Chaos, Teamwork, Compassion, and Leadership

Disasters and Nursing's Finest Hours

Karlene M. Kerfoot


Nurs Econ. 2019;37(5):265-267. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Nurses come from a long history of rising to the occasion whenever there are disasters. As we brace for endemics, disasters brought on by climate change, natural disasters, disasters induced by humans, and emergencies in our neighborhoods, nurses manage through the chaos to save lives and prevent adverse outcomes.


Everyone likes a certain level of predictability. But into our personal and professional lives will come episodes of pure chaos where nothing can be predicted accurately. Fires, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, mass shootings, terrorist acts, refinery explosions, hurricanes … the list goes on and on. Consistently responding when disaster strikes and unselfishly serving with incredible intelligence and compassionate hearts in any situation are nurses.