A National Survey of Emergency Nurses and Avian Influenza Threat

  1. A National Survey of Emergency Nurses and Avian Influenza Threat
    Journal of Emergency Nursing - 24 October 2012 (10.1016/j.jen.2012.05.005)

    Mary Ann Bell, PhD, MSN, CNS
    Joseph A. Dake, PhD, MPH
    James H. Price, PhD, MPH
    Timothy R. Jordan, PhD, MEd
    Paul Rega, MD

    Received 10 March 2012; received in revised form 20 April 2012; accepted 11 May 2012. published online 24 October 2012.



    The purpose of this study was to determine the perceived likelihood of emergency nurses reporting to work during an avian influenza outbreak, to consider options if nurses decided not to report work, and to explore Protection Motivation Theory constructs as predictors of reporting to work.


    A descriptive, nonexperimental, cross-sectional survey of emergency nurses within the United States.


    A total of 332 nurses (46%) responded. Most emergency nurses (84%) reported they would report to work (1 in 6 would not). The likelihood of reporting to work differed by education level, nurses' avian influenza information sources, and nurses who had family living with them. Of the nurses who decided not to report to work, the majority were willing to provide health information (90%), administer vaccinations (82%), and triage (74%) neighbors/friends from home. One third of nurses had not attended a disaster-preparedness drill within the past year. Only 20% identified formal training while on the job as a source of avian influenza information. A third of emergency nurses would be worried about getting an avian influenza vaccination because of potential adverse effects. Protection Motivation Theory accounted for almost 40% of the variance of likelihood to report to work, with response costs being the largest predictor.


    Disaster drills, avian influenza job training, and vaccination education are necessary to prepare emergency nurses for an outbreak. The findings support emergency nurses' willingness to work from home if they are unable to report to work. This finding is new and may have implications for disaster planning, staffing, and ED operations.

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