OAKLAND, Calif., Jan. 15 Nearly 7,500 registered nurses have now signed up to volunteer for Haiti disaster relief, believed to be the largest outpouring of RN volunteers in U.S. history, reports National Nurses United which is coordinating the effort, and working around the clock to find locations for the nurses to deploy on the ground in Haiti. Nurses from other countries are signing up through the NNU program as well.
View the attached volunteer breakdown by state and country
"As reports of dire medical care shortages continue to pour in, we have thousands of registered nurses willing and ready to travel to Haiti," said NNU Executive Director Rose Ann DeMoro. "We are doing everything in our power to get these nurses engaged as quickly as possible."
DeMoro said the NNU is in contact with the federal government and is also willing to work with other nations that are part of the international relief effort. "We know that the few remaining medical facilities in Haiti and those who are now on the ground are completely overwhelmed. In this enormous human tragedy, it is vital to get the nurses deployed rapidly."
NNU, the largest union and professional organization of U.S. nurses, which has also sent hundreds of volunteers on past disaster relief efforts following Hurricane Katrina, the South Asia tsunami, and Southern California wildfires, is presently organizing the first team of nurses for deployment.
"Registered nurses are particularly skilled professionals who are needed to assess and treat patients and their families and to assess their environment. It is not possible to have a comprehensive care and recovery process without RNs. We need to get nurses there quickly," said NNU Co-president Karen Higgins, RN.
Additionally, NNU is asking for hospitals to provide paid relief time for nurse volunteers - several systems have already agreed to do so - and asking pharmaceutical and insurance companies to donate vaccines for the volunteer nurses and other medical supplies to bring to Haiti.
NNU also requests tax-deductible donations to fund travel and supply costs for the RNs. Donations to Send a Nurse to Haiti may be made on line at www.nationalnursesunited.org. Updates are also available @NationalNurses on twitter or by following: #haitiRN.
SOURCE RN Response Network; National Nurses United