Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Nursing

Degree Level





Smith-Blair, Nan

Committee Member/Reader

McNeill, Charleen

Committee Member/Second Reader

Gilmet, Kelsey

Committee Member/Third Reader

Lee, Peggy


Background and Significance

In the event of a national public health emergency, FEMA has a 48-hour timeline between the declaration of the emergency and the treatment of the last person in need of medical countermeasures (CDC, 2016b; Fisk, 2015; The National Academies of Sciences, 2017). The staff of the health department only is not enough to get the medications dispensed in the 48-hour requirement (CDC, n.d.). Senior nursing students are uniquely suited to fill the gap as they are not currently obliged to report to work as a nurse in emergent times and they have training that qualifies them to augment the POD staffing in times of need. (Arkansas State Board of Nursing, 2017).


Simulation models of POD operations were utilized to replicate the existing distribution methods and resources as well as to create alternative SNS distribution strategies. A comparison of the effectiveness of a dispensing operation that uses only public health staff at open PODs to one that utilizes both public staff and senior nursing students at PODs was conducted.


Case study results indicate the current POD model can serve 46% of the impacted population within the target timeframe of 24 hours. Augmenting staffing resources in PODS with nursing students would further increase coverage to 64%.


Currently, the ability of all the 156 pre-identified PODs in Arkansas effectively distributing the required amount of medicine for the entire population within the mandatory 48-hour time period is doubtful (ADH, 2011c). The inability to reach every citizen in the state of Arkansas with potentially life-saving medications in a time of emergency could result in a dramatic loss of life. Senior nursing student augmenting public health personnel can, theoretically, make a significant impact on number of lives saved.


Senior nursing students, national public health emergency

Available for download on Sunday, May 09, 2021