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The history of disaster nursing: from Nightingale to nursing in the 21st century.

Fletcher, K. A, Reddin, K. and Tait, D., 2022. The history of disaster nursing: from Nightingale to nursing in the 21st century. Journal of Research in Nursing, 27 (3), 257-272.

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17449871211058854.pdf - Published Version
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DOI: 10.1177/17449871211058854


Background: Nurses have a rich history in performing their duty both domestically and internationally in response to a disaster. Comprising the largest proportion of the healthcare workforce, nurses possess a unique opportunity to inform disaster planning and management. With the ongoing threat from COVID-19 and continuing conflict, humanitarian aid needs, epidemics and natural disasters; the capacity of nurses to continue to respond in times of global need is unparalleled. Aims: The aim of this paper is to explore the developments in the field of disaster nursing. Mapping key changes in policy, practice and outcomes. Methods: A qualitative interpretive historical review was conducted to examine core developments in the history of disaster nursing, examining key organisations (e.g. World Health Organization, International Council of Nurses), national and international policies and historical accounts. Results: 29 articles were analysed, and politics, strategic perspectives and nursing identity (‘sense of duty’ and roles) emerged from the literature. The influence of professionalisation and public health/health promotion emerged next. A total of 10 articles refer to disaster nursing specifically, of which 4 of these are reports/policy. Conclusions: Nurses have spent centuries building the trust and legitimacy of the profession. Disaster nursing goes beyond the expectations of a registered nurse. The responsibilities of a disaster nurse encompass wider community health promotion, critical decision-making beyond the individual patient, resilience and ethical challenges. Whilst significant advancements have emerged in the last 30 years, further research, and representation of the profession at a strategic and political level could enhance the effectiveness of nurses’ roles in the 4 phases of disaster response: mitigation, preparation, response and recovery.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:disasters; history of nursing; International Council of Nurses; nursing practice; nursing specialties; public health
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:37148
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:05 Jul 2022 13:05
Last Modified:05 Jul 2022 13:05


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