Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted. Stratified random sampling was used to recruit eligible cases from 1,197 nurses, who had been registered nurses for at least 3 months in a military medical centre from northern Taiwan. In addition, all male nurses and military nurses were recruited. Data were collected on readiness for disaster management competency using a 40-item, reliable, well-valid, and self-administered questionnaire with four domains (preparedness competence, self-protection, emergency response, and clinical nursing skill). Linear regression models were applied to explore the predictors of readiness for disaster management skills among nurses.
Results: Among the recruited 365 registered nurses who were 32.6 years of age (SD = 8.04), there was an average 12.6 years of work in nursing. The majority (75.9%) had a Bachelor’s degree or higher in nursing. Eighty percent (n = 292) were civilian nurses without military ranks. Thirty-four percent worked in critical care units or an emergency room. Some participants (n = 14, 19.5%) had previously received disaster-related training; 3.8% had previous disaster nursing experience and 13.4% had been deployed for disaster assistance. When adjusting for potential confounding factors the length of nursing work and previously received disaster training are significantly associated with preparedness competency and self-protection competency, respectively. Length of nursing work (p < .001), educational level (p = .02), working unit (p < .001), and previously received disaster-related training (p = .01) were associated with emergency response competency and clinical nursing skill competency, respectively. Regarding overall disaster management competency, participants with longer length of nursing work (p < .001), with a higher educational level (Bachelor’s degree and above) (p = .03), working at critical care units or an emergency room (p=.02), and having previously received disaster training (p<.001), were associated better disaster nursing competency.
Conclusion: Our study indicates that disaster-related training is recommended to be included in continuous nursing education, and preparing nurses to become critical care nurses helps to improve their own readiness for disaster management competency.