March 13, 2009

Etherington’s crisis response efforts honored

Featured Image

Carol Etherington, M.S.N., R.N.

Etherington’s crisis response efforts honored

Carol Etherington, M.S.N., R.N., assistant professor at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing, has been honored with the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation's (ICISF) Lifetime Achievement Award for her numerous contributions to the field of crisis response.

Etherington received the award at a luncheon during the recent ICISF World Congress on Stress, Trauma and Coping in Baltimore. The ICISF is a nonprofit foundation dedicated to the prevention and mitigation of disabling stress globally.

“Carol repeatedly demonstrates what a huge difference a nurse can make,” said Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., dean of the School of Nursing. “She touches people every day, whether she is assisting in a refugee camp, fighting for policy change or teaching and challenging students. She is relentless in her efforts to make the world a better place for those dealing with traumatic situations.”

The award is presented annually to an individual who has made considerable contributions to the field of crisis intervention or to ICISF.

Etherington is a 1975 graduate of the School of Nursing's master's program. A mental health expert, she has focused largely on traumatized populations, creating effective community-based programs for the health and human rights of individuals, families and communities who have survived natural disasters, war, crime or other abuses.

Among her numerous activities, Etherington initiated the Victim Intervention Program in Nashville, one of the first police-based counseling programs in the United States. She served around the world with Doctors Without Borders and became the first nurse elected to its U.S. board of directors, serving two terms as board president.

She has continued her work on several missions in the United States, including during the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2001, the 1994 Los Angeles earthquake, and Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina. She remains a Red Cross disaster volunteer and, as a community health nurse, participates in local and regional projects related to refugee and immigrant populations.