Nurses Form Disaster Response Network
The California Nurses Association last week announced that it will launch a national rapid response network to be deployed to the sites of natural or manmade disasters where medical care is needed, the Oakland Tribune reports.
The network -- Registered Nurse Response Network -- will allow nurses to sign up for a call-up list to assist during disasters. Nurses will be contacted based on their availability, geography and specialty to work in coordination with state and local officials and hospitals, according to Bonnie Martin, a CNA board member and geriatric nurse practitioner.
Nurses will be asked to use one to two weeks of their own vacation or leave time, but CNA plans to seek grants and donations to cover travel costs, housing and meals for volunteers. The union will provide liability insurance.
Union officials said they do not know how many nurses will be needed to make the network effective.
The network was developed in response to nurses' experiences after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast last year. Nurses who volunteered to help in New Orleans said they were frustrated by the lack of coordination and opportunities to help those affected.
CNA planned to ask nurses to volunteer at the opening of a clinic last week in New Orleans (Vesely, Oakland Tribune, 8/28).