.m. - 9:10 a.m.

Gloria Arps, MSN, RN, Henry County Health Department, Napoleon, OH
Judy A. Didion, PhD, RN, College of Nursing, Lourdes University, Sylvania, OH
Brian Fink, PhD, MPH, CHES, Public Health and Preventive Medicine, University of Toledo - Health Science Campus, Toledo, OH
Disasters can occur anywhere at any time threatening the health of a community. Rural communities are particularly at risk because of scarce resources. Since nurses make up a large portion of the public health workforce in rural communities, it is important for rural health departments and disaster management agencies to continuously assess the level of disaster preparation of nurses in rural communities to understand capacity and to plan appropriate disaster preparedness programs. The purpose of this quantitative, non-experimental study was to assess rural nurses' perceived knowledge of disaster preparedness. A convenience sample of 165 registered nurses from a rural local health department, hospital, and community college participated in this study. The Emergency Preparedness Information Questionnaire (EPIQ), developed by Wisniewski, Dennik-Champion, and Peltier's (2004), was used to assess the registered nurses' perception of knowledge on disaster preparedness. Findings from the EPIQ survey tool indicated a low level of self-reported familiarity of preparedness knowledge and perceived deficits in basic knowledge of emergency preparedness. The findings also indicated that the participants were not individually or family prepared for a disaster. Participants did express willingness to participate in trainings on emergency preparedness if available and identified favorable training modalities. This study suggests the need for further research on training needs for the nurses in the rural setting so that they will be able to respond effectively during a disaster.

Learning Areas:

Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe rural nurses’ perceived knowledge of disaster preparation based upon the findings from a survey of 165 rural nurses in a Midwest county. Discuss the implications for rural communities based upon the perceived disaster preparedness level of nurses who work or live in these communities. Identify specific disaster preparation training needs and strategies for rural nurses and nursing students.

Keyword(s): Disasters, Nursing Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was the lead advisor for the student who completed this research. I have woked in Public Health Nursing for over 25 years. I am also a nursing professor and have taught community health nursing for over 30 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.