August 1, 2003

Nursing experts converge at VUMC

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Nursing experts converge at VUMC

Nursing leaders, educators, and organizations from around the world converged on Vanderbilt recently to discuss how nurses in the United States and abroad are trained to respond to a mass casualty event and come up with universal curricula to address the issue.

The International Nursing Coalition for Mass Casualty Education (INCMCE), founded in 2001 and directed by Colleen Conway-Welch, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Nursing, hosted the event in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“The INCMCE is becoming a robust and recognized nursing organization; the only one that has pulled together more than 50 nursing organizations and 30 others to address how to coordinate nursing’s role of response to natural and man-made disasters,” said Conway-Welch.

Betsy Weiner, Ph.D., associate dean for Educational Informatics and associate director of the INCMCE, said the coalition meeting gave the nursing leaders a chance to review and accept the proposed curricular competencies for all nurses in emergency preparedness.

“These competencies will provide a roadmap for all nurses as they seek to obtain appropriate education to help their communities during times of need,” said Weiner.

Some of the nursing leaders present included representatives from the University of Ulster School of Nursing and Health Sciences in Ireland, the Office of Homeland Security, U.S. Public Health Service, the American Nurses Association, the American Red Cross, and many other nursing bodies and organizations.

The INCMCE completed their meeting by identifying research questions and ways to send the information to all nurses so that they can be prepared. The coalition plans to present the approved competencies online with a clearinghouse of other information for nurses. n