Title page for ETD etd-10272006-114027

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Whitty, Kristin
Author's Email Address kwhitty@selu.edu
URN etd-10272006-114027
Title Factors Influencing the Importance of Incorporating Competencies Regarding Mass Casualty Incidents into Baccalaureate-Degree Nursing Programs as Perceived by Currently Employed Faculty
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Human Resource Education Workforce Development
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Michael Burnett Committee Chair
Earl Johnson Committee Member
Gerri Johnson Committee Member
Krisanna Machtmes Committee Member
Vincent Wilson Dean's Representative
  • nursing
  • disaster
  • education
Date of Defense 2006-10-20
Availability unrestricted
Whether they are naturally occurring, caused by environmental forces, or generated by humans, disasters have placed extraordinary stresses on society. Following September 11, 2001, the Department of Homeland Security was created to protect the nation and coordinate responses to future emergencies at the federal, state, and local levels. However, Governmental agencies canít handle all aspects of mass casualty events. Healthcare professionals, such as nurses, who are knowledgeable and trained in mass casualty incidents (MCIs) are needed to provide competent care to the victims.

Although others expect a knowledgeable nursing response, the majority of nurse educators have not received mass casualty preparation and they hesitate to incorporate disaster preparedness into nursing curricula. The purpose of this study was to identify factors that influence the importance of including educational competencies regarding MCIs into the existing curricula as perceived by faculty of baccalaureate degree nursing programs in Louisiana. A second purpose of this study was to describe the participants on selected personal and demographic characteristics.

A census of 285 Louisiana baccalaureate nurse educators was selected to participate in the study. The data collection process culminated in a total of 166 returned questionnaires (58% response rate). The researcher-designed instrument collected information measuring the training and experience of nurse educators regarding preparation for MCIs, information regarding the self-perceived knowledge and perceived importance of core competencies regarding MCIs, and information on personal and professional characteristics of the participants.

Findings revealed that Louisiana baccalaureate nursing educators are an older workforce with minimal training and/or life experiences regarding MCIs. Additional findings are that Louisiana baccalaureate nursing educators perceive themselves to have limited knowledge of MCI core competencies, but perceive these same competencies as highly important for inclusion into current nursing curricula. Another finding of this study is that a positive relationship exists between knowledge and importance of MCI preparation. Results from this study support the need for Louisiana baccalaureate nursing educators to receive immediate knowledge and training of MCI core competencies in order to equip them with the knowledge and skills necessary to teach this information to students prior to graduation.

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