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Nursing Education NLN's Nursing Education Perspectives Publishes Article on Groundbreaking Research on Disaster Preparedness

NLN's Nursing Education Perspectives Publishes Article on
Groundbreaking Research on Disaster Preparedness


Study Developed Curriculum and Training for Assessing Best Mental Health Practices for Handling Trauma Victims, Particularly Children

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York, NY — August 5, 2010 — When disaster strikes — as it did on September 11, 2001 in New York City; on April 19, 1995 in Oklahoma City; on April 20, 1990, in Columbine, Colorado; and on August 28, 2005, when Hurricane Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast — the devastation is as much emotional as it is physical. Children, in particular, can suffer immediate and long-lasting effects of trauma.

How best to prepare professionals across a range of disciplines — medical, mental health, public health, nursing, education, social services, first-responder, and faith-based organizations — to cope with the array of communal and individual needs that arise? Researchers, led by Dr. Betty Pfefferbaum (see below for full description of authors), decided to find out by designing a study to develop and implement an innovative modular curriculum and training regimen for 10 multi-disciplinary research teams located in differing locales, both urban and rural, across the United States.

Different curricular and training content modules were first created then delivered to each team, in accordance with the type of disaster and resulting community and individual mental health needs. The study's organization thus facilitated evaluation, laying a foundation for evidence-based practice.

Results of this ambitious project, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Nursing Research, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, are reported in "Enhancing National Capacity to Conduct Child and Family Disaster Mental Health Research," published in the July/August edition of Nursing Education Perspectives, the respected peer-reviewed research journal of the National League for Nursing.

"A greater understanding is needed of the effects on both communities and individuals of natural disasters and terrorist attacks. The NLN is pleased to publish this important study, which advances knowledge and provides a blueprint for professionals whose skills and expertise are called upon in these dreaded circumstances to deliver the best public mental health and clinical approaches to address individual and community needs," noted NLN CEO Beverly Malone, PhD, RN, FAAN.

Added NLN President Cathleen Shultz, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN: "It is clear from this article that mental health issues must become more central to the education of nurses and other health care professionals who deal with the effects of disaster on various populations and in different settings. NEP has made an important contribution to the literature on disaster preparedness in its publication of this article."

About the Authors: Betty Pfefferbaum, MD, JD, is George Lynn Cross Research Professor Paul and Ruth Jonas Chair, Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City. Carl A. Maida, PhD, is professor of public health, UCLA School of Dentistry. Alan M. Steinberg, PhD, is associate director, UCLA/Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA. Randal D. Beaton, Ph.D., EMT, is research professor, Department of Psychosocial and Community Health, School of Nursing, University of Washington, Seattle. Robert S. Pynoos, MD, MPH, is professor-in-residence and co-director, UCLA/Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences, UCLA. John A. Fairbank, PhD, is associate professor and co-director, UCLA/Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina. Melissa J. Brymer, PhD, PsyD, is director, Terrorism and Disaster Programs, UCLA/Duke University National Center for Child Traumatic Stress, UCLA. Andrew K. Kurklinsky, MD, MACP, is fellow, cardiovascular medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.

Editors/Reporters: For the complete article and interview opportunities, please contact Karen R. Klestzick, chief communications officer of the NLN, at 212-812-0376 or kklestzick@nln.org.

Dedicated to excellence in nursing education, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education offering faculty development, networking opportunities, testing and assessment, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 32,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members.

 

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