It’s National Nurses Week and the American Red Cross recognizes the more than 20,000 nurses and student nurses who serve the organization today.
Nurses have been part of the American Red Cross almost since its inception, helping during the Yellow Fever epidemic of 1888. Today nurses serve directly as part of disaster response teams, at health fairs, volunteering in military clinics and hospitals, manning first aid stations and promoting blood donations.
Nurses also teach and help develop different courses like CPR and First Aid, Disaster Health Services, Nurse Assistant Training, Babysitting and Family Caregiving. They serve in management and supervisory roles in Red Cross chapters and blood regions and in leadership roles on local Red Cross boards and the national Board of Governors.
OUTSTANDING NURSING CONTRIBUTION The highest honor of nursing achievement in the Red Cross is the Ann Magnussen Award, presented annually to a volunteer or employed registered nurse who has made an outstanding contribution to strengthening or improving Red Cross programs and services. This year the award was presented to Janice Springer, DNP, RN, PHN, from Foley, Minnesota.
As the Disaster Health Services Advisor for the Northern Minnesota Region, Springer is responsible for overseeing all disaster health services activities, including sheltering, disaster mental health and disaster health. She is also a disaster volunteer with more than 20 regional and national deployments, and the Public Health Nurse Consultant in the Red Cross Nursing Network.
Springer completed her doctoral study titled Public Health Nursing: Meeting Access and Functional Needs in Congregate Care Shelters in Disasters. As part of her study, she reconvened the federal interagency group to develop the current Red Cross shelter intake process to identify access and functional needs of clients.
Through her study she learned many client health needs don’t arise until day 3 of a disaster or later. There are now systems in place to better assess health, access and functional needs for individuals in shelters. Her approach has been adopted by Disaster Cycle Services and is an integral part of the new Shelter Prototype Project.
BECOME A RED CROSS NURSE If you are an RN, LPN, LVN, CNA or student in any of these professions, consider becoming a Red Cross volunteer. Contact your local Red Cross to learn about volunteer openings in your community.