The Nursing Emergency Preparedness Education Coalition (NEPEC) was coordinated by Vanderbilt University School of Nursing. It was founded in response to recognition of the need for nurses to be more adequately prepared to respond to mass casualty events. The group was originally named the International Nursing Coalition for Mass Casualty Education. The organization was renamed the Nursing Emergency Preparedness Education Coalition in 2007. Due to lack of continued federal funding, NEPEC was closed in May of 2010. The most frequently used resources on the NEPEC website have been both the competencies and the online modules. As a result, both of these resources will remain available for others to access via the web site.
The first meeting of the Coalition was called by Dr. Colleen Conway-Welch, Dean of Vanderbilt University School of Nursing in March, 2001. That first meeting was attended by nursing top leaders from academics, government, the military and specialty organizations. The membership grew from those initial beginnings to a consortium representing more than 80 organizational members and affiliates from the United States and Europe.
The mission of the Nursing Emergency Preparedness Education Coalition (NEPEC) was to provide a platform for nurse educators, practice and professional organizations, governmental agencies and others to pool expertise, make recommendations and disseminate best practices about emergency preparedness and disaster response education in the United States and worldwide. The vision was to prepare every nurse to serve people and community in a disaster or emergency.
The focus of NEPEC was in several areas:
1) increasing awareness of all nurses about mass casualty events; 2) leadership to the nursing profession for the development of knowledge and expertise related to mass casualty education; 3) dissemination of competencies for nurses at academic and continuing education levels; 4) establishment of a clearinghouse of information and web links for professional development of nurses; and 5) input into policy development related to nursing practice, education and research at the governmental and institutional levels.
Since the NEPEC was organizationally based, it was built on the strength of all its members and their respective constituencies. These constituencies included many nurses possessing extensive expertise in mass casualties, mass casualty education and weapons of mass destruction. These nurses and the subject matter experts participated in the identification and presentation of content and the development of related materials used in interdisciplinary training initiatives.
Conference 2003 Attendees [photo]