The concept of community resilience supports the ability of a community to regain its prior level of functioning after a disaster event has occurred. Researchers acknowledge the lack of focus placed on disaster preparedness by traditional health care personnel and suggest action for improved delivery of holistic care (Adams & Canclini, 2008; Hipper, Orr, & Chernak, 2015). However, topics such as disaster preparedness are often left to emergency management personnel, fire safety, and local law enforcement.
The intentional involvement of nurses in this endeavor supports the professional focus of community engagement and health promotion. Both topics are important to the art and science of nursing practice but may remain elusive and abstract to inexperienced nurses and prelicensure students. While nursing educators have strategically improved their methods for community engagement through a variety of service-learning activities, internships, engaged research, and institutional engagement; the visibility of the profession in disaster preparedness, mitigation, and response remains limited.
As nursing education has continued to focus on the improvement of disaster nursing concept delivery in prelicensure curriculums, opportunities exist for the experiential learning of undergraduate nursing students in community-based disaster support. This presentation will describe the intentional integration of a disaster preparedness community engagement program within a Midwest school of nursing with the intent of improving disaster preparedness for prelicensure nursing students and the local community.
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