Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Deborah Lewis


Nurses may share a commonality of issues which can affect their willingness and ability to respond as post-disaster emergency care providers. Guided by expectancy, locus of control, and chaos theory, a systematic literature review was conducted to identify the barriers which affect nurses' willingness and ability to report to their unit after a disaster occurs. Briggs methodology guided this systematic review, and Fineout-Overholt's and Melnyk levels of evidence were used to evaluate the reliability of information and effectiveness of their interventions. Fifteen articles meeting the inclusion criteria (addressed nurses' willingness to report to their unit or to contact the incident command center for mobilization, published in 2005 or after, and written in English) were reviewed. Twelve were systemic reviews of descriptive and qualitative studies (Level 5), one was a cohort study (Level 4), one was a report of expert committees (Level 7), and one reported findings from a pilot study. Five articles reported personal barriers related to the nurses' home caregiver responsibilities and four articles reported personal barriers related to nurses' concern for personal and family safety. Three articles reported institutional barriers related to unsure availability of necessary safety equipment and two articles reported lack of disaster preparedness. Developing a disaster plan that includes emergency phone numbers, a prepared backpack of basic survival gear, and a plan for emergency child and elder care arrangements, as well as providing disaster training for nurses was recommended. Understanding health provider needs and willingness to respond to emergency situations contributes to positive social change by contributing to disaster risk reduction and ensuring safer and more resilient communities.