Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Nursing Administration and Emergency Management




College of Natural & Health Sciences

Committee Chair

Dr. Jennifer Helms

Second Committee Member

Dr. Cheryl Monfee

Dean of Graduate College

Dr. Jeff Robertson


Emergency departments (ED) are the entryway into the healthcare system during a disaster event and patients often arrive in the first thirty minutes after an event has occurred. This creates unique challenges for ED nurses. The purpose of the Quality Improvement (QI) project was to measure the impact of a Department Emergency Operations Plan (DEOP) on the ED nurse’s perception of disaster preparedness. This study included a convenience sample of 126 full time and part time registered nurses working in the ED at a Level 1 Trauma hospital. Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval was obtained by both Arkansas Tech University and the participating hospital. Informed consent was obtained prior to taking the pre- and post-education questionnaires. The questionnaires were created by the primary investigator with expert validation by the Emergency Nurses Association’s (ENA) 2018 Emergency Management and Preparedness Committee (EMPC). Measures included knowledge level questions based on the identified priority needs of the leadership team. Education of the DEOP was provided over thirty minutes during the January, 2019 staff meetings. Data was collected via REDCap for analysis. Thirty participants completed both questionnaires. Results indicate that the DEOP QI project significantly increased the perception of the ED’s nurse’s knowledge level regarding disaster response for each of the questions utilized from the pre-education questionnaire as compared to the post-education questionnaire. Additionally, 85% of participants noted that the education increased their comfort level with the DEOP.