In the aftermath of the devastation from Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, the Registered Nurse Response Network (RNRN), a project of National Nurses United (NNU), has put out a call for volunteers and donations through its vast network of direct-care nurses both nationally and internationally.

In the first 24 hours more than 500 RNs have stepped up to volunteer. The nurses are also seeking public support with financial donations to help their relief effort.

Click to donate.

Click to volunteer.

We continue to gather information and assessments from multiple sources, including the Philippines Alliance of Health Workers, a member of NNU’s international affiliate Global Nurses United, to determine the need for nurses, medical supplies and financial support on the ground.

RNRN is putting together an advance team that will finalize the locations where we can be of most help, and the number and specialties of nurses needed. A special effort is being made on recruiting volunteers who speak Tagalog and other local dialects.

Watch this video appeal Gina Macalino, RN.

In the Philippines, communication channels are not yet re-established to many areas, but current reports indicate as many as 10,000 deaths, with fears of many more casualties yet to be assessed. Several hospitals, along with thousands of homes and schools have been damaged or destroyed, and hundreds of thousands left homeless – many with long term shelter needs.

RNRN has learned from our experience responding to disaster over the last decade that RNs have an especially important and unique role to play in relief efforts. In addition to the immediate acute care needs at this time, in the coming days and weeks there will be longer-term public health needs. Our goal is to send teams that can respond effectively to medical problems such as, dehydration, sepsis, malnutrition and lack of proper medication for chronic conditions.

Zenei Cortez, RN and National Nurses United vice president, said nurses in the U.S. have witnessed the effects of deadly storms and disasters and the pain it causes families and communities. “We know the difference it makes to provide support and assistance in a hour of need,” she said. “We will do whatever we can to aid our sisters and brothers in the Philippines.”

About RNRN:

RNRN, a project of National Nurses United, the nation’s largest organization of RNs, was formed in the aftermath of the South Asia tsunami in 2004, when the need for nurses was not being met by traditional disaster relief organizations.

Since that time, RNRN has sent hundreds of direct-care nurses to work in clinics and hospitals in the weeks and months following Hurricane Katrina and the Haitian Earthquake. Last year, RNRN worked with nurses from the Veterans Administration and the New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) to provide disaster relief to the communities most affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Deborah Burger and Clelie
Nurses remain long after the TV cameras have left — Nurses from RNRN traveled to Sacre Coeur Hosptial in Haiti to provide direct relief to those still suffering from the aftereffects of the earthquake.

What you can do to Help:

Click to volunteer: If you are an RN and are able to work on the ground for one to two weeks, please sign up here and provide information on your availability for the next few weeks.

Click to donate: Contributions are tax deductible, and 100 percent of all donations go directly to the relief effort.

For information, go to www.nationalnursesunited.org.