Tennessee Colleges Will Train Nurses for Disaster

The Defense Department is funding the program to prepare nurses for natural disasters and war.

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Professors from the University of Memphis, Vanderbilt University, and Southwest Tennessee Community College will begin training nurses for the battlefield and natural disasters starting next fall, the Daily Helmsman reports.

This summer, the Department of Defense awarded a $2 million grant to these Tennessee schools to create the program, which will prepare nurses to treat the catastrophic injuries associated with natural disasters as well as chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear weapons of mass destruction.

The professors teaching the program's coursework will do so in conjunction with the Tennessee State Guard, and training might take place at a state military base. Though the program is not yet available to students, government relations assistant Sarah Adair says she expects the program will primarily serve existing military personnel and Reserve Officer Training Corps nursing students.

But some current nursing students don't see the need for a specialized training program. "I think that the program is admirable, but nurses already know what they need to do, even in an emergency situation," says Rebekah Grimes, a sophomore nursing student. "Hospitals themselves are like a battlefield."

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