Emergency care in the context of armed conflict: Nurses' perspectives of the essential core competencies

Int Nurs Rev. 2023 Dec;70(4):510-517. doi: 10.1111/inr.12870. Epub 2023 Aug 3.


Aim: To identify nurses' perspectives of their core competencies for emergency care in the context of armed conflict.

Introduction: Emergency department's (ED) capacity is frequently overwhelmed by a sudden surge of patients when located near armed conflict. Although emergency nurses are key frontline responders, evidence detailing core competencies needed to work in these areas remains limited.

Method: The study used a cross-sectional survey design and is reported using STROBE guidelines. A validated questionnaire was administered in hospitals near the southern Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Yemen border, where emergency nurses regularly manage large numbers of patients from armed conflict.

Result: A total of 163 questionnaires were returned (68% response rate). Most participants were female and had more than six years of ED experience. The core competencies for emergency nurses working near armed conflict were identified and highly rated by participants: the highest mean value was 9.47/10 and the lowest was 8.89/10. Analysis revealed regular education, training and drills were needed to provide quality emergency nursing care for victims of armed conflict.

Conclusion and implications for nursing and health policy: This study provides new evidence regarding core competencies in emergency nursing care in the context of armed conflict. The identified competencies should be incorporated into future education, curricula, training programmes and evaluations to enable emergency nurses to function effectively in the context of armed conflict. The findings will assist decision-makers to develop plans and strategies for mitigating risk and improving the future nursing response in similar contexts.

Keywords: Armed conflicts; disasters; emergency nursing; hospitals; nurses; professional competence.

MeSH terms

  • Armed Conflicts
  • Clinical Competence
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Emergency Medical Services*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nurses*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires