Education for Developing and Sustaining a Health Care Workforce for Disaster Readiness
The United States needs a national health care and public health workforce with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to respond to any disaster or public health emergency in a timely and appropriate manner. This requires that all of our nation's nurses and health care providers have unrestrained access to high-quality, evidence-based, competency-driven education and training programs. Programs of study for disaster readiness in both the academic and service sectors are limited in number. Those that do exist may be based upon consensus rather than competency and be price prohibitive. They may fail to fully capitalize on existing educational technologies and may not be accessible to all providers. Nurse leaders are ideally positioned to recognize, advocate, and support the need for a broad array of learning options to strengthen the readiness of the health care workforce for disaster response. This article reviews current challenges and opportunities for the expansion of evidence-based education and training opportunities for health care workforce disaster readiness.