The nursing profession: A critical component of the growing need for a nuclear global health workforce

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Background: Instability in the global geopolitical climate and the continuing spread of nuclear weapons and increase in their lethality has made the exchange of nuclear weapons or a terrorist attack upon a nuclear power plant a serious issue that demands appropriate planning for response. In response to this threat, the development of a nuclear global health workforce under the technical expertise of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Health Organization Radiation Emergency Medical Preparedness and Assistance Network has been proposed. Main body of the abstract: As the largest component of the global healthcare workforce, nurses will play a critical role in both the leadership and health care effectiveness of a response to any public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) resulting from the unprecedented numbers of trauma, thermal burn, and radiation affected patients that will require extensive involvement of the nursing professional community. Short conclusion: Lives can and will be saved if nurses are present. The clinical care of radiation contaminated patients (e.g. radiation burns, fluid management, infection control), thermal burn patients, and other health system response activities such as community screening for radiation exposure, triage, decontamination, administration of medical countermeasures and the provision of supportive emotional and mental health care will be overwhelmingly nurse intensive.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
JournalConflict and Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 25 2019


  • Global health workforce
  • Nuclear war
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Nurses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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