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Public Health Nurs. 2003 Nov-Dec;20(6):422-31.

The role of an advanced practice public health nurse in bioterrorism preparedness.

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  • 1Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Los Angeles, California, USA.


The 2001 anthrax events have vividly illustrated that terrorism involving the release of a biological agent is a major public health emergency requiring an immediate and well-coordinated response. If healthcare professionals and emergency responders are to be prepared to manage such attacks, unprecedented cooperative efforts at the national, state, and local levels are necessary. To aid such efforts, advanced practice public health nurses (PHNs) must exercise their ability to collaborate with a variety of disciplines and communities. Using the Los Angeles County Public Health Nursing Practice Model, advanced practice PHNs can be trained to deal effectively with acts of bioterrorism. This model defines the practice of public health nursing as working on a population-based level to create conditions under which healthy people can live within healthy communities. This article will discuss the threat of bioterrorism and describe how the Public Health Nursing Practice Model can be applied to assist advanced practice PHNs in the development of a public health plan for preparedness and response to bioterrorism. Six specific interventions that enable advanced practice PHNs to affect populations at the community and systems level will be discussed along with the implications of bioterrorism for advanced practice public health nursing.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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