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Dealing with Ebola and Other Alarming Infectious Diseases NLN Recommendations for the Nursing Education Community


Free Live FAQ Webinar, Thursday, October 30, 1:00 - 2:00 pm ET*

Washington DC - Responding to the nursing education community’s need for specific recommendations in dealing with Ebola and other dire infectious diseases, the NLN has built a web-based resource for nurse educators, administrators, and students.

"In addition to these web resources," said NLN president Marsha Howell Adams, PhD, RN, CNE, FAAN, ANEF, "the NLN is proud to present a live free FAQ webinar with NLN CEO Dr. Beverly Malone and Sarah B. Vittone, MSN, MA, RN, assistant professor, Department of Nursing, Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies, Pellegrino Center for Clinical and Bioethics. Join the discussion here on Thursday, October 30 at 1 pm. *(Please note that the link will not be operational until 1 pm.)

Commented NLN CEO Dr. Beverly Malone, "There is a great deal of misinformation in the media. A Pew Research Center survey released on October 21 finds that 41 percent of Americans say they worry they or someone in their families will be ‘exposed’ to the Ebola virus, up from 32 percent two weeks earlier. Nurses, who are armed with evidence-based information and who deal with infection control on a daily basis, have a critical role to play in realistically calming the waters."

Addressing the issues surrounding the response to Ebola here at home, Dr. Adams added, "We must stand up for nurses in our hospitals and in the community. They, and other team members who daily take risks to provide care, deserve no less."

NLN Recommendations

    ➢ Conduct forums with students and faculty which should include: encouraging students to voice their concerns and fears; discussion of nursing as a profession that is not risk free; examination of how faculty teach skills and procedures that keep patients and caregivers safe through rigorous standards and adherence to universal precautions. 

    ➢ Before schools of nursing can make decisions about how to respond to threats such as Ebola, due diligence to secure the most accurate and evidence-based information is imperative. The faculty and administration of each school are best positioned to understand threats to student and faculty safety in local clinical environments. 

    ➢ Incorporate Ebola-type disaster preparedness training into the curricula by adding extraordinary isolation and safety precautions to standard infection control measures. Infections, such as MRSA, are well known to nurses. Nurses have the knowledge and skills to maintain safe environments for patients and each other in the context of highly infectious diseases. 

    ➢ Incorporate inter- and intra-professional communication into our actions. Maintaining collaborative relationships with colleagues across health care is key to the understanding of Ebola transmission and safety precautions for both the hospital-based team and to the public. 

    ➢ Stay current on evidence-based information and research into prevention and treatment such as the ZMapp, an experimental drug for the treatment of Ebola. 

    ➢ Acknowledge the courageous work of nurses and others providing health care in West Africa. Be mindful of their experiences and lessons learned that can be applied around the world.

Concluded Dr. Malone, "The nursing profession, both here and abroad, is charged with disseminating clear and accurate information. In that role, nurses and nursing students make a critical contribution to decreasing misconceptions and fears."

Editors/Reporters: For interview opportunities, please contact Karen R. Klestzick, chief communications officer at the NLN, at 202-909-2483 or

Dedicated to excellence in nursing, the National League for Nursing is the premier organization for nurse faculty and leaders in nursing education. The NLN offers professional development, networking opportunities, testing services, nursing research grants, and public policy initiatives to its 40,000 individual and 1,200 institutional members. NLN members represent nursing education programs across the spectrum of higher education, and health care organizations and agencies.