New Nursing Master’s Program Teaches Disaster Response

Courses Will Train People to Become Leaders in Health Care Delivery

September 18, 2003

"We’re looking for people interested in becoming leaders in health care"

The University of Rochester School of Nursing has received state approval for a new Leadership in Health Care Systems Master’s degree program. The program will offer two tracks: Health Promotion, Education and Technology” and “Disaster Response and Emergency Preparedness.” The disaster response track is designed to train health care professionals to be leaders in the country’s evolving national biodefense system.        

       “The leadership program in Disaster Response and Emergency Preparedness is the first of its kind to be offered by a school of nursing,” says Tener Veenema, PhD., MPH., CPNP, who serves as director of the program. “We believe the program will become a national model for excellence in disaster education and public health emergency management.”            

The School of Nursing previously offered an elective in disaster relief management, but now has created a full Master’s degree program. Study is open not just to nurses but to any health care professional, including people with backgrounds in medicine, public health, social work, and health administration. This executive leadership program will teach fundamental administrative and business skills and entrepreneurial approaches to health care management.  

“We’re looking for people interested in becoming leaders in health care, who already have some health care background,” says Veenema, associate professor of nursing. “That includes nurses, physicians, EMS providers, social workers, hospital administrators, physical therapists, and others.”  

Graduates might go on to work for a county or state health department, the Red Cross, or the Office of Emergency Preparedness. And in this new era of homeland security, says Veenema, every large health organization needs a minimum of one person who is trained to design, implement and evaluate emergency preparedness programs.  

The new offering comes in response to that need, and also to the growing role of nurse leaders in the delivery of health care.  

“Leadership opportunities are increasing in corporate health care, the criminal justice system, community health education, school-based health clinics, and in new and expanded models for home care,” says Patricia Chiverton, EdD, RN, FNAP, dean of the School of Nursing.            

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