Date of Conferral
Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)
After the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, public health garnered more attention. This event forced public health nurses to acquire new roles needed to respond to disasters. The purpose of this project was to synthesize the current evidence related to the role of nurses during disaster preparedness and apply that evidence to public health nurses. The practice question focused on the role of nurses during disasters which were not a part of their normal daily activity. The Fineout-Overholt, Melnyk, Stillwell, and Williamson hierarchy for grading evidence was the theoretical framework used. A systematic literature review was conducted to synthesize the current evidence and answer the proposed practice questions. After removing exclusion criteria, there were 3 articles evaluated and graded for levels of evidence. Much of the current literature offered recommendations for competencies, role identification for nurses during disaster preparedness by their employers, curriculum development, and training needed for nurses to identify their role during disasters. A suggested recommendation based on this project is to conduct a mixed methods study to help identify the specific role of the public health nurse during disasters. Obtaining a broader perspective of the role for the public health nurse during disasters can provide a better understanding of the new roles and duties they can assume. The social implication of these findings is that local health departments can identify the role of public health nurses during disaster preparedness and improve the nurse's response to disasters, thereby protecting the health of populations.