Assessing the learning needs of South Carolina nurses by exploring their perceived knowledge of emergency preparedness: evaluation of a tool

J Contin Educ Nurs. 2011 Dec;42(12):547-58. doi: 10.3928/00220124-20111003-04. Epub 2011 Oct 10.


Background: This study assessed South Carolina nurses' perceived knowledge of emergency preparedness to gain a better understanding of their learning needs and to prioritize continuing education and training efforts based on these needs.

Methods: Boone's programming model concept of planning provided the framework for this study, which used a descriptive correlational design and the Emergency Preparedness Information Questionnaire (EPIQ). Data from 207 eligible survey participants were analyzed.

Results: Nurses showed an overall low level of self-reported knowledge of emergency preparedness. Nurses reported being most familiar with triage and least familiar with clinical decision making in epidemiology and biological agents.

Conclusion: By prioritizing learning needs based on a needs assessment and accommodating learning preferences, a systematic and planned approach to educating nurses about this extremely important topic can be implemented to significantly strengthen nurses' ability to respond to disaster events competently and effectively.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Civil Defense*
  • Disaster Planning*
  • Humans
  • Nurses
  • South Carolina
  • Surveys and Questionnaires