Developing Capacities of Professional Nurses on Disaster Risk Reduction
and Management in the Philippine Nurses Association

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Bettina D. Evio, RN, MAN
Sheila R. Bonito, RN, DrPH


In the years 2010-2015, the Philippines experienced a number of disasters, both natural and man-made, that killed around 1,400 and affected more than 68M people. These recent disasters highlight the need for all health workers, especially nurses to be prepared to respond to possible consequences of all types of hazards interacting with communities. Nurses who are at the forefront of health care services are counted upon to plan for and respond to emergencies and provide substantial care to individuals, families and communities. However, there is a need to review the competencies that nurses should have in emergency and disaster management to be able to carry out these roles and functions. This study describes the development of a training program, which aims to build capacity of nurses to participate actively in emergency preparedness, response and recovery efforts of hospitals and communities. Participants included nurses from hospitals and the community, and volunteer nurses. Their knowledge and skills related to disaster management were measured before and after the training. Their involvement in disaster management months after the training were recorded to demonstrate the impact of training on their professional development and in helping communities during or after a disaster. This study demonstrates how continuing education helps professionals become significant in addressing the needs of the general public and in contributing to social development.